Guge’s dogs go from food cart to shop window on Amsterdam’s Bridge Street

Photo caption: Joseph Gugliemelli stands next to his grill inside his new permanent Guge’s Dogs location at 43 Bridge St. STAN HUDY/AMSTERDAM RECORDER

AMSTERDAM — A long-standing food truck is moving to a permanent storefront on the south side of Amsterdam following recent Planning Commission approval.

Joseph Gugliemelli, originally from Amsterdam, started running Guge’s Dogs from a hot dog cart around 2016 before moving to a 16ft food trailer serving portable breakfast and lunch options in the city. town and at local events.

“Now I’m finally looking to take it a step further and open my own place,” Gugliemelli said on Friday.

After exploring sites around town, Gugliemelli found the perfect home for Guge’s dogs in an existing building at 43 Bridge St.

“I think it’s a great location, I’ll be working in construction,” Gugliemelli said. “The South Side is a nice place, especially with what the city is trying to do to revitalize, take over businesses and add more storefronts.”

Gugliemelli will install a kitchen in the approximately 1,100 square foot space that previously housed a consignment store. The on-site or outdoor restaurant will feature six indoor tables.

Outdoor dining will not be offered on-site, but guests can easily dine along the Mohawk Valley Gateway Overlook pedestrian bridge or Riverlink Park essentially next door.

Guge’s Dogs will offer the same fare at its brick-and-mortar location the food truck was known for with a few new additions thanks to the expanded kitchen space.

Breakfast sandwiches, sausages and home fries will round out some of the morning offerings. Hot dogs, burgers, fries with a variety of toppings, specialty sandwiches, and soft serve ice cream will be some of the features on the lunch menu.

Guge’s Dogs will fill a void in the city, according to Gugliemelli, who noted a decline of restaurants in the city over the years since its youth when residents could grab a bite to eat at virtually any other street corner.

“There aren’t too many places that offer breakfast downtown anymore,” Gugliemelli said. “Having variety and options is nice for people.”

“Who doesn’t love a good hot dog?” he added.

Hours are tentatively scheduled Monday through Saturday 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. The restaurant would extend hours during South Side community events. Gugliemelli still expects to break out the hot dog cart to take part in events in other parts of town after the new venue opens.

The Bridge Street building will be leased to owner Stephen Sizemore. Despite the new lease agreement, the property is listed for sale for $375,000 and has been listed for almost a year. Gugliemelli acknowledged some concern in the circumstances, but said he was working with the owner to try to protect the business in the event of a sale.

“I would like to have some longevity, I don’t want to have to pick up and move,” Gugliemelli said.

Reaction to the Amsterdam Planning Commission’s business plans when reviewing the site plan on Wednesday was overwhelmingly positive.

“We need another place for breakfast,” commented Jacqueline Marciniak.

Council members agreed that Guge’s Dogs’ proximity to the MVGO pedestrian bridge would be ideal before approving the application.

“It’s a nice place,” said Michael Palumbo. “I really like this idea.”

Gugliemelli is aiming for Guge’s Dogs to open at 43 Bridge St. in early summer, but acknowledged that supply chain issues and construction delays could impact the schedule.

Contact Ashley Onyon at [email protected] or @AshleyOnyon on Twitter.