Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

St. Petersburg may consider expanding hours for hotdog vendors

ST. PETERSBURG — A majority of City Council members said they would consider revising a longtime law prohibiting the sale of hotdogs at night in the wake of the Police Department's controversial crackdown of a popular pushcart vendor.

"It will surprise me if we don't change this law," said City Council member Karl Nurse, who represents downtown.

Nurse called the Police Department's decision Friday night to shut down the Dawg House pushcart along the 600 block of Central Avenue "ridiculous" in light of the area's reputation for street violence, underage drinking and drug sales.

"What I don't understand is that this is a tough block, and we have some fairly serious issues on that block that the police are well aware of," he said. "If I was to pick priorities, this wouldn't be one of them."

Other council members said they would consider expanding the allowed hours of operation.

"This ordinance has been around for a few years, and there is nothing wrong with revisiting it," said Council Chairman Jeff Danner.

It's unclear why police decided to enforce the ordinance Friday.

Michael and Joy McGhee were given a citation carrying a $200 fine about 9:45 p.m. The city's pushcart ordinance limits the hours of operation from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Another pushcart vendor was cited an hour later.

The two shut down Friday night are the first of 2009. Only one pushcart vendor was cited in 2008 for late-night food service.

The hotdog brouhaha had its roots in June, when the owners of Durty Nelly's bar asked the McGhees if they would operate the cart outside at night because there are no other late-night bite options nearby.

The family had been losing money, so they jumped at the opportunity to work more hours.

"During the summer, with the heat out here, it slows everything down, including our customer base," said Michael McGhee. "What we make in the winter, we had to work two shifts to make in the summer."

City Hall received 10 messages about the McGhee's citation this week.

"If someone is willing to stand outside at 10 at night politely selling food to intoxicated people who may be driving home, she should be allowed to," Susan Guarino wrote in an e-mail. "I am fully aware of the operating hours set by the city for vendor carts. But, I don't quite understand them."

Not everyone supports the McGhees.

Pushcart operator Alan Laux doesn't want the rules changed.

"I don't want to see 30 vendors out at 2 a.m. in the morning, because something is going to happen," he said. "It's dangerous out there. Handling all that money, and you are outside there in the dark."

Cristina Silva can be reached at (727) 893-8846 or csilva@sptimes.com.

St. Petersburg may consider expanding hours for hotdog vendors 07/28/09 [Last modified: Wednesday, July 29, 2009 8:17am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Jones: Bucs need success to get national respect

    Bucs

    Tampa Bay Times columnist Tom Jones offers up his Two Cents on the world of sports.

    No respect

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Dirk Koetter walks the field during the second day of mandatory minicamp at One Buccaneer Place in Tampa, Fla., on Wednesday, June 14, 2017. LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times
  2. Hopes fade after landslide destroys Chinese village (w/video)

    World

    Crews searching through the night in the rubble left by a landslide that buried a mountain village under tons of soil and rocks in southwestern China found 15 bodies, but more than 110 more people remained missing.

    Vehicles and people line a road leading to the site of a landslide in Xinmo village in Mao County on Saturday in southwestern China’s Sichuan Province. More than 100 people remained missing after the village was buried under tons of rocks and soil.
  3. Rookie Jake Faria dissatisfied with performance in Rays' loss to Orioles

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — The rookie pitcher walked to his locker Saturday after tossing the fourth quality start in as many tries to begin his career. He held the potent Orioles bats to three runs and for six innings gave his team a chance to win.

    Orioles third baseman Manny Machado tags out the Rays’ Mallex Smith at third after a rundown in the first inning.
  4. Thousands converge in two St. Pete locations celebrating LGBT rights

    Human Interest

    ST. PETERSBURG — Tom Rockhill didn't know what to expect Saturday, but by noon people were knocking on the door of his bar Right Around the Corner in Grand Central.

    (From left to right) Emma Chalut 18, gets a rainbow sticker on her cheek from her sister Ellie, 15 both of Jacksonville before the annual St. Pete Pride parade in downtown St. Petersburg on Saturday. This year the route was changed from the Grand Central and Kenwood area to Bayshore Drive.
[EVE EDELHEIT   |   Times]
  5. Retired Florida Supreme Court Justice Parker Lee McDonald dies

    TALLAHASSEE — A former Florida Supreme Court justice, who wrote a decision that prevented lawyers from excluding jurors because of their race, has died.

    Former Florida Supreme Court Justice Parker Lee McDonald died Saturday, the court said in a statement. He was 93.