Fred Rex worked in the electronics business for two and a half decades, but when his company closed in the early 2000s, he decided to change careers. "I ran a pretty successful hot dog stand in the Boston area for about seven years," he explains. "We're not just a stainless steel hot dog stand with boiled dogs. We take it to another level."
And a couple of years ago, he also decided to take it to another city. So he sold his Wakefield, Massachusetts, operation -- which was simply called Fred's Franks -- and moved west, landing in Denver. Now, he's getting ready to launch the second iteration of Uncle Fred's Franks, building on what he learned in his first venture. "I built the trailer back in Boston, but I sold it with the business," he explains. "Now I have a custom-built trailer, and I improved upon it."
He also brought on a partner, brother-in-law Greg Roche, who is managing the business aspects of the business -- but Rex says he'll be doing all of the cooking, and he has just one goal: to make an "ass-kicking hot dog." To that end, he'll be wood-smoking Pearl dogs (an Portuguese chourico) on his custom built grill pit then topping them in a variety of ways. He's also making many of his condiments, including a mustanero, which he says is "a habañero pepper-based brown mustard," and a sweet sauerkraut. And every dog goes on a freshly made challah roll.
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Rex also plans to have combinations like the Yin Yang, which tops a dog with Cholula, sweet sauerkraut, mayo and onions -- and the fireball, which includes ketchup, relish, onions and that mustanero.
The owner is getting ready to launch the operation, and he says he's worked out a deal with the Courtesy Ford dealership on Broadway and County Line. "They do a cookout every Saturday for their customers," he explains. "So I'll help them out with that, and then I'll set up there from Tuesday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m." He says, too, that he has other locations in the works, and that you can find him by following the cart's Twitter and Facebook pages.
Uncle Fred's Franks should hit the street on April 17.