Kathy Kahl and her expectant daughter Melissa. Photo by Larry Goodwin.
Q: How many years have you been open?
A: This is my fourteenth season. I could write a book about this place, “The Chronicles of a Hot Dog Cart.”
Q: Do you keep track of how many customers you serve?
A: A lot of locals, and in the summer time a lot of track people. There was nothing around here. Now they’ve got a trail, a metropolis over time…my daughters have been working with me since they were kids. Put them through college. Single mom. I usually don’t come out until April 1st, but I wanted to get an early start on it. Once the kids get out of school, and the track, I got lines out to the parking lot here. I make soup and chili at this time of year, plus the hot dogs. My daughter does fresh-squeezed lemonade.
Q: How do you view the city’s changes in general?
A: I lived here all my life; I’ve seen the growth. It’s nice. I used to take the business to Florida (in 2009, when the economy went bad) and brought things back. I like it because there’s growth here. I don’t like the ways they design these buildings. People live in there, saying the rent’s so crazy high.
Q: Do you like feeding people?
A: I love it. I love to be outside and cook. I’m up in the morning at four making meat sauce, all that kind of stuff. Salads. It’s all wood-fired…it’s a wood-fired smoker.
Q: Where do you get the firewood?
A: I’ve got a friend that brings it to me, oak and cherry wood…I’m just looking for a good season. Both of my daughters are pregnant, due two days apart. Great kids.
Q: Do you like the idea of being a grandmother?
A: I think I’m still in shock about it. I guess I’m looking forward to it. They’ll be spoiled. They’ll be running their own lemonade stand, hopefully in another few years.”