Famous ‘Michigan’ Hot Dog Originated in Upstate New York Not Michigan
Did you know the Michigan hot dog didn't actually originate in Michigan? It came from Upstate New York.
Several people claim to have invented the Michigan, but it was Garth and Eula Otis who started it all, according to Greater Adirondack Ghost and Tour Company. While living in Michigan, Mrs. Otis learned to make a special hot dog meat sauce known in Detroit as a Coney dog. Over time, she developed her own recipe and when the couple moved to Plattsburgh, New York in the early 1920s, they opened the Michigan Hot Dog Stand.
In the 1930s, Jack Nitzi Rabin, who was working as a carhop, bought the business and Mrs. Otis' secret recipe. He turned the little Michigan stand into Nitzi's/McSweeney's and added his own special touch. Nitzi asked a local bakery to make special hot dog rolls and the Michigan hot dog was born.
While Nitzi was off fighting in World War II, Clare and Carl's opened across the road in 1942 to compete with Nitzi's. Nearly eight decades later, Clare and Carl's is the oldest continually operated Michigan joint in the area. They continue to serve the famous hot dog, that is still delivered car hop style, right to the window of your car.