Written by Betsy Abraham, email@example.com Thursday, 24 July 2014 10:15
Linda Doyle knows how to make a good hot dog. And she doesn’t need a big fancy kitchen or shiny barbeque grill to do it. Rather, Doyle’s famous franks are served out of a small trailer on the side of S. Broadway.
For the past 16 years, passers-by coming along S. Broadway looking for a delicious, cheap bite to eat for lunch or a pre-dinner snack have been stopping by Linda’s Hot Dog Boutique, a simple white trailer adorned by a flag, yellow umbrella and two signs.
From her small trailer, Doyle offers a sociable smile and sausages, knishes, homemade macaroni salad, cookies, chips and drinks. And of course there are the hot dogs. Doyle uses Sabrett natural casing hot dogs (“the expensive kind, not the cheap ones,” she says), which you can top with onions, relish, ketchup and mustard.
Doyle bought the boutique in November 1998. At the time she was a lecturer for a weight club, and one of her members had a hot dog trailer. Her interest was sparked after stopping by his trailer one day, and that same week, she found an ad in the paper for a hot dog trailer in Hicksville.
“I bought it for $11,000 and I’ve been here ever since,” she says.
Doyle says the appeal for her was having a business she could call her own. She’s held a variety of jobs in the past, from selling custom jewelry wholesale to being a real estate agent, and says she enjoys doing things for herself.
“I love being my own boss and not having anyone telling me what to do,” says Doyle. “I like being able to do my own thing. Being your own boss is the best aspect.”
Besides being in charge, Doyle says she also loves interacting with customers. They come from the medical center next door, nearby car dealerships, repair shops, the VFW, the high school and around the neighborhood.
“It’s a small operation, but it’s nice talking to people and having customers,” Doyle says. “Everyday is different. Sometimes you get a lot of people at once, other times you sit and wait a while. And there’s not that many hot dog places around so being here so many years, you get to know a lot of people.”
One of her more notable customers came along two years ago. It was just a regular day at the boutique when someone approached Doyle about doing an interview. She agreed and they came back later with a microphone, saying they wanted to tape a couple talking to her.
“I was talking to this lady and her husband about some things. Everyone from the surrounding businesses was watching this, but I had no idea who she was,” says Doyle. “And then she says ‘I’m a medium’ and starts talking to me about my past. Meanwhile, I had no idea it was Theresa Caputo. Everyone knew who she was but I had no idea, it was hysterical.”
It’s not every day that Doyle has local celebrities visiting her boutique, but she does have her loyal customers. She says she’s seen some of them grow up and have their own kids who they bring to the boutique.
With a three hot dogs for $5 deal, Doyle says it’s the “cheapest deal in town.” However, she says business has declined over the years, which she attributes to the economy and people becoming more health conscious.
“People don’t eat as many hot dogs as they used to,” Doyle says. “I don’t think hot dogs will ever go out of style, but people might be eating less of them.”
Doyle says that while she has enjoyed running the boutique these past 16 years, she is looking to sell it.
“I want to be more flexible to travel,” she says. “But I’ll be here until it’s sold.”
Linda’s Hot Dog Boutique is at 320 S. Broadway, by the parking lot of the William M. Gouse Jr. VFW Post 3211. It is open rain or shine from Monday through Friday from 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.