Benton Harbor hot dog restaurant calling it quits

By Tony Wittkowski | Business Reporter | The Herald-Palladium

BENTON HARBOR – A business in the hot dog community is closing only a year after opening.

Harbor Dogs and Sliders at 325 W. Main St. in Benton Harbor will close its doors for the last time at 3 p.m. today. Co-owner and operator Kim Curley said it is not from a lack of business.

“We’re dissolving our partnership,” she said. “We opened a year ago almost to the date. Other opportunities came up for us. Everyone’s leaving on a good note.”

The decision to close came last week when Curley met with other co-owners Elton Mann and Anthony Orlando.

“Plans change. We are really happy with the community over here,” Orlando said. “We had a big fan base. That’s the hardest part. We are going to miss all the people.”

Harbor Dogs and Sliders opened July 14, 2014, after getting word the previous June that the location was available. The trio came up with a business plan in six weeks.

The restaurant has served hot dogs from different regions including the Chicago Dog and Detroit’s Coney-Style Dogs. Orlando said some of the popular items were the specialty dogs, including the Harbor Dog and the Red Arrow Dog.

The business tried staying open three hours later after Memorial Day by catching the drive-home and carry-out crowd.

“A lot of work goes into what we are doing here,” Orlando said. “We make a lot of our sauces and toppings. It’s just an endless list of prep work. We built a nice clientele. It’s just a lot of work for what you get out of it.”

Curley said she already misses the people who visited the restaurant often.

“We had some awesome customers,” Curley said. “We called ourselves ‘weinertown.’ It was ‘weinertastic.’ We just wanted to thank all our customers for their support.”

Contact Tony Wittkowski at twittkowski@thehp.com or (269) 932-0358. Follow him on Twitter @tonywittkowski.

(Author’s Note: This article was originally published on July 7, 2015)

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