The Dairy Bell, a charming little diner in Chesapeake, Ohio, with a wealth of history, first opened its doors in 1951. The small restaurant serves up burgers, salads, ice cream and sandwiches but is most famous for its hot dogs.
The restaurant has used the same hot dog sauce recipe for 60 years. People continue to come from miles around for their foot-long dog. Today the restaurant is co-owned by Sandy and Tom Belville.
"Ruth Brown and her husband started it in 1951, and it's changed hands several times since then," Sandy Belville explained. "We have been here for 15 years now."
She said the recipe for the hot dog sauce it a secret.
"We make four gallons at a time. It takes us about two hours to make a batch. We sell it by the pint and by the quart. I think part of the reason why it's lasted so long is the food. Ms. Brown's original sauce recipe has been handed down for generations."
Belville said the Dairy Bell strives to remain affordable.
"We have a good menu," she said. "We have corn dogs, BLTs, chicken salad and tuna salad sandwiches. We also have salads, a chicken sandwich, chicken tenders, and chicken chunks. We have a sirloin sandwich which is like a Philly which has grilled peppers and sauteed onions."
Hot dogs can be ordered for $1.80 each or a foot-long costs a dollar more. Ask them to top them with "Everything," which is sauce, mustard, and onions or add slaw for 20 cents. The restaurant offers burgers served on a a bun or as an "old fashion" served on grilled buttered bread. Hamburgers start at $2.50 for a single and is priced at $3 for the double; cheeseburgers range in price from $2.75 to $3.75.
"We have several items named after the Chesapeake High School. We have a burger called The Panther's Paw, which has hot pepper jack cheese and Peake's Pride Fries with nacho cheese and bacon. We have also have a dessert called Deep Purple because the school color is purple. It's half slush (usually grape) and half ice cream. Of course we can do it in all of the other flavors," Belville said.
Customers can enjoy hand dipped ice cream for $2.25 for one scoop or $3.50 for a double. There are also small, medium and large soft serve ice cream varieties. Milk shakes are available in a number of different sizes ranging from a kid's size starting at $2 going up to a quart-sized extra large for $4.
"We have Hershey's ice cream and we do specials. We just started blueberry cheesecake. We try to cycle through different flavors. My favorite flavor is salted caramel," Belville said.
The Dairy Bell is located at 595 Third Ave. in Chesapeake. It is open from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and is closed on Sunday. The deep fryer and grill are usually turned down half an hour before closing. Only cash is accepted at this time. For carry-out order or delivery call 740-867-8171. There is a minimum order of $5 in Chesapeake and $8-10 in parts of Huntington for delivery. For specials you can follow the restaurant on facebook at https://www.facebook.com/DairyBell1951/.