Craft cocktails and crepes no more: the former Central space in the car-free alley of SW Ankeny will soon be home to Uncle Dick’s Deep Fried Hot Dogs, a casual eatery offering five to ten takes on the American classic.

Central owner Dustin Knox, who also owns and operates SE Hawthorne's Perierra Crêperie food cart in the landmark Cartopia pod, will debut his new dog concept on Wednesday, January 16th.

Central opened its doors in the summer of 2010, offering a walk-up crepe window and speakeasy-style interior bar that quickly became an industry hangout. Knox was key to discussions with the city's transportation authorities that led to the transformation of SW Ankeny into a car-free, pedestrian friendly zone reminiscent of a European alleyway, complete with cafe tables and strings of twinkling lights.

When the crepe concept failed to capture a late-night dining crowd, Central served as a host to Jake Martin's short lived small-plate menu before the chef returned to Seattle (Martin is back in PDX as of December, cooking up modern spins on rustic Italian food at SE Belmont's storied Genoa). After two years in business, Central closed on New Year's Eve with plans to reopen on the east side of the Willamette.

In its place, hot dogs: In a press release, Knox reports that "the neighborhood just wasn’t right for crepes or craft cocktails" and that the new Uncle Dick's better fits the area's vibe. The hot dog-centric menu will offer meat and veggie dog options, and sides of french fries and salads. The new eatery promises similar late night hours as the shuttered Central: Tuesday through Friday from 5 pm to 3 am, Saturday from 1 pm to 3 am, and Sunday from 1 am to 10 pm. Stay tuned for more menu details and opening night photos in the coming weeks, here on Eat Beat.

UPDATE: According to Knox, Uncle Dick's will occupy only the street window section of the building, while the interior will be preserved as an event space inside "that will be mostly private, sometimes public."

Uncle Dick's
220 SW Ankeny