Dog Central makes its television debut on 'Man v. Food', celebrates with viewing party
Although he travels around the country competing in food challenges, Casey Webb, host of Travel Channel's "Man v. Food" couldn't conquer Dog Central's.
After filming took place in November, Dog Central made its television debut on the TV show "Man v. Food" on Feb. 12. To celebrate, a viewing party took place at Dog Central with special drink and food deals.
In the episode, Webb said Dog Central is a college town establishment known for variety hot dogs and its "late night antics."
He noted that the restaurant is open until 3 a.m. Thursday through Saturday and sarcastically said it's a place where students can feed an appetite built from studying not drinking.
"We worked really hard on designing this place and making sure it had a cool college vibe and was a place for people to feel good," said Dog Central Owner Paul McFall. "It is great to see it all come to life on the television screen."
McFall, a Central Michigan University alumnus and Grand Rapids native opened the restaurant in 2012.
"My friends and I were walking out of the Bird (Ball & Grill) and saw that there was no where to eat. There were no food vendors or late night spots for us to go," McFall said, adding that Dog Central was inspired by the Grand Rapids restaurant scene likeThe Dog Pit, Yesterdog and the One Stop Coney Shop.
The show was attracted to the eating contest -- the Dog Central Challenge -- which has only been successfully completed by 10 people.
On the episode, Webb attempted the challenge by eating three foot long hot dogs of his choice, accompanied by a stack of onion rings, a 20-ounce drink and an order of fries. He was unable to complete the challenge within 25 minutes.
His failure came with a $25 bill, the loss of an original T-shirt and a $10 prize.
When 2017 alumna Brandi Andrews of Coleman received a text message from her brother that Dog Central would be featured on "Man v. Food" she thought it was a joke and didn't believe it.
Andrews comes to Dog Central every Tuesday for its lunch specials and has been a regular customer for three years. She spent the evening watching out for people she knew to appear on the episode.
"I wouldn't say this place is a hole in a wall, because it is somewhere special for the community and that we all know in the area," Andrews said. "But I think it's really cool that this place will be shared with the rest of the world."
Troy senior Leigh Rowe calls herself a self-proclaimed "hot dog enthusiast" and said seeing the episode made Mount Pleasant's small town existence appear a bit bigger.
"Everyone here is just really enthusiastic and proud," Rowe said, "It's great to see how far Paul's work has taken him and I feel like now people outside of Michigan will know who we are, out here at CMU."
McFall said the evening was filled with "hoots and hollering" for Dog Central and it was great to be recognized. He said he is looking forward to seeing new faces over the summer who may now be seeking the restaurant as a food destination.
"Our future here is bright," he said.