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Lillian Boyd, Dana Point Times
Where in Dana Point can you order a hot dog drizzled in peanut butter and loaded with bacon?
Rad Brat, a new hotdog and beer joint that opened on Monday, Dec. 14, next door to Hennessey’s Tavern, offers just that—dubbed “The Big Ugly” on the menu. But Rad Brat offers dogs for those with a variety of palates.
Its signature bratwurst is served with sautéed peppers, sauerkraut and Beaver Deli mustard. The Angry Samoan comes with Portuguese sausage, sweet bun, fried spam, teriyaki sauce, spicy mayo, pineapple, jalapeño salsa, green onions and Maui onion chips. For a spicier tolerance, the Fire in the Hole Rad Brat comes with jalapeño cheddar sausage, potato bun, ghost pepper cheese, Nashville-style hot sauce, jalapeños and Flamin’ Hot Cheetos.
As for beer selection, co-partner Cameron Collins says there are going to be eight regular beer taps, plus 20 guest taps. Collins, who is the co-founder of San Clemente-based Brew Ha Ha Productions, says he drew inspiration from his event-production travels.
“I had a show in Tacoma, Washington. There was a spot up there called The Red Hot,” Collins said. “This place had hot dogs, craft beer and loud music. We had a blast. And I thought, ‘We have to bring a spot like this to Dana Point.’ “
Collins began conceptualizing a plan with Joe Wilshire, co-founder of Docent Brewery in San Juan Capistrano and Project Social in Dana Point. With talks of starting a joint Rad Brat brewing company, friends Steve Martin and Dylan Mobley joined in on the efforts.
“Dana Point just made sense as a location,” Collins said. “We really wanted to be in the Lantern District area, and all the pieces seemed to fall together.”
The idea for a bratwurst brainchild began forming in 2019, ahead of the coronavirus pandemic. Despite state and county health regulations, Collins, Martin, Mobley and Wilshire charged ahead to obtain approvals. For now, with restaurants being limited to takeout, Rad Brat offers to-go orders between noon and 8 p.m. (open until 9 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays).
“Once things go back to normal, we plan on staying open until 3 a.m.,” Wilshire said. “We’ll stop serving beer at 11 a.m., but we’ll offer a condensed food menu for late hours.”
For those fiending for late-night munchies after last call at nearby bars, Rad Brat hopes to step in.
“As we developed the menu … we were all just being fat guys who like to eat,” Wilshire said. “We all contributed ideas. We’ve got the bratwurst corn dog, we’ve got The Big Ugly, with peanut butter and bacon … and people see that and say, ‘Ew, gross!’—until they try it. It’s incredible.”
The menu also offers salads, milkshakes, the “Rad Fat Burger,” and appetizers including french fries, onion rings and pretzels with cheese sauce.
“There’s something for everyone,” Wilshire said. “This is the place to be where your belly is going to get full, you’re going to see familiar faces, and you’re going to have a good time.”
Rad Brat is located at 34091 La Plaza, Dana Point. Follow @radbratisthewurst on Instagram or visit radbrat.com for the latest updates on hours and menu options.