Static: Wednesday, June 15, 2005
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
Weenies for Wobblers

It wasn’t exactly Meals on Wheels, but for more than a year the Top Dog hotdog stand at Houston and 6th streets downtown did provide a valuable public service: From 9 p.m. until 3 or 4 a.m., bar patrons — sober or inebriated — could count on the pushcart for sustenance before making the drive home.

But then about two weeks ago, downtown got a new police sergeant, who found an old law that shut down the wee-hours weenie operation. Owners Luwona and Daniel Carver said the officer told them that, under an 18-year-old city ordinance, pushcarts were not allowed to operate on city streets after 9 p.m. The couple were surprised, since other patrol officers had raised no objection. The Carvers’ once-healthy earnings were cut in half, and late-night drinkers lost their last-ditch dog stand.

Luwona said the banned business is sorely missed by patrons, and she and her husband have letters of support from downtown businesses to prove it. They also have a petition calling for the stand’s return, signed by more than 800 Top Dog fans, collected last Friday and Saturday nights.

Last week, the Carvers took their fight to city hall, and the city’s own top dog responded. Mayor Mike Moncrief has asked that an ad hoc committee be formed to assess the situation. In the meantime, the Carvers have relocated to an area next to the courthouse and are selling during the day — a much less profitable arrangement. They hope the committee will recommend an amendment to the ordinance, so they can get back to the business of filling bellies with something to soak up the beer.

Many customers have asked the Carters why they’re not operating late at night. One woman, Luwona recounted, “said there’s all sorts of drunk people running around, and they need a hot dog!”

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