Reader Rant: OB Hot Dog Cart “Wars”

by on February 9, 2010 · 68 comments

in Culture, Economy, Ocean Beach, Reader Rant

Hot_Dog_Cartby Ryan Schillinger

Our hot dog cart is the “original” OB hot dog cart, the one that was at Winston’s for years and years. The cart was originally owned by OB Bob.

We got kicked out of that spot due to technicalities of private vs. public property, and have spent 9 months at a new location in the Rock Paper Scissors parking lot. We have built up a large group of customers, and have made that spot known for late night hot dogs and munchies.

OB Kanobe’s, the stand that was in front of Apple Tree, is owned by Bob Allen. He took advantage of the situation, and leased our successful new spot out from under us.

We did not originally get a notice that this was happening, and even though our lease has not ended, he has already built a new stand in our exact spot. We have prepaid rent, and our competitor is already in our spot! We were recently notified that we had the spot until the 28th of this month, but this is only the 8th and OB Kanobe’s has already set up shop.

We feel he is taking advantage of our situation, and many of our customers do not appreciate his way of doing business.

We were not even allowed to negotiate a new lease even though our landlord, Saad from Apple Tree, still owns the property.

Saad leased the Rock Paper Scissors building to Roger with OB Surf & Skate, and allowed Roger to sub-lease the parking lot to our direct competitor OB Kanobe’s.

Some of our customers have even made a Facebook detailing this situation.

Our hot dog cart has been owned and operated by two local citizens, who live in town and pay taxes, and we are getting run out by the “deep pockets” of OB big-shots and their business practices.

We have been searching for a different location, but are coming up empty-handed. This hot dog cart is how we pay to live here in this cool little town, but might lose everything because of these  politics and the actions of the people allowing this to happen in OB.

Who knows, this might make an interesting story…. People might like to be informed.

Here is a link to the page some customers have created, there are already 29 fans without any promotion: OB-Hot-Dog-Cart

{ 68 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar jon February 9, 2010 at 3:24 pm

There was a hot dog stand in the Rock Paper Scissors parking lot? Are you sure you guys weren’t a tamale stand?

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avatar lane tobias February 9, 2010 at 3:26 pm

i dont understand how you keep getting put out – your veggie kielbasa is something I look forward to every weekend at 2AM.

im going to take a look around town, and see if maybe there is an alternative that can at least duplicate the foot traffic near the locations you have been in. Maybe OBMA can give you a suggestion or connect you with other businesses looking for a little extra income through subleasing?

This is no fun for anyone. If you still have the spot until the 28th, continue selling your dogs. Your loyal customers, myself included, will certainly support you even if there is another stand a few feet away.

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avatar lane tobias February 9, 2010 at 3:28 pm

jon – they were definitely in the parking lot, right next to that tamale stand. late nights belonged to these guys, and it has a loyal and large customer base. cant believe youve never grabbed a dog around the time the bars run out of booze…..

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avatar jon February 9, 2010 at 4:54 pm

Funny. I never noticed. (and I’m often the reason the bar’s are out of booze) I used to frequent OB Bob’s, and one of my roommates back in the day was actually one of the hot dog slingers outside of Winstons for a while. Not sure why I haven’t seen them in that parking lot. Anyway, I have gone to the OBKanobe stand in the Apple tree lot once or twice, and the guys that run it are really nice. There’s room enough for multiple taco shops, pizza joints and coffee shops in OB. Hopefully these two hot dog vendors can each find success here.

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avatar John February 9, 2010 at 11:13 pm

Thats not the point of rivals shops…you have to grasp that they were forced out of 2 spots by this other vendor. First he complained that they were on public property in front of Winston’s, and then he went under them and rented the parking lot where they had reestablished their business without their knowledge. Nati’s wouldn’t steal Nico’s spot. Why should obkanobe steal Hot Diggity Dogs spot? Really shady business on his part.

