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New hot dog business on corner in downtown Arbutus

Restaurant and Catering IndustryBusinessAquacultureSafeway Inc.

The stand at the corner of Sulphur Spring Road and Oregon Avenue has housed a variety of businesses over the past six years, including a bakery, two snowball stands and even a seafood business.

"It's like a corner chameleon," said Terrance Nolan, owner of the stand who has a nearby law office on Oregon Avenue.

Nolan said he stopped renting the space to snowball stand owners, who couldn't compete with The Eskimo Shack, a similar operation across the street.

So, when Dena Hutzler Bayne, 54, approached him about turning the stand into a hot dog businesses, it seemed like a good idea.

Hutzler Bayne said she saw the "for rent" sign posted in the window of the stand while taking a different route to work from her Arbutus home.

She thought the small, vacant store would be the perfect spot to open a second location for her hot dog stand business. Her original stand is at the North Point Flea Market in Dundalk.

"A hot dog stand sounded like a good idea," Nolan said, who bought one from the stand on Wednesday afternoon. "And she seemed to be very business saavy."

Hutzler Bayne and her 23-year-old daughter, Amber Hutzler, chose a high-profile day for their store's grand opening as Hutz Hot Dogs welcomed customers for the first time on July 4.

They made sure their opening coincided with Independence Day to grab the attention of Arbutus residents, who line Oregon and Carville avenues and East Drive on the other side of Sulphur Spring Road to watch the community's annual Fourth of July Parade. The classic American fare, similar to that found at a ball game, went over well with the crowd.

"There was a line wrapped around the corner," Hutzler said with pride, standing inside the small stand, preparing to open for the day.

They spent two weeks transforming the empty, run-down interior of the stand into a squeaky clean, freshly painted kitchen, where freshly squeezed lemonade, hotdogs and nachos, are served to hungry customers through a window.

It took a little more than $10,000 to start the business and every day they get closer to making a profit, Hutzler said.

Richard Greene, owner of Arbutus Auto Painting & Bodyworks, said he bought a meal from the stand and was "impressed," so he treated his staff to a hot dog lunch.

"I know there's tough competition with that snowball stand across the street, but I think she'll do real well there," Greene said.

The mother and daughter team expect the stand to stay open year round. They play to offer their fare from noon to 8 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays, Saturdays from 1 to 9 p.m. and Sundays from 2 to 8 p.m.

"Arbutus is a word of mouth town, so once the word gets around that we're here it will be really good for business," Hutzler said.

Menue prices include a regular hotdog for $1.95, a "Slaw dog" with chili and coleslaw for $2.25 and a Reuben hotdog for $2.50 with sauerkraut, thousand island dressing and cheddar cheese sauce.

"It's like one of those hot dogs that people want more and more of," Hutzler said.

Hutzler Bayne, who works full-time at Safeway, said she started the business for her daughter.

"It's overwhelming right now, but something I wanted to do, mainly for her," Hutzler Bayne said as she glanced at her daughter.

"My main goal in life is making sure my kids are straight," she said. "You never know when your last day on Earth will be...and I want to go knowing they have some kind of security."

"I work for my kids," Hutzler Bayne added.

Although it can be hectic running two businesses and working a full-time job, her effort will pay off in the end, she said.

Her daughter, a waitress at Leon's Triple L Restaurant until the community mainstay closed May 31, spends more time at the stand serving customers, while her mother helps to deliver supplies and give a hand when needed, she said.

They expect to add a picnic table with an umbrella for outside seating, and are even thinking about expanding their small business in the future, Hutzler Bayne said.

"It would be great to open one of these in Florida," Hutzler Bayne said. "But I don't know if that's a possibility yet."

The stand does not have a website, so those interested in visiting the stand should call 410-242-3647.

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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Restaurant and Catering IndustryBusinessAquacultureSafeway Inc.
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