The Mirabile family has been in the hot dog business since the 1930's. In 2007 Joey Mirabile continued the family tradition by opening Joey's Hot Dogs in the Glen Eagles Shopping Center near the intersection of Ridgefield Parkway and Pump Road. He stayed there for several years until he opened the current location in The Shoppes At Innsbrook where his reputation as one of the most family friendly places to eat in the entire metropolitan area has become well known by all.
1930s - The Great Depression
In the 1930's the stock market crashed and created the greatest financial depression this country had ever seen. Jobs were scarce, hunger impacts the working class, grocery stores and steak houses closed, and hot dog stands and soup shops were the only places to eat out for those that could afford it. Joey's father, Tony, became known as the "Hot Dog Boy of City Hall Avenue" as he stacked dogs up his arm to feed the lines of people. Joey's mom, Geri, worked the lunch counter at Peoples Drug Store where she made the best Cherry Smash there was.
1940s - World War II
In 1942 the world was changed by the largest war ever known to mankind, World War II. A "Sea Of Whitecaps" would flood the streets of Norfolk as sailors came through seeking good eats and a movie. The chili dogs in Norfolk became famous across the globe as the traveling sailors boasted about being ported in Norfolk with the best hot dogs, massage girls, and tattoo parlors on the planet. Frank Sinatra and other stars were known to drop in for a couple of chili dogs when they were in town singing at their favorite hotel, The Cavalier in Virginia Beach.
1950s - The Mirabile Family Begins
In 1950 Geri and Tony got married and began building their family. Little did they know that all three sons, Tony, Phillip, and Joey, would carry on the family tradition of serving the delicious chili dogs to their generation. In 1962 Geri bought a building and established Tony's Hot Dogs on Lafayette Boulevard in Norfolk.
1960s - A Legend Is Born
In 1962 Geri bought a building and established Tony's Hot Dogs on Lafayette Boulevard in Norfolk. In 1963 Joey was born. Tony Sr. left Bacali's Hot Dogs in 1964 and became known for serving his own famous dogs with only mustard, onions, and homemade chili. In 1969 the Mirabile family got a free trip to Baltimore as Tony fed the Baltimore Orioles in the dugout. That year the O's lost the World Series to the New York Mets.
1970s The Business Expands To Virginia Beach / Stricken By Divorce
In the 1970's the second store was opened on Newtown Road in Virginia Beach near a place which at that time was called Chinese Corner. Divorce struck the family in the early 70's and this caused a split between the two businesses and the family. Geri owned both stores since she had them incorporated but she was kind enough to give the Lafayette store to Tony Sr. following their divorce. Tony continued to operate the same way he knew with two bottled drinks and dogs with only mustard, onions, and homemade chili. Geri operated the Newton Road store with the same name where she eventually added cheese, ketchup, and kraut, eventually switching to fountain drinks.
Over the years there have been many articles written about the original Tony's Hot Dogs. The Norfolk Compass, The Downtowner, and The Ledger-Star were among several papers who printed these stories. A sample of what has been written is displayed below. We hope you enjoy reminiscing as much as we do!
Joey continues this great and historic hot dog tradition to this day. He serves the same hot dogs and chili that have been part of the family story from day one. Stop by today for a couple of dogs and a coke and become a part of the Joey's Hot Dogs family!
Joey has received numerous awards & recognitions not only for his great hot dogs but also for his numerous activities in the local area. Joey's Hot Dog was voted Best Hot Dog In Richmond by listeners of Lite-98 FM. Joey has been featured in many publications and is a favorite of anyone in the know around Richmond. The menu at Joey's has lots of tasty items. Stop on by today to enjoy a dog and a coke. Joey will have the grill on and a fresh dog just for you!