Joey Fatone may be best known as the loveable goofball from NSYNC but this former boy bander is now a certified food star.
He’s competed on Food Network’s hit series “Chopped” and also hosts “Rewrapped.” Now Fatone is ready for the fans to feast on one of his favorite foods—hot dogs.
Fatone’s “Fat One's” (yes, he’s embraced a childhood nickname with love), a gourmet hot dog kiosk, opens Saturday in Orlando’s Florida Mall.
“It’s very exciting to see one of your dreams actually becoming a reality,” Fatone told FoxNews.com. “It’s been many years coming and I can’t believe it’s finally here.”
The idea started a few years ago, says the pop star, when he was at Lollapalooza. A friend with a hot dog stand called Chubby Wieners forever opened his eyes to the possibility of an elevated sausage experience.
Though Fatone had dreamed of getting into the food business for awhile, he was cautious about the type of food joint he wanted to open. After finding the right partners, Fatone—a New York native-- got to work, searching for vendors, deciding on a location, sampling various hot dogs, and, of course, developing the signature dogs.
The menu includes plenty of premium topped weenies including a “Sloppy Joe” with chili and nacho sauce, a pressed Cuban style dog, a signature “Fat One” that Fatone says is big enough for two or three to share, and the aptly named “Boybander”—a sampler with five mini hot dogs. The stand also serves fries and nine flavors of Italian ice.
For now, Fat One's is a stand-alone kiosk but Fatone has big plans for his little dogs.
“We’re starting in Orlando but I could see branches of Fat One's expanding all over the country.”
— Joey Fatone (@realjoeyfatone) August 22, 2016
And for you NSYNC fans wondering how the band feels about Fatone’s new venture, the singer says all of his former band mates were excited to hear about his new food venture at J.C. Chasez’s recent 40th birthday party. Los Angeles-based Lance Bass wants a second Fat One's location in West Hollywood.
FoxNews.com caught up with the singer-turned-budding restaurateur as he prepares to open his first food kiosk.
FoxNews.com: Why did you want to get into the food business?
Joey Fatone: I always talked about opening an Italian restaurant or maybe a pizza place but I didn’t even know how to go about it. You see a bunch of celebs just throwing their name on a restaurant to get their name out there and it doesn’t always work out. But I have to be hands on with everything I do and this was a great fit.
FoxNews.com: What have you learned after appearing on so many food shows?
Joey Fatone: You learn how to cook things fairly quickly and to think quick on your feet. Now, with Fat One's, this took a while to get off the ground but I’ve been exposed to a lot of different flavors and ideas over the past few years… I even had to make a wasabi cannoli. I thought, “I would never,ever eat something like this,” at the time. But I had to make it. Definitely gets you out of your comfort zone.
FoxNews.com: How did you decide on hot dogs?
Joey Fatone: Being from New York and going to Coney Island, that’s always just reminded me of home. But as we were doing research, we realized there just aren’t a lot of hot dog places out there… Sure, Five Guys has a hot dog but they’re really more known for their burgers. The A & W has hot dogs but it’s really a standard dog. We were excited to bring out something different that no one else is really doing.
FoxNews.com: How did you find the right type of hot dog?
Joey Fatone: We tasted a lot of different hot dogs and we wanted that ‘no repeat factor.’ You know how sometimes you can still taste a hot dog in your mouth four hours after you eat it? We didn’t want that! After tasting a bunch of blends, we found 100 percent beef was the way to go.
FoxNews.com: So you’ve embraced the "Fat One" nickname?
Joey Fatone: Of course! When I was young in high school, I was actually pretty skinny and it never bothered me. Over the years you tend to gain a little a weight but now it’s really the perfect name for anything with food—you just want a fat hot dog!
Fat One's opens Sat. Sept 10 at the Florida Mall in Orlando, Fla. Joey Fatone will be handing out hot dogs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and the event includes a live DJ, balloon artists, and stilt walkers.