Fried, and on a stick. Two of the things that make up one of my favorite childhood foods, the corn dog, the food that every state fair snack wishes they could be. A fried candy bar? Gross. Fried Coke? Gag. Fried beer? Don’t even get me started. But an all-American hot dog wrapped in sweet, crunchy batter and conveniently placed on a stick, now that’s a force to be reckoned with. Fortunately, I didn’t have to wait for the fair or a carnival to come to town to get this delicious treat. A quick trip to family-owned The Corn Dog Place, located in the Mall of Abilene, and I was transported to corn dog heaven. I have fond memories of being dragged along on numerous shopping trips as a child. All the torture of following my mother from store to store could be soothed by a fresh, hot corn dog drenched in mustard and ketchup. I know, I know… just call me the crazy corn dog lady, but you should have seen my reaction this week when I heard the Corn Dog Place was closing. I was flabbergasted, everyone knows messing with corn dogs is serious business.
First of all, why would such a beloved place close? Well, according to an article done by the Abilene Reporter News, Chuck E. Cheese wants to expand. The Corn Dog Place is classified as a specialty store, which means if “permanent tenet”, Chuck E. Cheese, wants the space, they can take it. The Corn Dog Place owner, Darrell Stansbury, received a letter on Jan. 7 telling him that he needed to move out before the end of the month. He may reopen his business elsewhere, but nothing has been finalized..yet. Sadly, the haven for corn dog bliss closed this week.
Apparently Chuck E. Cheese has wanted to do this for a while. Stansbury is openly talking about the difficulty of working with mall management. So was the closing a product of bad mall management? Mall managers are arguing that each year The Corn Dog Place was offered the option of becoming a permanent tenant. So was it Stansbury’s fault?
The Corn Dog Place has been in the mall since 1979, the year the Mall of Abilene opened. Here’s my personal opinion, if anyone should be asked to leave, it should be Chuck E. Cheese. Honestly, children would probably have a better time at the Corn Dog Place. Nothing says happiness like a corn dog and a funnel cake (Yes, they also offered funnel cakes, another favorite of mine). I mean, what does pizza say? Childhood obesity? Even the mascot rat is fat. There is less calories in a corn dog than a piece of pepperoni pizza, Google it if you don’t believe me.
But then again, can’t we all just get along?