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Dearborn Hot Dog Cart Removed From Westborn Mall Parking Lot

Why was Binky's Hot Dogs forced out of Westborn Mall?

Editor's note: An earlier version of this blog post by Bob DeSantis stated that the Red Olive at Westborn Mall was responsible for the removal of the foodcart. Reporting by Patch has found that the request came from the mall itself, so we have added this note and changed the record below. 

It has come to our attention that the Dearborn Hot Dog Cart has been removed from the Westborn Mall parking lot due to complaints.

The hot dog carts are a unique part of Dearborn, owned by Dearborn residents, selling products made in Dearborn and have been a great addition to our neighborhood for years. We always stop at the carts with our grandchildren or whenever we want a quick hot dog.

When we want a sit down meal we always visit our local restaurants. We hope that complaints are made to the mall owners.

Bob and Rita DeSantis

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Joe VanDerZanden April 10, 2012 at 01:10 AM
Are you kidding me?? Those hot dog carts have been there since I was a child. I'm only in Dearborn every couple of months anymore but I've never heard of the Red Olive and will not be going there. We don't need this sort of attitude.
Don Kaminsky April 10, 2012 at 01:36 AM
No more lunches for me and coworkers at Red Olive, well be going out for hot dogs!
Jennifer Rust April 10, 2012 at 01:18 PM
I grew up with that hotdog cart ! That's crazy .. I live in Tennessee now and every time I visit home I go get a dog at the cart .. Crazy , I would so protest the red olive .. Just stupid
Adam April 10, 2012 at 05:11 PM
Shame on the big chain picking on the little hot dog cart. If they were a threat then Red Olive is not going to last long there.
Jahna B. April 10, 2012 at 07:50 PM
That cart has been there since I was a child! It's been a mainstay of that parking lot and every single time we went there we got a dog, chips and a soda. You're telling me a large sit down chain is afraid of that. How pathetic! I no longer live in Dearborn but do visit. You can bet I WILL NOT be visiting the Red Olive and I'll be telling my family and friends in the area to boycott it also! Bring back the hot dog carts!!!!!!!!!!
Jahna B. April 10, 2012 at 07:53 PM
Check out the Holiday Grill across the street near the Kroger and the Optimum Eye Care Center. Great food!
Pat Niedermeyer April 10, 2012 at 11:12 PM
I TRIED TO WRITE A COMENTARY ON THE RED OLIVE GUEST BOOK BUT IT WAS NOT ACCEPTED. AS JOHNNY CHRISTMAS SAID, IT DIDNT SEE THE LIGHT OF DAY BECAUSE IT WAS PRO HOT DOG CART. I WONDER IF ANY ONE FROM MANAGMENT KNOWS OR CARES ABOUT THIS.? BOB
Michelle Martin April 10, 2012 at 11:39 PM
I really don't understand why a sit-down diner, which offers a ton of options, feels threatened by a Dearborn staple: the hot dog cart. Seems like there is a deeper story here. Of course, after knowing this, I will no longer patron the business at Red Olive. Shame really, because they had pretty good food.
Linda Scharf Brazier April 11, 2012 at 03:11 AM
Thank you for sharing this ...we will never eat at the RED OLIVE!!!
Linda Scharf Brazier April 11, 2012 at 03:15 AM
they will not let us post ..they have to approve it first
AndreaVH April 12, 2012 at 09:32 AM
Can you let us know where Binky's will relocate to, or when they will be back in their regular spot?
JohnnyChristmas April 12, 2012 at 03:03 PM
Linda, that's what I meant when I said their guestbook is moderated. But if we send them messages, even if it doesn't get published, someone associated with the restaurant will see all the angry posts.
Stephen Behmlander April 13, 2012 at 01:54 AM
It would be great if each of you put your energy into something constructive, instead of if the Red Olive is dictating where the hot dog cart resides...If you don't like the Red Olive, don't go. Simple.
Bob DeSantis April 13, 2012 at 05:24 PM
I went to buy hot dogs at the cart today in the ACO lot and was approached by Mrs Ford, the owner of the hot dog carts, and she stated that after further investigation it was the owner of the Westborn Mall that requested the cart be removed.
Criss April 14, 2012 at 01:10 PM
It doesn't make sense. Didn't Red Olive know there was a cart when they leased the space?
JohnnyChristmas April 14, 2012 at 01:24 PM
So now I gotta ask, Bob: Where did you get your information originally? And why was it published before it was verified? I guess this is another lesson in online journalism: Just because it's on the Internet, it doesn't make it true. Can we get some additional editorial verification on stuff like this before it gets published? And I say this fully admitting that I was part of the Red Olive "witch hunt" when I first read this story. I apologize for that, but assumed that this story was verified by the editorial staff of the Patch before it went up.
Your taxes pay my salary April 14, 2012 at 08:56 PM
Can you please learn to use the caps lock key...
clara April 14, 2012 at 11:25 PM
That's right folks, let's boycott ALL property taxpaying businesses and just support those who open up shop in parking lots, on the sidewalk ("designer" watches, purses, etc.). Street corner musicians would also add to the excitement.
Ray April 16, 2012 at 10:02 AM
@ johnnychristmas, I had an interesting discussion with one of the principals of the restaurant who danced around the subject first claiming no knowledge then claiming to be friends with the hot rod cart owners, then pointing the finger back at the mall owners, on and on it went. This started in the restaurant and ended with him outside towards Kroger to plead his case...I was in your mind set until speaking to this man, I'm now absolutely certain he had "input" on the decision...we will continue to ban this place...and support online forums such as this.
SandraB April 16, 2012 at 02:41 PM
