Langfords new owners of Poolside Hot Dogs and Treats
By Kevin Greer
Lakeside Communications Manager
Lakeside’s newest eatery just might have young Lakesiders saying, “Hot dog!” Don’t be surprised if many adults echo the kids.
Chris and Betsey Langford, owners of The Hawaiian Ice Cart that is parked near the Pavilion, are opening Poolside Hot Dogs and Treats at the former Lago Coastal Café location across from the Pool at the Grindley Aquatic & Wellness Campus.
The Langfords floated some ideas around on ways to expand their business. In mid-April, Lakeside COO and Interim President and CEO Charles Allen gave them a call to see if they were interested in starting a business at the Lago location. They didn’t think about it over for long.
“We said ‘absolutely,’” Chris said. “We drove over to meet Charles and here we are.”
The menu is full of quick grabs, including hot dogs, nachos, pretzels, cinnamon sugar pretzels, fountain sodas, chips, Uncrustables and bottled water. Toft’s frozen novelties like ice cream bars, ice cream sandwiches are always a good snack on a hot day. Of course, Lakeside favorite shaved ice will be served. It’s basically a concession stand a few steps across the street from the pool. Outdoor seating will be available under the awnings.
“Having been in Lakeside for over 30 years, I feel like I’m in tune with the heartbeat of Lakeside as to what everybody wants and what people loves about Lakeside,” Betsey said. “I think it’s going to go really well. We’ve had a lot of positive feedback already.”
Not only did Chris see this as an opportunity to grow their business, but he said it was important for places to stay open in Lakeside, especially restaurants.
“When people are here, they want to park their car, stay for the week and not have to load up the kids and go somewhere off property to eat,” Chris said. “We’ve been to pools outside Lakeside and sporting events, and people there want something fast and relatively inexpensive. We’ll have a place where you can pull up in the golf cart, grab something to eat and go.”
Chris said they may eventually expand the menu, but that will take some time. Their goal is to at some point deliver to the pool and set up a QR code.
“We’re very willing to listen to people this year,” Chris said. “We don’t have a lot of time on our hands, so we’ve got to get this rolling as quick as we can.”
As for the shaved ice cart, it will be in Bettinger Park for special events like holidays, fireworks nights, Collector Car Show and Wooden Boat Show.
The Langfords are finishing last-second details like permits, insurance and inspections, but they plan a soft opening in time for start of the season on May 26.
“Lakeside has been very gracious with knowing that this is last minute,” Chris said. “There’s a lot of stuff that people don’t know about when you’re trying to open something like this. There’s a lot of pressure, but I think we’re up to the task.”