Hot dog stand opens at county building

Visitors to the Kitsap County administration building got a surprise on Monday in the form of a new lunch option — a stand that serves the same hot dogs available at thousands of locations in New York City.

“These are authentic Sabrett hot dogs that you find on the streets of New York,” said Mike Lipson, who is operating the stand.

“I went through great pains to get them,” he said, “and I am probably the only person within a thousand miles that carries the product.”

Lipson said the Sabrett hot dog is all beef, with a natural casing.

For “monster appetites,” he offers a Polish sausage.

“It’s the number one hot dog in New York City and we have it here in Port Orchard,” he said.

Kitsap County employees and visitors have enjoyed limited lunch options since last fall, when the Honey in the Rock snack bar in the courthouse basement was closed for fire and security reasons.

The same vendors still run a coffee stand inside the administrative building, but with limited lunch choices.

Discussion about vendors have gone on for some time, with no suitable location found for any food service operation.

Last year the idea of soliciting vendors was brought up at a commissioners’ meeting, but has not been acted on until now.

Lipson is being allowed to operate the stand for the cost of a parking permit, in what he describes as a “beta test” for the business.

The agreement will be re-evaluated at the end of the summer, at which point the county may take a percentage of the business (as it does with the existing coffee stand).

Special Projects Manager Brian Lyman said Lipson’s success would determine whether other vendor arrangements would be made. If so, the county would not allow coffee or sandwiches, items that compete with what is already offered by Honey in the Rock.

A little more than an hour after opening on Monday morning, Lipson was fielding several inquiries about his product and hours of operation (open Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday from 10 a.m. to an undetermined time “depending on how much business we get.” If warranted, the stand will open on Thursday).

Currently, Lipson spends four days outside of Scott McLendon’s Hardware in Port Orchard. With both locations, he works seven days a week.

Lipson said he sells his product to all social and economic classes and that everyone — no matter what their station — enjoys a good hot dog.

“Hot dogs and surgery are the great equalizers,” he said. “Everyone loves a good hot dog and everyone, sooner or later, is going to need to have surgery.”

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