Capitola's colorful new hot dog stand, Surfing Dog, celebrates its third month in business this month. Tucked into the end of the Esplanade, behind a pay-to-park lot and across the street from , Surfing Dog is a bit off the beaten path, but the locals are starting to catch on.
"[Business has] been okay, considering the economy," said owner Carlos Pacheco. "On the weekends I get busy most of the time, especially when there are festivals or concerts."
Pacheco opened Surfing Dog after years of running the popular Fandango's Mexican Cafe on 7th Avenue. He said it's much smoother running the hot dog stand.
"I don't really have a lot of overhead here so it's way less stress," said Pacheco.
The menu choices are simple: Foot long dogs, cheesy Bavarian, and Louisiana Hot Links which come from a local company, Freedom Meat Lockers. Pacheco is working on honing his business to support more local companies, and he is hoping to have local sauerkraut, buns and condiments soon.
"The cheesy Bavarians are the best. They're just so cheesy and delicious," said Monica Stephens, on her break from working around the corner at Pinache.
"When I took over I wanted to do something else, different kinds of food, but the health department wouldn't let me do anything outside of the cart. I got to add nachos because they are part of the cart," said Pacheco.
During the week, Surfing Dog sees a small lunch rush every day, which seems to be growing. While the lines at stretch down the sidewalk, it's still possible to grab a hot dog without having to wait too long at all. Even if they aren't looking for a dog, Pacheco has a steady stream of kids and adults pop their head in to say 'Hello' and chat.
"I try to come here at least once a week. I'm a regular hot dog kind of a person. Hot dog, chips, and a Coke — it's my day to splurge!" said local Dana Juenemann who works at the .
Pacheco closes his stand by 6 p.m. each night, since most people are hanging out across the street on the beach and on the Esplanade by then. In late July, he ordered a new colorful awning though, and a bright new menu board, which he hopes will attract the throngs beach goers later into the evening.
Surfing Dog is open every day except Tuesdays, from 11 a.m. - 6 p.m.