EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WEHT) – July 20 is the national holiday where our nation asks the question, “Is a hot dog a sandwich?” Eyewitness News spoke with two local experts about the issue on National Hot Dog Day.

Our local experts were divided on the question. James Sweeney, owner of Sweeney’s Weenies, said it’s a sandwich because things can be added to a sandwich. Owner of River City Dawgs, Kent Greathouse, said a hot dog is its own category and is a sausage on a roll.

James Sweeney of Sweeney’s Weenies
Kent Greathouse and his wife, Jennifer of River City Dawgs

Both men were qualified as Eyewitness experts as they told us how they started dipping into the hot dog business.

“I started in June 2019. I went to work one day and I was no longer employed before the day was over,” said Sweeney. “My buddy owned a restaurant and had a hot dog trailer in his garage. I needed some kind of work so I started doing it part-time, and I did for eight months. I went down to Alabama to get my current 17 foot trailer and work full-time now. My nephew, Ryan Moore is my business partner. He is a realtor for F.C. Tucker but he has been a great asset, on my end, since he has a business degree and loves the food industry as much as I do.”

“This is my eighth year. My wife and I researched it for a year,” said Greathouse. “I started part-time and after it blew up, I went full-time.”

Both men have gourmet hot dogs on their menu. Sweeney’s specialties include a dog topped with BBQ pulled pork and BBQ Grippo chips called the Westsider, a mac and cheese topped dog called Mac-The-Dog and the Little Wilbur, a Johnsonville bratwurst with nacho cheese, sautéed onions and shredded cheese.

Sweeney’s Weenies Westsider
Sweeney’s Weenies Mac-The-Dog

River City Dawgs’ number one seller is the Carolina Dawg, topped with chili, homemade cole slaw and brown mustard. Greathouse also has a Westsider, except his version is topped with sauerkraut and brown mustard, and a Chicago dawg with relish, onion, celery salt, tomato wedges, dill pickles, sport peppers and mustard.

River City Dawgs’ Carolina Dawg

The public can help decide “Is a hot dog a sandwich?” issue by visiting Sweeney’s Weenies on July 23 at Greer’s Flooring from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. River City Dawgs will be set up at Shoe Carnival Distribution Center on July 21, Be Happy Pie Company on July 22 and Franklin Street Bazaar on July 23 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Answer the debate on Eyewitness News’ Facebook page.

More information can be found on their Facebook pages. Sweeney’s Weenies can be viewed here and River City Dawgs can be viewed here.