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avatar Mark Rafferty February 9, 2010 at 3:43 pm

This is absurd, as far as I’m concerned. I haven’t shopped at Apple Tree in over a year, not because of their policies or politics, but because I was sick of buying sour milk and rancid eggs from their 50 degree “refrigerator”. Now I have another reason not to shop there…

Which hot dog stand was located next to the OB Hotel, right by the check-in? It’s been several months since I last saw those guys. Was that you, the enemy, or a different one altogether? Keep me tuned…

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avatar Ryan Schillinger February 9, 2010 at 4:46 pm

I’m not trying to stir up trouble here, I just want people to know what happened to us (and little Thumper) when OB Kanobe’s is the only guy there. Saad has done us some favors, and Roger seems like a nice enough guy. Personally, I don’t really know Bob Allen. I understand that these are all businessmen, so it’s easy to blame it on that, saying “…it’s just business…” Coming from our perspective, though, this is all a bunch of bullsh*t. I’m sure it’s just because we’re the “little guy” getting pushed around, but we have done nothing but serve good, cheap hot dogs. Haven’t raised prices in almost 2 years, even with the down economy. In fact, we expanded our menu and available toppings without raising prices! We try to get along in town, but when this kind of stuff happens, it’s hard not to be upset. And like I said, it’s not just our cart suffering. You should have heard the sadness coming from the people who set up at the Farmers’ Market. Things are hard all over, but come one, let’s all play fair here! Competition is one thing, but this is another all around….

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avatar Ryan Schillinger February 9, 2010 at 4:48 pm

Oh, the hotel hot dog guy didn’t have any effect on us. He was a block away, and for some reason his cart didn’t do too well. I have talked to him before, and he seems like a legitimately cool dude. Maybe we should join forces! Haha we’ll see what happens.
–> We did find a new spot today, but it’s not as good as the last one. We will tell you guys where it is once we get the lease signed. DON’T WANT ANOTHER B.S. INCIDENT!!

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avatar just my 2 cents February 9, 2010 at 7:17 pm

Since I really don’t stay out past 10pm or so ,and seldom eat off a cart unless I’m in Mexico one thing jumped out at me . The reason the Hot Dog Stand lost its location this was very unclear in your post. Can you please give more info ? What exactly was this technicality?

PS : As in the case of Starbuck$ which many opposed, A buisness will fail or succeed on the merit of it’s product. It is a basic law of buisness.

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avatar Molly February 9, 2010 at 7:30 pm

Hey, you know what? That’s not true. After the boycott and all the demos against OB’s Starbucks, corporate HQ decided that even though that store operates in the red, it could afford to keep it open, even after the corporation was forced to close hundreds of stores nation-wide. Corporate couldn’t lose face, it could not admit defeat. So, the store remains open to tourists and Point Lomans. Walk by there – are there many people inside? Invariably not. Where’s your “basic law of business”?

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avatar Brian February 9, 2010 at 7:49 pm

I’m rather surprised that Starbucks opened their books like that.

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avatar just my 2 cents February 9, 2010 at 7:56 pm

Molly I don’t know you from anyone. Bu I call bull crap on your statement. Where did you glean such inside corporate infomation?
Go look in trash cans and all over OB Starbuck$ cups are every where…..
I beg to differ and would suggest you supply something more than a typed out statement …it means nothing…Like who told you that ?? A pissed off barista?

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avatar Danny Morales February 10, 2010 at 5:56 am

2 cents-Show some respect for the lady, Troll! “Capital seeks new markets when return on investment isn’t high enough for investors in a free market. The economies of scale will eliminate the competiton in existing or create new markets by any means necessary. Gentrification is a micro application of this process. Imperialism is a macro. $t*bucks remains because OB is not yet saturated with yuppie scum or wannabes. But the powers that be and their minions are working on it. As in all things, follow the money. And when you can’t see the money follow the people.” – Led Better

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avatar just my 2 cents February 10, 2010 at 6:36 am

Well I guess I should as you say “show some respect” kind of like yourself Mr. Morales ….calling me a troll…hummm….
Are the self appointed Marshall Dillion of this site?
She made a claim all I asked for was evidence of the remark. If you cant accept that tuff luck……
To my knowledge $bucks does not post P/L for stores. Maybe you know different. Please help me out.

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avatar Abby February 10, 2010 at 9:51 am

I don’t know what their books look like, but whenever I walk by there the place is empty unless it’s tourist season.

