Gwen Fowler



Jack's Cosmic Dogs creates preschool library

Posted 7/4/2012 9:31:00 AM

Jack’s Cosmic Dogs is one of the coolest places around to enjoy a great hot dog and a long-necked soda. Now it will be the coolest place around for the preschool set to enjoy a good book.

Owner Jack Hurley has added a lending library, “Take a Book, Give a Book,” at each of his three locations. Any child is welcome to choose from the book case full of young children’s books. They are asked to return the book after they’ve read it or to bring in another book to share.

Hurley said he knows the importance of reading to children. He’s read to kindergartners at elementary schools and has given each student a book, and he’s given away children’s books at games of the Charleston RiverDogs.

In this effort, Cosmic Dogs is teaming up with Begin With Books, a Charleston County affiliate of Dolly Parton's Imagination Library. That program, launched by the country music star in 1996 in east Tennessee, provides books for almost 700,000 children per month nationwide and in Canada and the United Kingdom.

Begin With Books mails a free book every month to any child 5 or younger in specific Charleston County zip codes.

The book shelves at Jack’s Cosmic Dogs are as colorful as the restaurants themselves. I’ve been lucky enough to visit Hurley’s first location, which opened on U.S. 17 just north of Mount Pleasant in 2000. It has the rocket sign out near the highway and a vintage Sunbeam Bread sign on the porch. His second location on Folly Road on James Island opened in May 2010, and it’s even harder to miss: Two rockets are aimed off the front of the corrugated metal building. The third restaurant, in West Ashley, opened in September.

As cosmic as the surroundings are, the hot dogs draw the crowds. There are about 20 types, with such fun names as Cosmic Dog, Atomic Dogs and Astro Dog. Jack’s also offers root beer on draft.