Have you heard of the legendary Hotdog Man? He goes around town with his hot dog cart, selling delicious wienies and entertaining people with his unicycle. You might think I am crazy, but it is true. The Hotdog Man has quite the followers on Facebook, and every day he lets them know where he is going to be so they can get their yummy fix. I found him in front of the Pot Shop on 5th Street today, and asked him some questions.
Who is the guy behind the Hotdog Man?
My name is Marcus and I love food. I graduated the Culinary School and worked as a chef at a French Restaurant for a while. Before that I was a plumber for 10 years. Now I sell hot dogs and I couldn’t be happier!
How did the Hotdog Man come to be?
I loved being a chef, but the job was too demanding. I had to work on weekends and I couldn’t spend much time with my son. He has always been my priority, especially after me and my wife separated. I decided it was time to make a change in my life, so I bought the hot dog cart. At first I tried my luck in Saint Louis, I was selling hot dogs on the Hill. However, the business wasn’t going so well until I came to downtown Washington. I used to set up in front of Otis Campbell’s and cater to the late night crowd. The people received me very well, and when the City informed me that I couldn no longer use that spot, my regular customers formed a Facebook campaign to support me. Thanks to the City Council I got a permit for another year, and after that I started incorporating lunch as well, to get more exposure.
What makes your wienies so special?
My Hot Dog Stand is a one-man operation – I do everything: the dishes, the food, the preparation. Because of that I can afford to use higher quality products. I buy my hot dogs directly from the company that produces them. They are Nathan’s brand and their secret is that there is a little bit of garlic in them.
What do you love about your job?
I love that I can be my own boss and I can spend more time with my son. I meet lots of people every day, they take pictures with me and post them on Facebook, we exchange wienie jokes and it’s always a lot of fun. I feel that I have set my priorities right, and everything is going as it should. The Hotdog Stand evokes childhood memories in people, and it is always surrounded with positive energy. After all, it is all about the food and I always try to provide the best quality possible. So you can come back for some more…
How about the menu?
I started mainly with hot dogs, but each year I’ve been adding new items. Everybody has their own favorite, and I try to cater to all tastes.
Do you do private parties and events?
Yes, I am actually going to a private part later today. Everybody loves hot dogs and it’s always a lot of fun. I have a wonderful true story to share. A young couple met standing in line at my Hotdog cart over a year ago, and the man hired me to come to his house so he could propose to his girlfriend at the place where they first met! And coincidentally, somebody was shooting off Fireworks at the same time! Gotta love it!
Where can people find you? Do you have a weekly schedule?
Yes, I keep my schedule updated on my Facebook page, but it is usually as follows: TUES (Lunch) Autocare Express by East Central College, THUR (Lunch) at WashMO TAN co., FRI (Lunch) at the Old Post Office in Union, SAT (Lunch)T he Pot Shop, Washington, SAT (Night) I am at Bugsy’s in Union. Monday and Wednesday is time off with my son. I am open to new location suggestions, so if any businesses want to contact me they are more than welcome to do so.
The first time I’ve seen you, you were riding a unicycle in front of Otis Campbell’s. A man of many talents?
I enjoy what I do, and since my cart is always parked on the street I love to communicate with the crowd. Sometimes my son comes along, and I play the banjo or the guitar while he tap dances. If you don’t take life too seriously and you just have fun, good things come to you. It’s all about being who you are and doing what you love.