New owner helps GOOD DOG stay on Chattanooga's North Shore

Staff file photo by Patrick Harding / GOOD DOG, on Frazier Ave., offers a variety of different style dogs and other fare, such as freshly cut fries and home stewed chili and salads. Pictured is the Chicago Dog, complete with neon green relish, sport peppers and celery salt with a bowl of House "Fav" chili, large frite and dog house salad.

After closing in January due to pandemic pressures, a longtime hot dog hotspot on the North Shore has a new owner.

"I love GOOD DOG so much and am honored that Susan Wybenga and her family would entrust our team with shepherding it into the future," said Doug Chapin, director of specialty operations at See Rock City, Inc., in an announcement of the deal Thursday.

See Rock City, Inc., also owns local ice cream purveyor Clumpies, and the addition of GOOD DOG makes good sense for the See Rock City portfolio, Chapin added.

"When we purchased Clumpies almost eight years ago, we sought to take a brand and experience that we loved and make it the best it could be, by focusing on our culture and mission of 'making memories worth repeating,'" Chapin said. "I have always viewed GOOD DOG as a kindred spirit with our flagship shop on the North Shore, as they also focused on making memories for each guest who walked through the doors."

The hiring process has begun with plans for a reopening goal of late summer, according to the announcement.

"It is with great excitement that we see our vision for GOOD DOG grow, and we are more than honored to know that GOOD DOG will not only stay open - but thrive," said Susan Wybenga, who opened the restaurant 13 years ago.

The GOOD DOG experience created by Wybenga in 2008 is based on her childhood family travels highlighting historical sites and a variety of hot dog shops.

In addition to Clumpies, GOOD DOG and Rocky City Gardens, See Rock City, Inc., owns and operates Battles for Chattanooga museum, Grandview Conference Center, RiverView Inn and Starbucks on Lookout Mountain, as well as the ticketing and concessions for the Incline Railway and The Charles H. Coolidge National Medal of Honor Heritage Center, and the retail shop and café at Creative Discovery Museum in Chattanooga.

Compiled by Staff Writer Mary Fortune.