by David Koon
Hot Dog Mike — AKA Michael Juiliano — has started a fundraising campaign online to help pay for a new downtown storefront where he'll sell favorites from his mobile hot dog cart plus "featured specials that are hard to do on the cart." He also plans to offer delivery in a limited area. The familiar Hot Dog Mike carts will still be available for special events and catering gigs.
In a press release available at his website, Juiliano said the new Hot Dog Mike storefront will be "designed around the idea of bringing the cart indoors" while "keeping it simple, fun and face to face." Plans call for an open workspace area where diners can watch their dogs being made. He said he hopes moving indoors will help him get past some of the challenges of selling street food, including weather, parking, traffic, zoning restrictions, workspace and safety.
Juiliano is trying to raise $10,000 over the next 30 days to make his storefront a reality. The release says donations will be used to fund deposits, licensing, equipment, signage, supplies, and other hurdles that must be cleared before the first dog is sold. Created on April 29, Hot Dog Mike's gofundme.com site has raised $310 as of this writing.