July 31, 2009 in Business

Valley couple opens mobile sandwich shop

Hot dog vendors take it to the streets
By The Spokesman-Review
Kathy Plonka photo

Dog Eat Dawg owner Van Austin hands a plate of food to regular customer Davis Shutts, of Coeur d’Alene, from his mobile eatery on the corner of Seltice Way and Atlas Road in Coeur d’Alene on Thursday. Part of their proceeds are donated to the Kootenai Humane Society.
(Full-size photo)

Their kids grown, Van and Rebbecca Austin decided to sell their house in Portland, move to Spokane Valley and buy a 15-foot trailer for a mobile hot dog stand, which they’ve parked between Post Falls and Coeur d’Alene.

Dog Eat Dawg opened two months ago at Seltice Way and Atlas Road. The Austins are doing brisk business peddling all-beef Nathan’s Famous gourmet dogs as well as German brats, Philly cheesesteaks, meatball subs, burgers and pulled pork sandwiches.

“We just decided to throw caution to the wind and go sell hot dogs and Philly cheesesteaks somewhere,” Van Austin said. “We’re having a lot of fun.”

The couple also love dogs – the tail-wagging type. They donate part of their proceeds and tips to the Kootenai Humane Society and promote pet adoption by featuring the Humane Society’s dog of the week at the eatery.

And they have their own dog of the week – the lip-smacking type. Dog Eat Dawg features an “international dog of the week,” with around 200 varieties to choose from. This week’s star was the Kansas City Reuben.

The joint is open 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday “and some Saturdays,” Austin said. They deliver – just not during the lunch hour.

“I think we’re going to dig in for the winter, too,” said Austin, who once ran a concession stand in Los Angeles. “We want to stay here.”

Scaled-down Wal-Mart approved

A construction permit for a Wal-Mart store in Pullman could be issued within a month, following approval of a new site plan.

The project – first announced four years ago – has faced opposition from a citizens group called Pullman Alliance for Responsible Development. The group challenged the proposed Wal-Mart Supercenter over concerns about its effects on traffic and businesses, but lost the case in a state appeals court.

Bentonville, Ark.-based Wal-Mart announced earlier this summer that the company had decided to reduce the size of the project to about 156,000 square feet, from 223,000 square feet, saying the smaller store would be more “sustainable” by reducing traffic at nearby intersections and trimming paved parking space by roughly a third.

Because the project size was changed by more than 10 percent, a new site plan had to be filed with the city, Pullman Public Works Director Mark Workman said in a news release.

That plan has been approved; a 10-day appeal period will expire on Aug. 10, the release said.

“Building plans were received on July 29th and are being processed through plan review. Barring an appeal, a building permit could be issued for the project within the month,” the release said.

Web site developer opens shop

Tacoma-based SiteCrafting, a Web developer, has opened an office in Spokane, in the Sirti Building at 665 N. Riverpoint Blvd.

Company President Brian Forth is a Gonzaga University graduate and former Zags baseball player. “I’ve thought for several years that Spokane was really the type of community where our company could participate and thrive,” Forth said.

The branch office, open since July 1, already is working with Greater Spokane Inc. and public television station KSPS, said General Manager Mike Ash, a Tri-Cities native and Pacific Lutheran University graduate who has been with the company seven years.

Ash soon will be joined by a Web developer from the Tacoma office, and SiteCrafting will hire another three developers and designers this year, with plans to grow to 10 employees next year, he said.

“We’re excited to be here in Spokane,” Ash said. “We’re looking forward to the growth and getting involved in the community.”

SiteCrafting is in Suite 344 of the Sirti Building. Call (509) 368-7661.

City Editor Addy Hatch contributed to this report. Here’s the Dirt is a weekly report on new developments and business openings, closings or movement in the Inland Northwest. E-mail business@ spokesman.com or call (509) 459-5528.

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