Hot dogs and lawsuits

Trinity Groves welcomes Hofmann Hots and, soon, restaurant incubator Kitchen LTO

Trinity Groves welcomes Hofmann Hots and, soon, restaurant incubator Kitchen LTO

Gene Baker, Rebecca Baker
Gene Baker , Rebecca Baker Photo by Jerry McClure
Hofmann Hots
Hofmann Hots has a cool '50s diner thing going on. Photo by Jerry McClure
Hofmann Hots
Hofmann Hots showcases hot dogs from Syracuse-New York-based Hofmann Sausage Co., available with all manner of toppings. Dogs, left to right: Asian, Himalayan, fajita. Photo by Jerry McClure
Hofmann Hots
Neon lights make Hofmann Hots easy to spot. Photo by Jerry McClure
Bobby Giblaint, Gene Baker, Rebecca Baker, Phil Romano
Bobby Giblaint , Gene Baker , Rebecca Baker , Phil Romano Photo by Jerry McClure
Hofmann Hots
Choose your dog, choose your toppings. Hofmann Hots also does a Burger Dog made with ground beef and a Sea Dog of fried cod. Photo by Jerry McClure
Beaux Wellborn, Michael Swaim
Michael Swaim , Beaux Wellborn Photo by Jerry McClure
Hofmann Hots
Dotty Griffith (left), new executive director of the Greater Dallas Restaurant Association, chats with fellow diners. Photo by Jerry McClure
Cindy Waldrop, Tony Waldrop, Susan Cuellar, John Cuellar
Cindy Waldrop , Tony Waldrop , Susan Cuellar , John Cuellar Photo by Jerry McClure
Kristy Nail, Melanie Weiser, Summer Graham
Kristy Nail , Melanie Weiser , Summer Graham Photo by Jerry McClure
Gene Baker, Rebecca Baker
Hofmann Hots
Hofmann Hots
Steve Utley
Hofmann Hots
Bobby Giblaint, Gene Baker, Rebecca Baker, Phil Romano
Hofmann Hots
Beaux Wellborn, Michael Swaim
Hofmann Hots
Cindy Waldrop, Tony Waldrop, Susan Cuellar, John Cuellar
Kristy Nail, Melanie Weiser, Summer Graham

Trinity Groves ushered in its new hot dog diner concept, Hofmann Hots, with a reception for friends and family on February 6, as a preview to the official opening February 8. Hofmann Hots showcases hot dogs from Hofmann Sausage Co., a Syracuse, New York-based company that's been making hot dogs since 1879.

The restaurant is the first in a chain whose investor-owners include Trinity Groves founder Phil Romano. Romano and company recently filed a lawsuit against company CEO Frank Zaccanelli for misuse of company funds. Zaccanelli is accused of racking up personal expenses, including $34,000 for an employee named Megan Lucas.

But there was no talk of the lawsuit at the opening event. Instead, attendees including Susan and John Cuellar, owners of Corazon de Tejas restaurant soon to open in Oak Cliff, and Dotty Griffith, the new executive director of the Greater Dallas Restaurant Association, lined up for gourmet hot dogs, spicy chili mac and cheese, and tater tots.

The restaurant has a cool '50s diner design, with white tiled walls, stainless steel countertops, gleaming red tables, and blue-and-white vinyl chairs. Also spotted in the hungry crowd: Cindy and Tony Waldrop, Kristy Nail, Melanie Weiser, Summer Graham, Michael Swaim, and Beaux Wellborn.

In other news, Trinity Groves recently announced a mini-incubator project called Kitchen LTO, created by Greenz founder Casie Caldwell. LTO, which stands for "limited time only," will be a pop-up restaurant site with a new set of chefs and designers moving in and out every quarter.

A screening committee will review applicants, but the public will decide who's in, by voting through the company's website and social media channels. Chefs and designers are invited to submit applications by February 27.

Chefs must have culinary training and five years of experience, but design applicants can be students. To apply, visit the website or email contact@kitchenlto.com.