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avatar Danny Morales February 10, 2010 at 10:28 am

Cents-I was wrong to personally attack you by attatching the label “Troll” to your online persona. I offer my personal apology without explanation.
Demanding documentary evidence for anecdotal claims will go far in advancing the public dialogue if Ms. Kitty Goose and Marshal Dillon Gander agree to hit the sauce. Furthermore, in order to meet your request for help, I’ll appeal your application for a B.S. degree in the basic Law of Business to the authorities.
I hope that goes far in satifying your complaint portnoy, in lieu of my insider knowlege of the $t*bucks corporation.

Respectfully,
Danny Morales

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avatar just my 2 cents February 10, 2010 at 11:45 am

Well thats an intelligent response Mr. Morales.
When you base an opinion on a statement like she made, I think it is reasonable to ask where she got that inside information. I did not ask you for ” inside information” I asked if you knew if $bucks posted store by store p/l statements.
I guess not.
I also would suspect her statement about the OB store operating in the red and corporate keeping the doors open to ” save face” is her theory.

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avatar Molly February 10, 2010 at 12:30 pm

2cents – Mr Morales has some experience in this community. I don’t know who you are but I doubt whether you can match his experience or wisdom here in OB.

You started this thread off by some pontification of your business sense. Have you ever heard of Wal-Mart, she said facetiously? Of course you have. Do you know how or why it became so “successful”? Was it due to the “merits of its products”? No. It was because they moved into communities and lowered their prices way below the prices of the ‘mom and pop’ stores they were competing with, underselling them so much that the mom and pop stores had to close. And then of course, they would raise their prices.

Don’t know where you got your business degree, but when you come on here and toss out a bunch of garbage like that, people will call you on it.

I was also involved in the anti-OB Starbucks efforts, as was Mr Morales and hundreds of OBcians. Just because Starbucks “won” doesn’t mean they have a superior product. We had some inside info that told us that the O B store was operating in the red and would continue to do so in order not to have to admit defeat in the face of a huge boycott by local residents.

Next time you’re in OB (as I understand you don’t live here) check out the huge crowds waiting to get into Starbucks. Many locals still boycott it even though the official boycott ended years ago.

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avatar Danny Morales February 10, 2010 at 4:24 pm

Sir-What part of “I accept your apology and your effort to amend a wrong” don’t you understand? You are right in that I don’t know if the $t*bucks Corporation posts a profit and loss (P/L) statement on a “store by store” basis. Help me out here. Am I wrong to assume that the P/L statements of every unit within a corporation is proprietary information in accordance with FASB, AICPA, SEC etc. standards and codes for full disclosure in lieu of any duly authorized investigation? Just an honest question here. I await your reply in good faith.

Sincerly,
Danny Morales

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avatar jon February 10, 2010 at 4:44 pm

You’re all making my head spin. can’t we just move on.org? I forgot what the hell you were all trying to prove to each other in the first place anyway. I suggest we all go enjoy the OB Farmers market tonight instead of arguing about starbucks online. I, for one, need some organic produce! and a beer!

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avatar Frank Gormlie February 10, 2010 at 10:16 pm

Jon, so how was Farmer’s Market? I’m stuck on the couch unable to get to my regular hard drive. But thanks to Jon Christensen I’m up on his laptop, borrowed until I can walk again.

So, Jon Carr, let me live through you vicariously. Howwasit?

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avatar jon February 11, 2010 at 9:23 am

Oh man Frank, it was awful! There were kids in tye-dye and dreadlocks asking me for change (probably to spend on drugs and hookers at the cliffs). And there were fresh vegetables like lettuce and cabbage and squash. Not a chicken mcnugget or taco bell in sight. Some rock & roll hippie band of commies was playing in the middle of the street where homeless people could watch, for FREE! It was total chaos.

Actually, my fiance was sick, so we stayed home.

avatar Larry OB February 9, 2010 at 7:25 pm

He already caught the hot dog wave. He was clearly already up on his feet and riding that hot dog wave, when some KOOK drops in on him. And the surf shop approved? Maybe it’s like a black wetsuit thing.

