The Cardinal, a new private club with a low-key hot dog menu, has opened near Raleigh’s Glenwood South area.
Howard, who folks around town will know for his work at Quality Grocery, Brooklyn Heights and The Rockford, opened The Cardinal with longtime friends and Brooklyn Heights regulars, Dan Murphy and Brad Stancil. Both men bring their entrepreneurial experience to the partnership: Murphy is a professional skateboarder and Stancil is a music producer and owner of Perfect Coats Painting and Remodeling.
The 900-square-foot restaurant, which seats 49 people inside and 31 people outside, is located in the former Cardinal Cab location. The entire interior had to be renovated by Michael Iovino and Steve Hackney, both with August Construction Solutions, and architect Matthew Konar.
The Cardinal takes its name from that cab stand history and its hot dog preparation from Charlie’s, a hot dog place down the hill known for its “world famous hot dogs steamed in beer.”
Howard tried to downplay any gourmet expectations: “We want to be a dive bar with a sneaky good hot dog.”
The Nathan’s hot dogs are braised in whatever local beer is on tap (right now, Crank Arm Brewing) and onions and served on a New England-style hot dog bun. (The bun’s sides are brushed with mayo and crisped on a flat top.) The toppings are simple: ketchup, mustard, mayo, sriracha, hot sauce, chopped onions, beer onions, relish, chili, slaw, jalapenos or cheddar cheese.
Customers order their hot dogs at the bar and the bartenders cook them.
The Cardinal offers a full liquor bar, two local brews on tap and mostly local craft beer in cans with the exception of Schlitz and Modelo. “This is just a simple place,” Howard said Monday.
It is located at 713 N. West St. Hours: noon-2 am. every day. Info: facebook.com/TheCardinalBar/