If you've had a mid-day hankering for a hot dog, but have been wondering where the popular Meaford Top Dogs hot dog stand has moved, you just need to take a walk along the bay to Fred Raper's Park.
After four years located on Sykes Street near Meaford Hall, Don Evanson and his wife Katherine were required to move their hot dog stand in order to comply with municipal policies.
“The municipality suggested that because of the bylaws they have, we should find a new location this year,” Evanson told the Independent. “Apparently we were too close to an intersection, and there are no refreshment carts allowed in the BIA area.”
Special conditions noted in Meaford's By-law number 053-2012, which governs the operation of refreshment carts within the municipality, confirm that “ No refreshment vehicle shall operate on a street or sidewalk within the Downtown Business Improvement Area except in accordance with a permit issued in this By-law, or in accordance with the Special Event By-law or as approval from the Clerk,” and that “No refreshment vehicle to be located within 30 meters of an intersection unless permitted through approval from the Clerk.”
While initially frustrated about the need to move, Evanson says that the first days at their new water-side location have been positive.
“We're looking forward to it. We're now going to stay open on Sundays and will be closed on Mondays and Tuesdays. I think it's going to be busy here this summer,” offered Evanson.
Evanson says that while his business does serve many tourists, it is the local customers that have allowed his business to grow over the last four years.
“I'll tell you, it's the locals that support us. They've been fantastic. The tourists, the passersby, are a bonus actually, they're not our primary business,” explained Evanson.
Appreciation is shown to local customers with Meaford Top Dogs bonus card which offers a free meal after six purchased meals.