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Fresno's Famous Gourmet Hot Dog Shop Sells
gvw_edward_smith
By Edward Smith
Published 6 months ago on
October 14, 2023

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Fresno’s gourmet hot dog restaurant — Rocket Dog on East Shaw Avenue — has new ownership.

After growth in the foursome ownership’s other ventures, the Lisitsin and Hsia families who came together to start the hot dog restaurant decided it was time to pass it off to someone who had time to run it, said Kevin Lisitsin, co-owner of Rocket Dog.

“With us having other businesses already, it didn’t make sense for us to try to grow Rocket Dog anymore and to focus on the opportunity that we have with Summer Fox (Brewing),” Lisitsin said.

Lisitsin started Rocket Dog at in 2015 with his wife, Sara, and another couple, Bethany and Gary Hsia.

The plan was always to franchise Rocket Dog, Lisitsin said. A few years later they opened Amalgamation Brewing Co., which later became Summer Fox. The idea was to serve their beers at Rocket Dog.

The four also own a number of other ventures. Lisitsin operates Lisitsin Insurance Agency in Clovis, which he says has been growing over the past few years.

The Hsias also own CodaPet, which does at-home euthanasia for pets.

The new owner of Rocket will be Bre Sullivan, daughter of Bob Sullivan, who is a partner with Starving Artists Bistro in north Fresno.

Lisitsin, who knows Sullivan well, told him he wanted to sell Rocket Dog. Sullivan told Lisitsin his daughter wanted to own her own restaurant.

“I’m really hopeful Bre takes this nationwide and makes it what I know it can be,” Lisitsin said.”

Third Summer Fox Location?

The two couples opened Amalgamation in 2019 at 6585 N. Sante Fe Ave. They said it was a mouthful for customers so they changed the name to Summer Fox.

They opened a second location in Clovis in early 2022 and now they’re contemplating a third location in either downtown Fresno or north Fresno.

Rocket Dog Served Assortment of Gourmet Hot Dogs

Hot dogs from Rocket Dog came with a variety of toppings. The Napa Dog came on a baguette with fig-onion jam, and balsamic vinaigrette.

Another, Hansel’s Heaven, came with macaroni and cheese served on top of the dog.

“We’re just amazed by the community of Fresno just really embracing this little concept that we came up out of nowhere,” Lisitsin said. “And here we are eight years later, being able to hand it off to somebody else that wants to take it to the next step.”

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Edward Smith,
Multimedia Journalist
Edward Smith began reporting for GV Wire in May 2023. His reporting career began at Fresno City College, graduating with an associate degree in journalism. After leaving school he spent the next six years with The Business Journal, doing research for the publication as well as covering the restaurant industry. Soon after, he took on real estate and agriculture beats, winning multiple awards at the local, state and national level. You can contact Edward at 559-440-8372 or at Edward.Smith@gvwire.com.

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