Cold weather food: Hot dogs
Last July, we introduced you to Fat City entrepreneur Adam Clay: the former Hyatt Regency Hotel restaurant manager who decided to go into business for himself as an independent operator selling hot dogs from a cart at 101 Armour Road in the heart of downtown North Kansas City.
Clay did so well in that location that he’s leased the adjacent building: a former Chevy dealership. He’s turned the old showroom into an eight-table dining room. He still cooks the dogs and grills the steak for his Philly cheese steaks in his outdoor cart, which is now somewhat sheltered from the cold next to the big glass doors into the showroom. The new “restaurant” now has a name: Hot Dog Haven.
Clay, dressed in the heavy overalls that outdoor workers wear during freezing conditions, says he’s pleased with the way his business has grown. He can set his own hours — Hot Dog Haven sells sandwiches from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays — and he lives close enough to his hot dog business that he can walk to work.
Clay’s Chicago dog is the real thing, with the neon green pickle relish, sport peppers, chopped onion, tomato slices and a dusting of celery salt. He’s currently offering a “Reuben” hot dog with pastrami, sauerkraut, and Thousand Island dressing. And he sells soft drinks and chips, including the wildly spicy Vitner’s Louisiana Hot Sauce Chips from Chicago.