Some days you wake up in the mood for a damn good hot dog. Some days, you wake up in the mood for a $9,700 toilet and a few bags of mulch. And we all know that on days where we want to enjoy all those things at the same time, there’s only one place to go: Home Depot.
The hallowed Home Depot hot dog cart is different from a Costco-esque snack bar, because each location’s hot dog vendor is an ancillary establishment, an independently business that operates out of the big box store. Wherever you are in this great big country, you’ll likely find a regional blue-collar classic on the edge of the national mega-chain’s parking lot. In New Jersey, you can get sausage and pepper heroes. In Illinois, you can get Italian beef and Chicago-style tamales. And in Michigan, you can get absolutely nothing, because Home Depot has given the state’s hot dog vendors the old heave-ho.
Michigan’s Home Depot hot dog carts have been out of commission since the start of the pandemic, and Detroit’s NBC affiliate Local 4 news reports that they won’t be reopening. This past Sunday one of the company’s primary vendors, Hot Diggity Dog, posted a closing notice on Facebook; the next day Local 4 spoke to metro area vendor Bill “The Hot Dog Guy” Loizon, who said he received an email from a middle man announcing the company’s surprise decision last Tuesday.
Loizon, who has been operating four Home Depot hot dog carts for 20 years, said he is “heartbroken,” and that he broke down in tears when he had to break the news to his employees, who he said were “like family.”
Local 4 reached out to Home Depot for comment, and the company responded with the following statement:
“In March 2020, our in-store food vendors were asked to close for the safety of customers and associates, and the decision has been made to suspend food vendor operations in Michigan so we can focus on serving customers with their home improvement needs. This news was shared with vendors a couple weeks ago, and we appreciate the years and partnership and wish them well in their future business.”
What if shoppers’ home improvement needs involve satiating their hunger before a big paint-stripping project? What then? Michigan, our hearts go out to you.