For 30 years, The Dog Stop has been the go-to location for North Dallasites looking for a taste of Chicago. Hot dogs, Italian beef sandwiches and other snacks are sold from the windows on either side of the tiny drive-up cottage built on the edge of the Hillcrest Village parking lot on Arapaho Road. It’s one of those spots with so much character that it sticks to you. (The food will, too.)
Folks without wheels can walk up to the carryout window at the front of the building to place an order, and when owner Yonok Kim or her daughter Leah slides the window open a whoosh of cool, conditioned air pours out.
For the past two weeks though, in addition to the arctic blast, that window has been the bearer of bad news. A notice printed on plain white paper announces The Dog Stop will be closing permanently at the end of September. The landlord for the building, SMI Realty, will not renew Kim’s lease, and a spokesperson for the company confirms the building will be torn down. Another building where snow cones were sold in the same lot has a date with the wrecking ball, too.
To make matters even sadder for The Dog Stop fans, chances for relocation are practically zero. Kim says that even if the building were not being razed, she had grown tired of running the business and was getting ready to sell it. For 14 years, Kim says she hasn't taken any vacation, only closing her business briefly for major holidays. Kim had started drawing up plans to sell the business when she heard the bad news about the lease.
Without a leasing agreement to hand to prospective buyers, The Dog Stop is significantly harder to sell. Kim says she’s talked with lawyers but is at a dead end and resigned that her business will close permanently when this summer comes to an end.
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“I need a vacation,” she says, when asked about her plans. Kim says she hasn’t been back to her home country Korea since The Dog Stop opened. She’s ready to take some time to relax and plan her next endeavor.
Her daughter Leah, on the other hand, is diving into her next project headfirst. In the coming weeks, she’s moving to Austin to play in her electronic band Liquid Freeways. She will not be selling hot dogs.