Sno balls and hot dogs

By GLYNIS VALENTI, Times Leader Staff Writer

MORRISTOWN-What does a county chief magistrate, a judge, a restaurant owner and president of the Ohio Valley Insurance Group have in common?

John Marko, the owner of Johnny O’s Hot Dogs-he has been all of the above and more. He previously served the courts in the Morgantown, W.Va. area, and also owned a restaurant. Now he has taken on a new venture here in the Ohio Valley.

“I always wanted to own a hot dog stand. I love hot dogs!” said Marko.

The red and white kiosk-type building sits at the corner of Bond Drive and State Route 149 (Belmont-Morristown Road,) just north of Interstate 70. Right now it’s a drive-thru and walk-up business, but Marko has plans to have summer outdoor seating and eventually expand to accommodate an indoor counter and seating.

The winter ala carte menu at Johnny O’s offers 10 types of dogs, chili and a soup of the day. Marko makes a special sauce from a family recipe for the Johnny O’s dog and the Super Slaw Dog. He says it’s the variety of toppings that make the shop special.

Wife Carrie, a St. Clairsville school teacher, daughter Whitney, and son Travis, are “constantly working on new and different combinations,” noted Marko.

There’s also a Rueben Dog (kraut, Swiss cheese and Thousand Island dressing,) a Mexi Dog (Cheddar cheese, salsa, crushed corn chips and onion) and a Schnauzer Dog (kraut with brown or yellow mustard.)

Marko is excited about the summer menu (coming April 1) which will drop the chili and add milkshakes, slushies and smoothies. The key item, though, will be his Sno Biz shaved ice that will be available in 50 flavors. Hours of operation will be extended April 1.

For now, Marko, Travis and Whitney work at the shop during the day, and Marko and Carrie handle the orders in the evenings. Monday through Saturday the stand is open 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., and it’s closed Sunday. Beginning April 1, they’ll be serving from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Saturday and from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Sunday.

Though they don’t normally deliver, Marko said Johnny O’s will take on larger orders for parties or picnics, and he encourages individuals to call about their events.

Marko chose this location, 41201 Bond St., across from Union Local Schools, because he’s owned the land for several years. He’s now offering available parcels for lease to other businesses.

To place an order or find out about land parcels, call (740) 782-0021.

Valenti can be reached at