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2 single dads take a chance at their dreams and turn their love of the Browns and fair food into a new business

These life-long Browns fans just opened Dynamite Dawgs.
two business owners.jpg
Posted at 8:58 AM, Oct 30, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-30 18:26:43-04

MENTOR, Ohio — Are you feeling dangerous? A record number of Ohioans are and they're fearlessly starting their own business right now during a pandemic, including a pair of single dads who turned their love of Cleveland football and fair food into a new start. And, much like their beloved Browns, they're working to rebound into a winning season.

"It's taken a lot of work to get this place rolling," said Darryl Evans.

He and Jason Salvatore know about being in the dawg house. These life-long Browns fans just opened Dynamite Dawgs at 6312 Center Street in Mentor.

"One-of-a-kind hot dogs you can't get ‘em anywhere else," said Darryl.

The restaurant business is new turf for these two football buddies, who both lost their jobs as car salesmen in March when the pandemic hit.

"My first thought immediately was how am I going to make money," said Jason. "How am I going to take care of my family?"

Jason and Darryl were among the roughly three-quarters of a million Ohioans who became unemployed earlier this year during the pandemic. They are also among the record number of people in the Buckeye State now opening their own business.

"In life you gotta hustle," said Jason. "You gotta figure out how to keep things afloat."

Jason's girlfriend, Kristin Bittner, painted all the artwork by hand and came up with the mascot, Dyno the Dog, along with some more friends.

"We have Lenny the Lemon and Lola the Ice Cream," she said. "So, we wanted to make it really entertaining for kids to have a good time here as well."

These two single dads relish their kids.

"He's my whole world and this is why I'm doing it," said Jason.

They say their kids are their inspiration to keep pushing.

"You never know what you have in front of you until you do it," said Jason. "If you don't take a chance you won’t get anywhere, you know."

So, try it out! Like the Browns roster, the menu is deep and packed heavy hitters.

"I think the muni lot dog and the Cleveland dog are going to be big, and the feeling dangerous dog for big fans of Baker Mayfield," said Darryl.

"We're looking for those fresh ingredients," said Jason. "We don't want no processed, no blends, we want all-natural foods in here!"

The guys say you can also order curbside and have your food delivered to your car if you don't feel comfortable dining in.

This story is part of The Rebound: Northeast Ohio, News 5's initiative to help people through the financial impact of the coronavirus by offering one place to go for information on everything available to help and how to access it. We're providing resources on:

Getting Back to Work - Learn about the latest job openings, how to file for benefits and succeed in the job market.

Making Ends Meet - Find help on topics from rent to food to new belt-tightening techniques.

Managing the Stress - Feeling isolated or frustrated? Learn ways to connect with people virtually, get counseling or manage your stress.

Doing What's Right - Keep track of the way people are spending your tax dollars and treating your community.