A hot dog stand on 14th Street West opened on Thursday.
Willy-Yums Hot Dogs, pronounced “Williams” and named after founder Rob Williams, is a dream venture partially funded by a GoFundMe campaign. The shop serves all of the classic, dressed-up dogs, including Detroit, New York and Chicago-style. Williams brought in well-known hot dog brands like Hebrew National, Koegel’s, Nathan’s Famous, Sabrett and Hoffman’s to offer something for every taste and preference.
There’s also an option for a plain dog with ketchup, mustard and onions, but as any Chicago- or New York-style hot dog devotee will tell you, eating ketchup on your hot dog is sacrilegious.
The menu also includes other dressed dogs (I’ll judge you for the ketchup, but definitely not for trying the mac and cheese dog. Sign me up!) and ballpark favorites like soft-serve vanilla ice cream and what Willy-Yums calls a Sunshine Cooler, which has vanilla ice cream steeped in ginger ale.
Williams runs the stand with his wife, Kim, and sons, Connar and Zacary. Opening a hot dog shop is something he’s dreamed of since he was 20 years old. Now 45, he said Bradenton is the perfect place to pursue the dream.
“Everyone knows where to go to get a hamburger and a taco, and everyone knows where to go to get a fast food sub sandwich,” Williams said. “But nobody knows where to go to get a great hot dog meal.”
If you plan a visit, keep in mind that Willy-Yums has no indoor seating. “Pick up and go” is the goal, Williams said. The roughly 150-square-foot shop has a walk-up window and five parking spaces.