ROCKLAND — Matt Vokey, former owner of Thorndike Creamery, is at it again. Instead of building the sandwiches and pizzas that once fed diners in a former Main Street hotel, Vokey has set up shop in a different locale, with a different atmosphere, and a different cuisine.
Gone are the hot ovens, the indoor seating, and the parallel parking that complemented his Thorndike business until 2015. Now, a cool breeze, a harbor view, and a nostalgic conception of the past inspire his palate creativity.
Vokey’s new venture, Sloop Dogs, opened at the beginning of July, under a tent adjacent to Sharp’s Point Museum and Snow Marine Park in Rockland’s south end.
In the history of Israel Snow’s marine yard, schooners grew from the trees and sailed to the West Indies from those very grounds, and then returned, introducing locals to foreign foods, flavors, and combinations.
Vokey aims to do the same with the toppings for his hot dogs: A safe port in an unsafe world.
“It’s about getting creative,” he said. “I’ve been playing with the whole notion of going out on the water and coming back with new ingredients.”
His inaugural menu hints of Jamaican, Asian, and German kitchens, as well as New York and Chicago.
“I can go all over the world,” he said. “But I wanted to start with this, to see if people were in to it. It’s a lot different from what people are used to with just onions, mustard.”
Still, Vokey has those ingredients, and is happy to provide the basics from his multi-functioning cart, which can grill, refrigerate, and cleanse.
Sloop Dogs, 75 Mechanic Street, is open Monday - Saturday, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Note of interest.
According to Vokey, establishing his hot dog cart at Snow Marine Park (public property) was not an option. Instilled within the ordinances of Rockland history is a requirement that keeps cart vendors moving every 15 minutes. Possibly to keep from setting up shop in front of a restaurant.
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