Dat Dog opened in downtown Lafayette in January 2016.

The owners of Dat Dog in downtown Lafayette have put the building up for sale.

The New Orleans-based restaurant company, which opened the Lafayette location in 2016, is asking $2.15 million for the 12,000-square-foot, two-story property at 201 Jefferson St., which includes a bar, restaurant and entertainment venue .

The company is evaluating its options and trying to raise capital to grow the business, CEO Paul Tuennerman said. One option could be to close the restaurant if the building is sold, but another could be to franchise the restaurant to the new owner and keep it open.

"All we're doing is evaluating our options out there," he said. 

The building and the business are separate entities, he said. The restaurant is using 25% of the building.

He did not say whether or not the business is struggling but emphasized that closing the restaurant is just one option. There is also no deadline to get the building sold, he said. 

"We made a tremendous investment in downtown Lafayette and are not eager to move on," he said. "We are not focused on the fact that the building is for sale. In Lafayette, we move forward each day as we do in all our restaurants." 

According to the listing, the building is “underutilized and the owner wants to see all reasonable offers.”

The building has been on Latter & Blum's website for 22 days. Dat Dog bought the building in January 2016 for $525,000, land records show. 

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The building is located just past the eastern entrance into downtown and, thanks to its bright colors, is easily noticed. The partially unfinished second floor includes exposed brick and could be used for short-term rental or a working space, the listing reads. 

"There's a lot of activity taking place downtown these days," Tuennerman said. "We're excited about the future of downtown. The building has tremendous potential for multiple tenants. Dat Dog could very well continue to be one of them." 

In 2017, company chief operating officer Bill DiPaola told The Advocate the Lafayette location was “thriving and successful. We are definitely happy that we chose Lafayette; that is the best way I can say it.”

Dat Dog, a popular New Orleans hot dog joint with three locations there, opened the Lafayette location after owners searched for property for months, according to published reports. The company sought out locations to expand and also announced expansions into Baton Rouge, Hattiesburg, Mississippi and several markets in Texas. 

Dat Dog founder and owner Constantine Georges is the brother of John Georges, the owner of The Advocate.

The Lafayette restaurant has five employees.

Acadiana Business Today: Economist says Lafayette bucking brain drain trend, but only by taking from other Louisiana regions; Dat Dog puts downtown building up for sale at $2.15 million

Email Adam Daigle at adaigle@theadvocate.com.