In 1992, Bob Martell and his daughter, Colleen Derscha, embarked on an adventurous career change as they started up a Chicago Style hot dog restaurant in Niles, Michigan. They named it “Hot Dogs Plus”. That was 27 years ago and as Colleen says, “We serve the people, but they maintain us”. Getting to know and love the community has often been the key ingredient for success, and that is very much the “plus” in Hot Dogs Plus. Today, they are also known as ‘the birthday place’ and ‘the Chicago house’, featuring Vienna Beef hot dogs and offering a free hot dog on your birthday. In addition, their menu features many alternatives, such as great burgers, beef sandwiches, salads, and chicken.
Hot Dogs Plus has been voted best hot dog in Niles, Michigan five times and has been featured in the South Bend Tribune. They are known for excellent service, reasonable prices and consistent high quality. They have been team sponsors for Brandwine Baseball, corporate sponsor for the Niles Apple Festival and Berrien County Youth Fair. When asked about any celebrity appearances, Bob replied, “It’s the generations of customers that come through that door each day, and people like Jerry and Dale Woods who worked for us for 25 years”.
The Vienna Beef Hall of Fame was created to honor hot dog operations that achieved longevity and have developed into true neighborhood and city landmarks. Out of thousands of Vienna Beef customers, we have recognized 131 nationwide since the award was inaugurated in 2006. We are extremely proud to welcome Hot Dogs Plus as the 132nd recipient. Congrats to Bob, Colleen and their family and staff who have built this early 1990s landmark as an important part of the Niles landscape.