When Vinnie Vedella was a little boy in New York City, he dreamed of becoming a famous baseball player.
Fresh out of college, Vinnie decided he needed a change of scenery and drove “out West” with a friend to crash on a family member’s couch. Thirty years later, Vinnie is still here.
After owning a heating and air business for several years, Vinnie decided it was time to get out of the construction business for good. On Feb. 21, 2012, Vinnie opened the doors to Famous Vinnie’s Hot Dogs on West Texas Street across from Allan Witt Park.
The store is cozy with a few tables and a small counter area. The sounds of classic rock greet you along with the friendly girls behind the counter. Baseball pennants and other memorabilia keep the theme casual and inviting. Originally Johanne’s Hot Dog, the building housed other businesses including a barbecue restaurant prior to coming full-circle as a hot dog stand once again.
One might wonder about the transition from construction to food, but Vinnie is no stranger to the business. Growing up in New York City, Vinnie was immersed in the business for 20 years while his parents owned an Italian restaurant.
When asked why hot dogs, Vinnie said he simply “loves hotdogs.”
Vinnie’s offers 10 types of hot dogs, which feature that all-important “snap” factor.
Unless you’re a hot dog connoisseur, you’ve probably never heard of snap factor – it’s how the hot dog snaps out of the casing when you bite it.
According to Vinnie, the snap factor is synonymous with good
old-fashioned hot dogs. Vinnie also sources local ingredients to guarantee freshness.
Vinnie’s claims “a great hot dog at a good price”, along with “the quickest lunch in town.”
Hours are Monday thru Friday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Patch sat down with Vinnie Vedella and asked him the following questions:
What’s your favorite hotdog?
The Chili and Cheese dog, also the most popular in the store.
Why “Famous” in Famous Vinnie’s?
Sounded catchy like another familiar brand – Famous Amos.
What is your favorite food to cook?
Spaghetti with meatball gravy (NY slang for red sauce).
What is your favorite thing to eat besides hot dogs?
Spaghetti with meatball gravy!
What is your dream car?
A '69 Camaro in LeMans blue.
What do you do in your spare time?
Your favorite course?
Who’s your favorite baseball team?
What’s your favorite music?
Good 'ol rock-n-roll.
Where is your favorite spot in Fairfield?
Anywhere on a golf course.
What is the upside to owning a hot dog stand vs. a construction business?
Getting to work with a variety of customers and regulars, from kids to the elderly.
What is your vision for Famous Vinnie’s Hot Dog?
To expand to at least two more locations and to be known for having a great hot dog!
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