Mucky Pup Frontman Chris Milnes on Opening His Own Hot Dog Restaurant in Jersey (INTERVIEW)
Mucky Pup singer Chris Milnes loves hot dogs.
He doesn’t just love them the same way you and I love them, I mean, he really loves them. The dude’s passion for the tasty delicacy lead him to open The Mucky Pup, a cool little restaurant in Little Ferry, N.J. specializing in all things hot dog.
“About two years ago I realized that the band name ‘Mucky Pup’ was perfectly suited to also be the name of an old-school New Jersey hot dog type of restaurant. As a band, we’ve always traveled around Jersey searching for underground hot dog spots. We’ve always been into that comfort food kind of thing, finding hole-in-the-wall spots all over the state. We take it seriously. So it’s only natural that I’m doing this now,” Milnes tells Noisecreep.
Let’s rewind a bit.
Milnes co-founded Mucky Pup (the band) way back in 1986 along with his brother John (drums), guitarist Dan Nastasi (later of Dog Eat Dog) and bassist Scott LePage. The group’s fun mix of hardcore, punk, metal, rap and funk, helped them score a huge following throughout the Tri-State area, and across Europe. With six studio albums, and a slew of compilation appearances and world tours under their belts, Mucky Pup aren’t as active now as they were in the past, but they still travel to Europe and even play the big festivals there.
“I’d say about half of the people that come to the restaurant for the first time are fans of the band. I had one girl come in and notice the Mucky Pup memorabilia on the walls and say to me, ‘I get it. There’s a band called Mucky Pup and you’re using their name for the restaurant, but aren’t you afraid of getting sued?’ She didn’t even realize I was the singer. I look different from what I used to [laughs]. So yeah, some people don’t even make the connection right away.”
Noisecreep asks Milnes how went about getting the menu set up for The Mucky Pup. “That was actually the easy part in all of this. For 25 years we have been the ultimate connoisseurs for this stuff. We don’t go for the tourist type of hot dog places like Pink’s in Los Angeles, where they throw a hundred toppings on their hot dogs. That’s not what we do. I make the sauce myself from an old recipe that’s been passed down to us. We’re purists here.
“The only leap we’ve taken is a thing we call the ‘Crack Dog’ which is a hot dog wrapped in bacon, deep fried and then it goes over an egg and cheese. It’s ridiculous! It’s our most popular item and it’s addicting. It’s like crack [laughs]. You gotta try it when you come by.”
Besides their “Crack Dog,” Milnes and company also offer up six other types of hot dogs and the kinds of side dishes that any self-respecting American would go cuckoo for, including cheese fries.
Check out The Mucky Pup’s menu here. Mmmmmm!
With food trucks being all the rage these past few years, don’t think Milnes hasn’t already thought about taking The Mucky Pup kitchen on the road. “I would love to do it, but the big problem is that everything we do is deep friend and it’s traveling with hot oil is very difficult. You have to vent things properly when you have a deep fryer and driving around with all of that hot oil would be dangerous. But if we could figure something out for that, I would love to do the food truck thing.”
A musician since his teens, Milnes understands how expensive touring on a limited budget can be. That’s why he’s paying it forward now that he’s found success with The Mucky Pup. “If you’re a touring band — in a van our a tour bus — I’m feeding you here for free. I want you to help get the word out. We’ve had bands like D.R.I., Municipal Waste and GWAR eat here. When you come into the restaurant, you’re likely to hear Slayer playing on the stereo.”
That sounds like the kind of place we’d like to chow down at.
The Mucky Pup
272 Liberty St.
Little Ferry, NJ 07643
(201) 440-1880 (Free Delivery)
12pm-5pm daily Monday-Saturday
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