Daily Progress, Jacksonville, TX

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June 14, 2014

Jacksonville hot dog stand closes doors, while second eatery’s future uncertain

JACKSONVILLE — A popular Jacksonville eatery has closed its doors, and another's future is uncertain.

For the past month, a “For Rent” sign has been posted on the Dog & Spud stand at 804 E Rusk St.

According to co-owner Virginia Moore – who launched the venture in January 2012 with close friends and neighbors, David and Kay Ford – health issues forced the trio to close the shop.

“We're closed for good,” Moore said, describing how an illness this past December forced her into a hospital, then a nursing home, to recuperate. “I got sick and couldn't stand up to work, and I never really could get back to (the busy pace at Dog & Spud).”

Prior to opening their stand in Jacksonville, the trio operated a traveling concession stand for more than two decades.

Tiring of that, they realized “there weren't any hot dog stands in our area, (so) we decided to do them here,” Ford said in an interview this past year.

He estimated that about 40 percent of their sales were from hot dogs, prepared a variety of different ways, to a point where owners changed the menu five different times the year they were open.

Customers not only loved the food, but its owners.

In fact, Moore was voted “Best Waitress” by Jacksonville Daily Progress in its 2013 “Readers' Choice” edition.

“That just thrilled me to death – I felt like I won an Academy Award,” she said, describing how people would drive up to the window and begin sharing about their day with her. “They became like friends, and I feel a great reward from being able to work there.”

When customers learn of the eatery's closing, “they'll tell us, 'Oh, no! You didn't tell us you were leaving!'” she said. “Everybody in Jacksonville is so nice to us, they're really good people.

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