Ever since Steamers restaurant opened Monday on Highway 50 East, Dayton has gone to the dogs.
Owner Ron Gray flashed an exhausted but grateful smile on his third day of business. His frankfurters were selling like hotcakes.
"We just haven't had a moment to breathe," he said. "We sold out the first two days. We had to turn people away."
After a year of construction, the 1,200-square-foot hot dog and ice cream stand, its outside adorned with two "castle peaks," opened between Carquest and Beefy's Burgers in the center of Dayton's main drag.
Though Gray of Dayton had hoped for a "soft opening" to work out the kinks, word spread fast and the customers just kept coming.
Soft-serve ice cream lured Benny and Arlene Sweeney of Stagecoach in for a pit stop on their way home.
It could become a habit.
"For the ice cream swirl, it might," Benny said.
Connie Corley of Dayton said she was aware the building was under construction, but she hadn't been really waiting for the restaurant to open. Her teenage daughter Laycie was of a different mindset.
"It's exciting because it's something new," Laycie said.
"I imagine it will be really busy when school starts," Connie said.
For a meal that averages under $5 a person, it's the price that the customers notice first, Gray said.
A barber in California for 22 years, Gray ran a burger stand in Fernley for a short time, and then decided his love of the hot dog might translate well for Dayton's growing populace.
He proudly announced that he carries Caspers Famous Hot Dogs, a California institution.
But if a regular dog doesn't catch your fancy, you could opt for a pineapple dog, or a pickle dog, or a Polish dog, or a sauerkraut dog. Or even a beer brat, with a milkshake or a bottle of your favorite domestic ale.
Gray's wife, Marilyn, had suggested that the name Frank-N-Steins would fit the joint with its beer/hot dog combo. But Gray was set on Steamers.
After witnessing the steady stream of customers fill the red leather and chrome stools at his horseshoe-shaped bar, Gray said with a laugh and a wink that Marilyn may have been right.
"We've created a monster here."
- Contact reporter F.T. Norton at firstname.lastname@example.org or 881-1213.