StayLocal - shopkeeper
Shopkeeper Stories
The Shopkeeper Stories series shares the vision and personality of New Orleans business owners. Locally owned businesses infuse New Orleans neighborhoods with their unique character, and are a big part of why we want to live, work, eat and shop here.  While drainage system improvements and road construction make “shopping local” a bit more challenging in the short term, the critical improvements mean our city will be safer and stronger for generations to come. We hope you are inspired and continue to shop small and shop local—even if it takes a little extra time!
The Shopkeeper Stories are brought to you by StayLocal, the Greater New Orleans independent business alliance, in partnership with Uptown Messenger. This series runs every first and third Tuesday of the month.  Learn more about us and the work we do at

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1307 OC Haley Blvd, Suite 309
New Orleans, LA 70113
(504) 252-1259

Independent business? You’re not alone.
Featured Business Owner
Bill DiPaola 
Dat Dog
Since 2011

Something just pulls you into Dat Dog. Maybe it’s the bright colors and catchy signs, or the delicious food and craft beers, or the cheery staff and welcoming atmosphere. There is no mistaking that this local business captures, in its essence, all that is great about New Orleans.

What ignited the spark in you to start your business?
To be perfectly blunt, the business was started as a joke (laughs). There was a lot of collaboration between people from different backgrounds—from the cook who understood the mechanics of a kitchen and how to make a sausage, to our CEO and founder Constantine Georges who had the vision for the entire package—the look and feel that is Dat Dog.
At first, we did not think the restaurant would be successful. Alligator was put on the menu because it’s a Louisiana thing. We didn’t expect it, but alligator is wildly popular and the second highest seller (other than the traditional all beef German Wiener). My wife describes the alligator sausage as chicken with a kick.

Describe your business in a few words.
To be perfectly honest, when we are operating at our best we tend to feel like a loosely organized frat party. Although it may seem very relaxed and casual, there is truly a method to the madness. It is that level of control and organization that actually belies the carefree nature of our business.
What makes New Orleans businesses so special?
This city is marked on the map for our lifestyle. It is the lifestyle, the food, and the music born from the people here that sets us apart.
I think the thing that makes New Orleans’ businesses special is the way in which we deal with each other. It’s not done over email and through extensive paperwork. We talk to each other, we look at each other, we shake hands with each other, we care about each other. How you treat and connect with people is what separates the good from the great in New Orleans.

What’s your Dat Dog order?
Alligator sausage, crawfish etouffee, creole mustard – straight, simple; it’s all you need.

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Shopkeeper Stories