Funky new eatery opens doors with a flood of customers
HOTDOGS were walking out the door today as Dickie’s Dogs, in the Airlie Main Street, opened for its first day of trading.
The bright new eatery is specialising in hotdogs but these aren’t just any hotdogs – you can have them any one of 15 delicious ways with an “around-the-world” menu.
From the Australian Blue Heeler dog – onions, cheese and bacon – to the German Shepherd Dog with sauerkraut and dill pickles, you can eat your way around the globe.
The café is bright and funky with a 1950s retro vibe, with many of the artefacts from owner Cathy Lucas’s own collection.
The couple refurbished the café themselves with Cathy’s husband Steve – a boat builder and upholsterer by trade – making the cabinets and bench seating.
A man of many talents, Mr Lucas also talked it up outside the shop as he was refurbishing it, probably accounting for the large queues on the first day.
“My husband has been standing out the front doing PR work as we have been building,” Mrs Lucas said, adding they arrived in Airlie Beach in July last year.
“There’s been a lot of interest – people have stopped and asked what the place is going to be all about – we’ve had very positive feedback and we are very excited.”
Dickie’s Dogs is a family affair, with Cathy and Steve’s daughter Mel and her husband Eden also partners in the business. They will move to Airlie Beach from the Gold Coast once travel restrictions are lifted.
The couple’s other daughter Ebony, 21, is working in the café and Steve’s brother Paul is the master behind the menu and has a wealth of culinary experience. However, this is the first time the Lucas’ have dabbled in anything like this.
Labor candidate for Whitsundays Tracey Cameron, who attended the first day opening on Saturday, said it was great to see a new business open up.
“I think it’s refreshing to see someone open a new business and it’s got to be a good thing on our road to economic recovery,” she said.
“Businesses are doing it tough down here – I’m a business owner and I feel their pain every day.”
The ’50s experience of Dickie’s Dogs extends past the menu – Mrs Lucas has adorned the walls with her own collection of eclectic vintage memorabilia.
“I know where every piece is from and every piece has a story,” she said.
Once Airlie Beach’s night scene is up and running, Dickie’s Dogs – which also does strawberry, raspberry, blueberry, pineapple and mango doughnuts - will remain open until the early hours of the morning.