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avatar just my 2 cents February 9, 2010 at 7:26 pm

Ok thats clear.

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avatar Peyton Farquhar February 9, 2010 at 7:28 pm

Tell OB Kanobe to cram it. Relocate downtown. More customers less aggravation.

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avatar Brian February 9, 2010 at 7:47 pm

That spot in front of winston’s was choice. Shame you lost that. I like the dog w/ the cream cheese… I think there’s bacon and grilled onions, too… but, I may be all the unhealthy things I like in my head even though they’re not on that dog.

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avatar Danny Morales February 10, 2010 at 6:24 am

Brian- Phat as the OBCity of Dreams?

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avatar Cat310 February 10, 2010 at 7:22 am

FLASH – Due to the county’s finacial crisis the board of supervisors has agreed to authorize a 99 year lease at the site of the former restrooms on the beach for what is described as the worlds largest “Der Weinerschnitzel” restaurant. OB schools are projected to close cafeterias and provide “dog vouchers” instead. When questioned Der W management said, “dog beach, hot dogs, they go togeter like mustard and sauerkraut, und you vill eatz dem”.

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avatar lane tobias February 10, 2010 at 8:51 am

^ bump

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avatar JPinSD February 10, 2010 at 8:06 am

What ever happened to the hot dog stand by robb field “My Greasy Weiner”? I meant to buy a shirt a few years ago when they were still around….

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avatar Cat310 February 10, 2010 at 8:11 am

It probably slipped through his fingers. There’s allot of that going on in OB lately.

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avatar obsteven February 10, 2010 at 8:21 am

Ryan- I thought it was bullshit when they made you move from Winstons. Now the man takes away your new spot? Leasing it out from under you? That is horrible. I always respected how hard you guys worked and how tough it must have been to save up for the cart.

I won a t shirt from ob kanobe that I will return to them today with an explanation why. I will never go to OB surf and skate ever again as well. I think most Obecians treat the local businesses as if they are family. We are pretty loyal. We would rather pay more money if it helps out. It’s tough when so many of the O.B. businesses don’t reciprocate.

Everyone else- If you don’t make a statement. If you don’t make a noise. If you don’t stand up then it could be your dreams that get crushed next.

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avatar just my 2 cents February 10, 2010 at 8:30 am

Seems to this simpleton that if somebody broke a lease they should be heal accountable legally for it….He might have to file suit.

Buisness in OB does this kind of thing . Rock Paper Cut Throat closed his doors and opened across the sreet …OWING thiusands of dollars to local folks….it happens.

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avatar JPinSD February 10, 2010 at 8:33 am
avatar TheDudeAbides February 10, 2010 at 9:42 am

This agression will not stand…..man.

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avatar Mark Rafferty February 10, 2010 at 10:49 am

The bums will always lose, Lebowski! The bums will always lose!

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avatar Ryan Schillinger February 10, 2010 at 8:43 pm

That’s like… …your opinion, man.

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avatar TR February 10, 2010 at 9:53 am

The main problem that I have: after this settles OB will still lack a decent hot dog cart. The OB cart is way better than OB Kanobes but it still is an expensive mediocre dog . However, the folks have always been nice which goes a long way. OB Kanobes is the ultimate horrible dog stand. The dogs are super spendy for hot dogs prepared by an idiot. I ordered a Sabrett (classic NY boiled dog).. he pulled out a ziplock bag, grabbed one (with his dirty hand I just saw him cleaning stuff with) and threw it on a George Foreman grill. What? I said thanks but no thanks. I am all for supporting the locals but you both can do better. The lease thing sucks.. good luck OB Cart and I won’t be going to Kanobes. (What happened to the Tamale cart?)

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avatar Ryan Schillinger February 10, 2010 at 12:34 pm

Hey man, we’re always open to suggestions! We eat the hot dogs, too. If you have ideas to make them better, just let us know. Speaking of price, though, you have to admit our prices are significantly lower than OB Kanobe’s. We charge less for a “fully loaded” Polish Sausage (or Red Rocket) than they do for a Hebrew Dog! We’re not out there trying to make a million dollars selling hot dogs, and we appreciate a good deal, so we try to make sure our prices are low.

