Talk about tough luck. Back in early 2017, right in front of Dogz Bar and Grill, a delivery truck crashed into a fire hydrant. The substantial flood caused by the incident forced the prime-spot storefront on bustling Second Street to close, subtracting one of the street’s few bar options that stay open past midnight.
Fast forward a year and a half, and the casual food joint, known for serving beer at icy-cold temperatures, was weeks away from reopening . . . but then it was destroyed by a fire. This meant yet another year of repairs and renovation.
Finally, Dogz Bar and Grill was able to reopen last month. The remodeled interior is a tasteful improvement. Gone are the cutesy dog-themed decorations and paintings, the surfboards, and the cheeky knickknacks that used to line the walls. But the owners did keep the digital display over the bar that continuously measures the current beer temperature (a frosty 30.2 degrees Fahrenheit at time of my visit). The space is also much more open, with a dog-friendly patio seamlessly flowing between Second Street’s foot traffic and the dining section and bar area.
The menu is almost exactly the same; for a place that specializes in hot dogs and Mexican food, it really didn’t need to do any fine tuning in that area. But there are a few additions: Dogz switched out the pretzel bites for a pub pretzel, which came huge, hot and perfectly salted alongside two dips—a sweet mustard and a de facto plastic-orange-cheese sauce. There’s also a tortilla soup, and the dessert section has doubled thanks to several different frozen treats such as sorbets and bombas.
While the old menu featured pulled-pork sliders, the new one features a burger slider trio—three Hawaiian sweet rolls filled with an abstract-shaped beef patty, grilled onions and a bit of melted Cheddar. The mini burgers are stacked alongside a small pile of golden, house-made potato chips. The dish is a blank slate meant to be customized with the cart of various sauces found at each table.
The sections titled Dogz and Sausagez mirror their former incarnations, with classics such as the Chicago dog, a plump, snappy Vienna beef frank in a sesame-seed bun and piled with yellow mustard, onions, neon-green relish, tomato, a pickle spear and a few sport peppers. It’s perfectly savory and juicy, paired with layers of tart vinegar. Among the other standards are a chili dog, a BBQ dog (with barbecue sauce, Cheddar and bacon), the Pepperz Party (a chili dog topped with four kinds of hot peppers) and the N’Awlins dog (topped with a muffaletta of olives, peppers, basil and oregano).
The ever-popular Teenie Weineez option also remains, allowing indecisive guests three different mini dogs of their choosing. Come on a Tuesday and get as many Teenies as you can handle for just $1.50 apiece.
The most noticeable change to Dogz Bar and Grill’s menu is the pared-down toppings selection. Before, the list consisted of no less than 30 options, including a dozen different kinds of peppers. Now it’s streamlined at 18 and does not include marinara sauce, which was a smart edit.
Weekday specials such as the aforementioned Teenie Weineez Tuesdays or Free Fries Fridays ensures a crowded house the majority of the time. Dogz Bar and Grill seems to be right back to its busy, boisterous, ice-cold-beer-and-hot-dog-slinging self.
Dogz Bar and Grill, 5300 E. Second St., Long Beach, (562) 433-3907; dogzbarandgrill.com .