Dat Dog (5030 Freret St., 899-6883; www.datdognola.com) has moved into new digs just across the street from its former address, transforming a once-rundown service station into what now looks like a hot dog beer garden.
Dat Dog opened early in 2011, serving a simple menu of hot dogs, sausages and fries. It was one of a slew of new eateries to emerge on Freret that year, establishing the historic but long-neglected commercial corridor as a new restaurant row.
The place was a hit from the start, and it soon became clear that the tiny, hole-in-a-wall storefront chosen by proprietors Skip Murray and Constantine Georges was too small for the response. Just a handful of people could eat inside the building, with others vying for a few sidewalk tables when the weather allowed.
You enter the new Dat Dog through a roll-up garage door to find a much larger and more comfortable dining area, but the majority of the seating is outside at a profusion of umbrella-topped tables. New: a bar serving draft beer, wine and house-made sodas.