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avatar Mark Rafferty February 10, 2010 at 10:48 am

It will be interesting to see what that parking lot looks like at the farmer’s market today. I spoke to the tamale lady a couple of weeks ago, and she said she was happy with her new location and set-up. I’m guessing she had no idea she was about to be kicked out (if that is the case), so if anyone knows of her fate, let us know.

The Rock-Paper-Scissors story is another sad case, but that’s for a different post. In regards to Starbucks, I sort of wish it was still a B of A, because that ATM in the alley runs out of money all the time, and then it won’t be accepting checks on other days. But that might cause the geezer bandit to come into OB and rob it, which would result in all 200 of the city’s cop cars to come roaring down Newport…

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avatar Ryan Schillinger February 10, 2010 at 12:37 pm

The tamale people (who also own Litticker’s on Voltaire) are lucky enough to get to stay there with OB Kanobe’s. Kinda funny how the people who own stuff in this town always own a lot of stuff!

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avatar JMA February 20, 2010 at 12:24 pm

I swear if someone owns one thing they own like 5 things.. I guess they are profitable enough on the others to buy more.. or is it just the entrepreneurial people just keep entrpreneuring.. :)

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avatar john August 31, 2010 at 8:25 pm

I don’t drink anymore but I remember the people who own Litticker’s work like 16 hr days 7 days a week. Yeah you’re going to own some **** if you keep that up. Never enjoy it, but… oh well.

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avatar mr fresh February 10, 2010 at 1:11 pm

FOOD FIGHT!

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avatar Cat310 February 10, 2010 at 1:14 pm

I think all the new medical marijauna dispensaries are giving OBcians the munchies hence all the focus on the hot dog stand.

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avatar Abby February 10, 2010 at 1:17 pm

Seems like the smart thing to do is park the hot dog cart right outside one of the dispensaries!

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avatar OB Joe February 10, 2010 at 1:33 pm

Hilarious, Abby!

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avatar Mark Rafferty February 10, 2010 at 4:48 pm

The ironic thing is that there IS a dispensary in that parking lot. It’s located in the back of Surf and Skate, although it’s entrance is in the alley. Look for the bright red and green paint, and the outside lettering job that looks like a 3rd grader did it.

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avatar Abby February 10, 2010 at 1:20 pm

I’d really like a full list of who owns what in this town so I can make an informed choice as to where I spend my money.

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avatar Ryan Schillinger February 10, 2010 at 1:59 pm

I would like one of those lists, too!!!! We’re figuring a lot of this out because of this situation. A lot of people in this town are really cool, but just like anywhere else, NOT EVERYONE!

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avatar Mary February 10, 2010 at 5:23 pm

Those veggie dogs have restored my equilibrium on many a late night. No chance they’ll give you back your Winstons spot? That was the perfect set-break situation.

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avatar Robert Allen February 10, 2010 at 5:46 pm

Mr Schillinger

We Are All OB Locals ! We all pay taxes and pay rents and support OB. We all have personal problems. To use this forum to air yours is a bad way to do business. You criticize my business ethics with no truth and only opinions without the facts.

You can claim the deep pocket business men are shutting down the little guy! Well every business you mentioned are locally owned and most have operated here for over 20 years! For you to slander locally owned businesses for personal support against your cause is just out and out low!

Every business owner had to start somewhere, myself included. I’m sorry that you feel that I took advantage of your situation. At no time have I done so.

Also, your previous false allegation about me suggesting that I had something to do with a complaint about your business next to Winston’s and why you had to relocate is ludicrous, and a slanderous out-and-out lie ! You told this to many people when I first opened my business in September and slandered me just for your personal gain and to pass the buck with out checking the facts first.

Moreover, your alleged notice to move from Winstons last Spring was months before OB Kanobes even opened. We opened in September, 2009. You were relocated in June of 2009.

Most “conscientious” OBecians know that a much closer competitor opened a new kitchen window to the sidewalk “less than 50ft from your previous location”, (basically next to you) and, is open late-night with a new improved to-go kitchen. So go figure…..

