Barkers Red Hots features a variety of menu items such as hot dogs, sausages, grilled chicken sandwich, grilled steak sandwich, salads, and burgers. Famous for their premium quality hot dogs, Barkers uses only the highest quality products. They buy their hot dogs from a fifth-generation German family owned company in Buffalo, New York, that started in 1859.
“It’s the hot dogs that I grew up with. Quality of food and quality of service is our hallmark,” said Glenn Robins, who owns the restaurant with his wife, Vivian Swiatek Robins. Vivian is a 1979 graduate of Marietta High School.
Robins said a Red Hot is an old-fashioned term for a hot dog — “red hot off the grill.” The dog that made Barkers famous is their Original Signature Red Hot, a traditional German style frank of beef and pork blend topped with their famous sweet and spicy relish hot sauce, fresh chopped sweet onion and a dill pickle spear on top.
An important part of Barkers’ success is that everything is cooked fresh to order in front of the customer.
“It’s a total exhibition kitchen,” the east Cobb resident said.
“Everything is cooked in front of your eyes. We dress it in front of you. We’re just an extension of your arms. It’s just the way you like,” Robins said.
“Nothing is sitting there. Nothing is precooked. We throw it on the grill when we get an order. Even the French Fries and onion rings are made at the time of the order,” he said.
Barkers is unique because it delivers food and experience.
“In this day and age, you can’t bring people in just on good food and good service. You need a point of difference. The thing that makes us unique and different is that we cook all of our food to order, before the customer, over real charcoal. The experience of the customer is very important to us,” he said.
Barkers has the know-how and accolades to back up their dogs. In 1984, they were Atlanta’s first licensed street vendor at Woodruff Park. During their tenure downtown, Barkers was named the city’s best hotdog by Atlanta Magazine and received enthusiastic reviews by local publications such as the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and Atlanta Business Chronicle as well as national publications such as the New York Times and Conde Nast Traveler.
In 1995, Barkers sold the vending business. From 1995 to 2007, they operated in the Georgia Dome.
“We knew we had something really special with the hot dog business, so that’s when we opened our store on Windy Hill in 2007,” he explained.
Robins said he got the idea for the restaurant name from a college friend.
“He had a different name for everything. He always said, ‘Let’s go grab a Barker.’ That’s how he named a hot dog. It stuck with me,” he said.
Barkers Red Hots is at 3000 Windy Hill Road, Suite 128, Marietta.