New Jersey has long been known for its legendary hot dog joints and a new addition is finally here. 1950 Originals opened on Sunday, October 15 at 325 Broadway, Westwood, NJ—the address formerly occupied by Jack’s Cafe, which closed earlier this year.
The Westwood shop is the first brick-and-mortar location for the 1950 concept, which specializes in uniquely-topped proprietary hot dogs. Founder Dan DeMiglio worked directly with Thumann’s—who supplies famous spots such as Rutt’s Hut and Hiram’s with their hot dogs—to develop a one-of-a-kind recipe specifically made for the 1950 Originals concept. The first, a secret-recipe blend of beef and pork that differs from Thumann’s traditional beef and pork link and, of course, an all-beef link alongside it.
“You won’t be able to find these hot dogs anywhere other than our Westwood store,” said DeMiglio. “But eventually, we plan on selling them through other avenues like grocery stores and shipping nationally.”
Guests can choose between the two links offered, and how they want it cooked—grilled or deep fried in beef tallow, another nod to the past. Free toppings include ketchup, spicy brown mustard, green relish, chili sauce, red relish, hot onions, sweet onions, sauerkraut, raw onion and cheese sauce. Beyond classic dogs is a list of playful specialty options.
The specialty wieners will be topped in all kinds of fun ways. One such dog is loaded with candied bacon and peanut butter. Another plays homage to the Korean corn dogs that have gone viral in previous years—topped with sugar-dusted potatoes, honey mustard and a mozzarella stick.
DeMiglio is no stranger to the hot dog game, though; it’s in his blood. DeMiglio’s grandfather, Leonard “Artie” Castrianni, opened Callahan’s in Fort Lee—a hot dog institution and lunch counter that operated from 1950 until 2006. DeMiglio resurrected Callahan’s as a food truck in 2014, which morphed into a brick-and-mortar location before closing during the pandemic.
Today, DeMiglio is ready to hit the ground running with 1950 Originals, which he designed to honor his Grandfather, and innovate into the future. “I’m ready to start over with fresh ideas and a blank canvas,” said DeMiglio. “Our team is so excited to bring our first location and new concept to this truly original town. We plan on bringing real value and affordability to the community. It’s been our most important goal.”
1950 Originals’ interior is designed as such. A blank canvas. When you walk into the restaurant, the white brick walls and 2D-centric aesthetics signifies DeMiglio’s fresh start and re-entry into the hot dog business, something the team describes as “you are entering our very own sketchbook.”
The white bricks entrench the entire building—both inside and out—playing tribute to the photos of white bricks that were laid at the foundation of the original Callahan’s.
Beyond hot dogs, 1950 serves hamburgers and french fries.
1950 Originals also features a food truck, which can be booked for catering and events within a 10-mile radius of the 07675 zip code.
About the Author/s
Peter Candia is the Food + Drink Editor at New Jersey Digest. A graduate of The Culinary Institute of America, Peter found a passion for writing midway through school and never looked back. He is a former line cook, server and bartender at top-rated restaurants in the tri-state area. In addition to food, Peter enjoys politics, music, sports and anything New Jersey.