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“Do you not care about my hot dog?!” Depends on who you ask… Raleigh City Council voted 7–1 for pushcarts in Downtown Raleigh to shut down earlier at 1:15am (effective Dec. 16), instead of the longtime approved 3am. From Council’s majority standpoint, the measure is an effort to keep hungry bargoers from lining up and congesting already-busy sidewalks at closing time—particularly in the boisterous Glenwood South district—and thereby also helping to avoid the additional issues that may come from folks lingering in the area and filtering into surrounding communities (see our November story on Glenwood South safety measures).
Why? Because “apparently if people can’t buy hot dogs, they won’t congregate on sidewalks after leaving the bar,” says one rather infuriated bargoer to whom we spoke. But does pushing out pushcarts solve the problem? According to dissenting Council member Jonathan Melton, the answer is no. “Where are those people going to go if the pushcarts are not there?” he asked. Which is a great question considering there are no eateries on Glenwood South open after 2am—what with Snoopy’s now closed and Armadillo Grill not reupping its late-night hours post-pandemic. And for the pushcart owners, considering almost all of their sales are post-1:30am: “Any change of the hours of operation will permanently and instantly kill our business and cause many of us to lose our income,” said one local pushcart owner during the City Council meeting.
Clearly, quite the pickle. “I will tell you that one of the reasons we kept these open till 3 o’clock was so people could get food,” said Mayor Mary-Ann Baldwin, “so they wouldn’t just get in their cars and drive somewhere. It was seen as a different type of safety measure. But, at the same time, that was before Uber, Lyft, rideshares and whatnot. That’s how long these rules have been in effect.” Obviously, there’s no easy answer… short of a stop at Cook Out on your way home for now—if you can convince your Uber driver.
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No easy answer! What a cop out. If the city of Raleigh doesn’t want bar goers – then close the bars not the micro business that is a pushcart. What a foolish thing to say. Oh but wait- so much more tax $$$ etcfrom bars right? So what’s the classist issue here? Just taking away a business from a hardworking pushcart operator. My mom was the hot dog lady in Greensboro for 25 years – the first one in town and she operated pretty much no matter the weather. The council there would maker her life a living hell every few years. I giess just for a kick. This is disgusting and disappointing and all the “reasoning “ makes zero sense. I would love it if anyone reached out. Everyone says they love “small local businesses “ and the this!!! Arg!