So, obviously you feel different, so lets agree to disagree and move forward. I wish only the best for you and your future endeavors.

Robert Allen

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avatar Ryan Schillinger February 10, 2010 at 7:00 pm

Winstons was a SWEET spot!

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avatar Cat310 February 10, 2010 at 9:00 pm

All this wasted dialogue over a silly tube steak and the right to sell them. Do you realize the purveyor of these chemical laden cylinders is just as guilty as the meat packing plant that sends all those pigs ears, hooves, snouts, skulls, and all other un-renderable parts to a grinder to be minced, extruded, and then ironically wrapped in their own intestines so they can be served hot to you on the street corner! Really people, you know Michelle O. is going to outlaw hot dogs anyway as part of her skinny kid program, heck, Mr. O will probably nationalize that industry too and switch to a tofu substitute. I understand he really has it in for the Hebrew National franks in particular.

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avatar Jackie Roberts February 10, 2010 at 9:10 pm

Actually we have 3 different veggie dogs…and we DON’T serve a “mixed meat” hotdog…we actually spend some money on our dogs because we eat them nightly…and Hebrew National’s are quality Kosher hot dogs…they only use the good part of the cow!!!!!

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avatar Danny Morales February 10, 2010 at 9:12 pm

Cat310-“Did you notice that the hem or your political garment is showing?”- Muktada al Fubar

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avatar Cat310 February 10, 2010 at 9:28 pm

Ha ha, thanks for pointing that out! Remind me to check the magnetic Obama bumper sticker on my car in the morning too. I need to take it off before I get to work at the bank, they frown on those in the executive parking lot, so sometimes I forget to put it back on when heading back to OB.

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avatar john koca February 11, 2010 at 7:30 pm

I don’t know about all this talk… I know I looked for a good hot dog for along time before I found OB Kanobe’s… I even met the owner Robert Allen and I think he’s a pretty nice guy, you should spend some time talking to him before you criticize him, you might find out something. I’ve been a local here as long as a lot of you and I think the OB attitude is peace rather than putting someone down…He’s a new guy in town, just like we all were at one time……..He loves Ob just like I do…………I say Chill.

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avatar Dennis February 18, 2010 at 1:55 pm

Hey do you have veggi chili for those veggi dogs? It wouldn’t matter anyway. After too many beers and way after dark I would forget I was claiming to be a vegaterian and secretly “slam” one of those big, fat, greasey polish dogs, piled high with everything on the cart. This statement comes from a former meat eater still in denial.

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avatar simon August 31, 2010 at 10:07 am

pleace forward me price list.

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avatar Jon August 31, 2010 at 10:43 am

Looks like somebody won this war. Both the hot dog stand, and the tamale cart are gone as of last week. Bummer…I was starting to really enjoy those street tacos at the tamale cart. The hot dog stand drove me away by playing really obnoxious butt rock all the time at maximum decibel levels.

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avatar kenloc August 31, 2010 at 1:17 pm

Was a permit problem from what I understand.Turns out you can’t just build a restaurant in a parking lot without getting the proper permits.Who would of thought????

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avatar Jon August 31, 2010 at 2:17 pm

You shouldn’t be able to play Nickleback at any volume without obtaining the proper permits either. IMO…

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avatar john August 31, 2010 at 8:18 pm

CREED.

arrrgh.

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avatar Mark Rafferty February 11, 2010 at 12:13 pm

That made me laugh…Speaking of food, does anyone know where the infamous Denny’s in OB used to be? Was it past Nimitz, or in the main part of OB? I need it for the OB trivia game I’m creating…

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avatar Frank Gormlie February 11, 2010 at 12:29 pm

Mark – for a cut of the game proceeds: OB’s Dennys was at the corner of Sunset Cliffs and Niagara – where that small complex of shops now stand (Thai place, donut shop, etc).

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avatar Mark Rafferty February 11, 2010 at 4:13 pm

Wow, that IS central. Do we know when they came into town, and when they finally shut their doors? And yes, you can have a cut of the proceeds…

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avatar judi curry August 31, 2010 at 4:50 pm

And at 2:00am, after the bars closed, it was the best “show” in town. And..no cover.

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