Down Town Dawgs now EC's new hot dog stand
By William F. West
Sunday, September 30, 2018
Lorella Tew and Robert Taylor believe in the philosophy, "If it works, don't fix it." So that’s how they look at their business Down Town Dawgs in the heart of the Harbor of Hospitality.
The two, who are engaged, acquired the former Bryon's Hot Dog Stand, in the 100 block of North Poindexter Street, from Bryon Hickman and his wife, Stacey. Tew and Taylor officially re-opened the popular eatery’s doors on Sept. 17 with the new name.
Tew and Taylor on Thursday afternoon made clear they don't plan to change the Hickmans’ throwback establishment, selling hot dogs, barbecue, sandwiches, homemade desserts, orangeades and fountain soft drinks.
"Same menu, same prices," Tew said.
Tew stated the only difference is they are also going to offer all-beef hot dogs.
The Hickmans closed their business on Aug. 17 after nine years as a husband-and-wife business team, because Stacey Hickman landed a new job in the community.
Tew said she and her fiancé have been getting business from the Hickmans' previous customers and said the regulars have been quite thankful the place is reopened.
"Everyone loves a dollar and a half hot dog," she said with a smile and a laugh.
Tew and Taylor come from quite diverse backgrounds, with Tew saying she met her fiancé via the Internet. "And we got together – and here we are," she said.
The two said they enjoy quality time together at Lake Gaston, at a camper on a permanent spot ashore.
Tew, who's originally from Raleigh, said she worked as a housecleaner for approximately 10 years. She also noted she's a grandmother of six.
Taylor is originally from Massachusetts. When he was a boy, Taylor moved with his family to Orange County, Calif., but he didn't care for continuing to live amid the rat race in the southern part of the Golden State.
He decided to move back to New England and began working in the pest control business in New Hampshire. He said after he went on a four-day vacation in the Virginia Beach, Va., area, he moved there and worked in the pest control business.
He continues to commute to work there, but calls South Mills home.
Taylor said he has always had a bit of a fascination with the hot dog business.
Taylor said Tew was having a hard time finding a job, so he purchased her a hot dog cart.
Tew said she stationed the cart adjacent to the Moyock Post Office, but she said her business wasn't doing well.
Tew said she and Taylor began speaking with Bryon Hickman who eventually let the couple know he wanted to sell.
Taylor summed up what he believes is the whole story about the new business venture.
"We don't have to live on this. So, it's going to help pay off a few bills and after that, it's going to be fun money, retirement money," he said.
As for working in the central business district, he said, "It has done nothing but grow on me."
The business is open from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Mondays through Fridays and can be reached by phone at 202-3534.