Walking down Wall Street in downtown Spartanburg, I make my way into the quaint and unassuming Hub Diggity Dog restaurant. The storefront glass had newly painted signage displaying some of the stores offerings outside of their hotdog related fare. Pictures of quesadillas, hotdogs, and chilli fries painted by a local artist named Jeremy Kemp are the first to greet you, as you’re taken by the yellow trim of the rustic shop.
I enter the building and am greeted with warm hello’s. The proprietor, Bobby Beauvais, who’d been expecting me greets me as well and we sit down. The shop interior is reminiscent of your standard dine-in/dine-out shops, quick and simple. The man, just as much so, wearing black pants and a gray t-shirt, looked significantly more youthful than his actual age. His spry alertness did not betray it either. Having the physique of a sporting man I was not surprised to learn that he spent some years playing professional football with a team called the Bucs. He was also a competition powerlifter during that time. Hailing from his Coastal home of Connecticut he “Felt like they (Spartanburg) had a need for something”, so he opened his doors about twelve years after moving here from Connecticut in 1998.
The green and yellow decor portray an exciting, yet subdued energy. The owner, Bobby Beauvais, tells me a little about the restaurant, and its importance to him. The businesses core of family values are reflected in his candor. He tells me about how he came to the Upstate, and how he went from selling clothing and apparel to peddling hotdogs here in downtown Spartanburg, South Carolina. “We started on Dunbar St. I built that place myself.” Since then he’s been on Wall Street downtown for about 2 years. He tells me about some of the awards they’ve been awarded, “We were voted the #1 hotdog In Spartanburg . . . [and] #7 in the State”.
They offer a great variety of delicious items such as hotdogs, sausage dogs and prepare them in regional ways, like, with chilli and slaw, or New York style, with mustard and sour. When pressed as to why there was such a variety beyond simply hot dogs, “It was something I always wanted to do. We evolved into more than hot dogs to stay in business.” They offer a level of quality unrivaled by some places that serve dogs. “Our hotdogs are a little more expensive, but you get what you pay for”
Hub Diggity Dogs is one of Spartanburg’s hidden gems. Locals flock here for their lobster rolls. “People travel as far as Anderson, Blacksburg, and Columbus, North Carolina. Our lobster roll is our own recipe. We use Maine lobster. It’s pure, a quarter pound of lobster meat, toasted bun. It’s a New England yeast bun that we bring in. We toast it in butter, we put the lobster meat in, which has a few things in it that I can’t mention”. Sorry folks, the only way to get the secret is to come sample it for yourself. He was kind enough to let me sample the delicious delicacy.
My personal experience with Lobster Roll stems from a YouTube channel named after film maker Casey Neistat, that hosts his personal vlog, where he talks about how good Connecticut lobster rolls are. Knowing this, I’m told by Bobby that Connecticut has the absolute best lobster roll in America. I’m also told that this lobster roll is comparable. Having never had a lobster roll in my life I am anxious to try it.
The lobster roll is cold, but apparently they’re supposed to be. Undaunted I dig into it. I’m not typically a fan of shellfish. With that mind, eating a lobster roll at Hub Diggity Dog’s was an unequivocal food experience.
The texture, the taste of the lobster, the buttery, and crusty bun. It turned eating from a mere act, into something greater. But then I say all that, merely to say, the roll was very good and I could see why, as Bobby stated, people came from all over just to get them. There was definitely a reason his one-off shot in the dark, turned into a local food sensation. “Years ago we only made them on Friday, we used to start them on Fridays and Saturdays, but now I do ’em every day of the week because the demand has been so high. We had people lining up outside.”
He regaled me with stories of his family, friends, and his late daughter, from which he got the drive to push on in the restaurant business. “We cater to families, we wanted to be a family environment. We’re just a little bit different.”
We also delve into the cultural aspect of food, and types of food. This is how I found out, that in the world of many, in this state, he has “Best Hot Dog in Spartanburg” ALL of SC, and a plaque that carries a picture and a short description of the organization saying “7th best hot dog in the state of SC”. It’s amazing to know that this is the dedication to excellence and quality that lives in our city. Bobby, has a good thing going here, and has had it for several years. “We’re gonna keep plugging away. We’re getting ready to open another one, it’s our customers that keep coming back”.
As I thanked the man and we parted ways, I took a picture of him, next to the in store memorial of his late daughter. Leaving that day, I remember the quality service, and excellent food that keeps me coming back.
Additionally, any tips given to the store, are donated to benevolent causes all 100% of anything given, is passed on to charity. Since he started, they’ve donated, over the 6 years they’ve been doing it, $11,000 to those charities. So, if you’re ever downtown, grab a quick bite at Hub Diggity Dog. You can find out more about them and their menu at Hubdiggity.com. They’re located in 201B Wall Streeet, downtown Spartanburg, South Carolina and open Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 11a-3p and Thursday and Friday from 11a-6p.
Lastly Bobby said, “Thanks to our customers and Thank God for everything. With out Him, we wouldn’t have any of this”. As a customer and someone who appreciates quality food and dedication to service, Thank you, Bobby.
Dennis Evans, Food Editor
When Dennis Evans isn't out shooting and producing video, he likes to take gastronomic tours of Spartanburg and other cities. He has a taste for great food and an eye for even better service. An avid participant in local entertainment affairs, he's always attempting to find more ways to connect locals and visitors alike."