Built in 1873, The Corner Bar building at 31 North Main Street is the oldest brick building in the town of Rockford, Michigan.
During the early 1930s, the Corner Bar was a pool hall owned by Carl Hyde, and later his son, Charles Hyde, and operated by Harold Bailey Sr. and Howard Bailey. At the end of Prohibition, Carl wanted to obtain a beer license. In order to do that, the law required that food had to be served; hot dogs were the first item on the menu. Shortly thereafter, Harold Bailey Sr. and George Myers, a former Army cook, collaborated to develop a “special sauce” and that’s how The Corner Bar Chili Dog was born
Donald R. Berg purchased The Corner Bar in 1965, and in 1968 created the Hot Dog Hall of Fame. Soon, numerous champions were competing to have their name on the wall. The most notable champion was Sharon Scholten (now VanDuinen) of Jenison, Michigan. Sharon consumed 42-1/2 chili dogs in the four-hour time allotment on March 15, 1982. She remained champion for 24 years.
In 2000, Andy Tidey and Jeff Wolfe became the new owners of the Corner Bar and soon after launched the Most Wanted campaign to inspire would be champions to break the 1982 Hall of Fame record. Belinda Gould answered the call. She visited The Corner three Fridays in a row, finally breaking the record on December 5, 2005. Belinda remains the amateur champion today.
The Corner Bar Hot Dog Hall of Fame has also caught the attention of various national competitive eating associations. World renowned professional eaters such as Joey Chestnut, Hal Hall and Pat Beroletti have all visited-yet they have failed to beat Belinda's record. However, Tim "Eater X" Janus from New York City downed 43-1/2 chili dogs on March 5, 2006 and holds the newly-established professional record.
Today, Jeff Wolfe continues to uphold the great traditions and legacy of this historic establishment while continuing to make enhancements to the dining experience and contributing to the Rockford community.