The year 2014 is sure to go down in Keremeos history as the year of the Barbeque War on Seventh Avenue.
Then again, maybe not.
Residents of the village could be forgiven for thinking that a culinary war had broken out amongst at least a couple of downtown businessess this spring when it seemed like barbeques were popping up in the downtown core like dandelions on the lawn after a warm spring rain.
The first appearance of a barbeque on the sidewalk took place in late April when Mark Mudahy of Mark’s Pizza and Caribbean Foods set one up under a temporary awning in front of his establishment. He’s been offering smokies since then on an off an on basis, according to the directives stipulated on the temporary permit issued him by Interior Health.
Shortly after Mark set up and began selling his smokies, enticing pedestrian traffic with the mouth watering emanations of sauteed grilled onions, a barbeque appeared across the street in front of the Main Event Mixed Martial Arts and Boxing Studio.
Other merchants in the downtown core began wondering what was going on – as did residents.
“There’s going to be so many lunch time barbeques in town, that everyone is going to starve,” observed Ox Yoke Collectables owner Geoff Berg whimsically one afternoon.
“I wonder who’s going to be next to set up a barbeque.
“Maybe I should.”
Other businesses lightheartedly wondered the same thing. It certainly seemed as though Keremeos was being overrun with barbeques – as nice as it was to finally see some activity in the business block that was also bringing with it some lunchtime choices to existing food fare.
Turns out, the barbeque war doesn’t even amount to a hot dog skirmish.
To date, Coach Rob and partner Donna’s barbeque has yet to sell a dog – he hopes to be in business the first week of June, as he has had to get Interior Health approval and the appropriate training in order to get going. The original idea – of setting up a street venue for hot dogs and smokies – came from Coach Rob, who verbalized his intentions last fall.
Turns out, he’s not the least bit annoyed Mark was the first to front the idea.
“We get along fine,” Coach Rob said, sentiments echoed by Mari Lindley, who is managing Mark’s outdoor cookery.
“We both understand that rather than being competitors, we’re providing choices for our customers, giving them more reason to stop in the downtown core.”
“We’re about to get our operating license,” said Lindley, who hopes to move their operation into a hot dog cart that will operate at the west end of the Keremeos bypass. Up until now, Mark’s barbeque has operated under a series of temporary permits.
Coach Rob plans to theme his hot dog stand, having already named it the Hot Dog and Sausage Emporium. The offerings will come with a wide variety of regular and unique condiments, and the names will reflect the businesses’ main focus.
“I’m going to be selling Joe Louis Brown Bombers and feature the K Mountain Super Dog,” Coach Rob said. “Kids like the traditional style of hot dogs, so we’ll have the Mike Tyson Teenie Weenie, as well as a Smack ‘n Cheese hot dog.” There will also be a veggie dog on the menu.
The Hot Dog and Sausage Emporium is expected to be in operation the first week of June. Look for Mark’s hot dog and smokie stand near the west end of the Keremeos bypass.