That's my thinking as well, Ray. When I read that it was supposedly the Westborn Mall that requested the cart be moved, I was sure it didn't start there. Since the hot dog cart has been there for years, they wouldn't just up and start complaining about it without a reason. I'm sure it was the Red Olive that complained to their landlord and the landlord tried to make it's renters happy. It's a crying shame since my husband and I were so thrilled when the Red Olive came to Dearborn. We actually used to drive to their Livonia location on rare occasions as a special treat to ourselves. Now, until I hear the hot dog cart is allowed back, I won't be frequenting it at all ... and will be telling my friends the same. Someone has to stand up for the little guy. The hot dog carts only sell hot dogs, a can of pop and a bag of chips for a quick take-out meal; and it's only a few months out of the year. If the Red Olive is threatened by that, then they are just plain greedy. They are always packed when I go in there so are certainly not hurting for business. When my daughter (who is going off to college this year) was little, a few times a Summer we would buy a hot dog and soda off the cart and sit right there to eat and share a special time together. Believe me, we spent enough sit-down lunches in restaurants on our errands to help keep them going, but it's those hot dog cart meals that will stay with me forever.
Anna Norstrom April 16, 2012 at 03:54 PM
To the residents and citizens of Dearborn and surrounding area's, I am very disappointed to see how quick you all are to react to a hot-dog stand removal and so quick to beleive that the operators of Red Olive had something to do with this. I am a loyal patron of the Red Olive to many locations, but recently to the Dearborn location and i heard about this situation so I went ahead and asked the owner of the Westborn Mall and he confirms that it was him who removed the hot-dog lady, not the Red Olive. The Red Olive in Westborn Mall serves fabulous food that is affordable and is family oriented, something that this area needed in a long time. Now that we have it, all of a sudden the intergrity of this new business is now trashed due to a hot-dog stand - what a shame and shame on all of you. You need to consider that this restaurant employees people, people who need to work for school or raise a family or whatever the case may be, they depend on their job. Also, Red Olive provides #1 front-line excellent service including it's management and has developed tied relationships with their regular customers - where do you find that anymore? All-in-all, i don't appreciate the negativity towards the Red Olive and facts should be confirmed before accusations like this. This is my Comment - A.N
SandraB April 16, 2012 at 08:45 PM
The people running the hot dog stands are ALSO just trying to make a living ... to make house payments, pay taxes, get kids through school ...
Barbara Nezzbit April 16, 2012 at 11:15 PM
Can't this hot dog stand find another place, for God's sake how many parking lots are there in Dearborn? Plenty! Give the restarant a break,people who work there are good people and the food is amazing, I like them and I don't like this negativity against them. Two thumbs up for Red Olive!
Jessica Meloche April 17, 2012 at 12:43 AM
I think hot dog carts are great but from the perspective of a business owner such as Red Olive or any other restaurant, they pay rent for their location and plaza owners should redirect hot dog stand owners to areas of the plaza away from the restaurants out of consideration for restaurant owners. There are many shopping plazas that hot dog stand owners can go to....why set up in front of a restaurant that is inconsiderate for those restaurant owners......don't pity the small guy just because they are small.....you have to look at this situation from both side.
Ray April 17, 2012 at 02:06 AM
For me this is questionable but hey, what can I say, my opinion is based on a fairly through discussion with one of the owners...clearly the mall owners will do what they must for their paid tenants as I will do with my dollars that would support said tenants. I have and always will support the little guys before a chain restaurant, for me the hot dog carts also lend a bit of unique character to Dearborn. It's up to the mall owners now to hopefully reconsider, perhaps towards Marshall's...I am glad to read the differing thoughts on the subject though :-)
JohnnyChristmas April 17, 2012 at 03:09 AM
Maybe they could set up a cart somewhere in downtown between 10p and 2a. They used to have those in downtown Windsor smack dab in the middle of the bars, and there would be lines of people waiting for a dog. I'll bet they'd do pretty well in downtown west Dearborn at that time of day too. Bar-goers want a little something, but don't always want to go out of their way for a meal at a restaurant.
Elizabeth April 17, 2012 at 06:08 PM
I enjoyed the the hot dog cart at the mall regularly. I will NEVER go into the Red Olive as long as I live. They are off my list and I've lived in Dearborn for over 40 years.
Olive Oyl April 18, 2012 at 02:13 AM
Not only am I going to never eat at the Red Olive again, I'm not going to even BUY any red olives. Just green and black ones from now on!
Bob DeSantis April 20, 2012 at 12:19 PM
To Johnny Christmas, I originally heard about this from an employee in another store in the mall but before starting anything I contacted the owner of the hot dog carts to verify and was told at that time it was because of complaints by the Red Olive. I also called the Red Olive and got a very big song & dance, I then contacted the patch and asked them to investigate.
City of Dearborn (Editor) April 20, 2012 at 04:35 PM
Just to clear things up, I'd like to step in and explain that it was originally believed–by both Patch and the owners of the hot dog cart–that the restaurant was responsible for the removal of the cart. It has come to our attention that this is not the case. According to the managerial staff of the Westborn Mall, the cart was removed at their insistence. Red Olive has denied any part in the decision, and said that they welcome the cart in the parking lot of the mall. In the interest of not creating any more ill will toward the Red Olive restaurant, the decision has been made to discontinue commenting on this blog post. Thanks for your interest in this issue! The cart can still be found in the parking lot by Aco Hardware, and will be participating in the Dearborn Farmers Market beginning May 25 as well.

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