Restaurant Road Trip: “The Original” pays tribute to regional hot dog history

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WESTON, W.Va. – “The Original” hot dog stand located in the shadow of the old Trans-Allegheny Hospital in Weston has plenty of history of its own.

“It’s been in the family for over 35 years, almost 40 years,” owner Chelsea Pickens said.

When she and her husband Kyle Pickens took over the family business on December 1, they wanted to pay tribute to what many remember as the first hot dog stand in the region.

“Our logo and everything is a tribute to it,” Kyle explained. “Because if you look right here, this is the original logo with the original dog. We decided on the original to keep with the symbolic meaning of the original hot dog stand. This is the first hot dog stand that her dad opened up.”

Chelsea Pickens’ brother owned Flying Dogs, the predecessor of another well-known hot dog stand owned by their father, Ted Nash. And although the name has changed, the menu and the recipe remain the same; and that includes their famous made-from-scratch hot dog chili.

“Most people get our “everything” which is mustard, onions and chili,” Chelsea said.

That’s what The Original is most famous for, but it’s not the only thing they offer. The fresh-baked biscuits and gravy are a local favorite, and so are the mouth-watering cheeseburgers, made with hand-pressed, fresh ground-beef, paired with fresh-cut fries.

And for the Pickens, keeping the business in the family is what drives them to continue making customers happy and coming back for more.

“It’s something that I grew up in,” Chelsea said. “I loved every minute of it. It meant a lot to me to take over, for us to take over. So I just want to do just as well as they did, my brother and my dad.”

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