September 2, 2009

Hearse draws hungry to hot dogs

The owner of a Florida hot dog stand said the 1982 black Cadillac hearse he parks by the stand during its open hours is an effective attention-getting device.

Jim Belcher, 50, who grew up in a Boston-area funeral home, said curious customers come to see the hearse parked next to his Hallacious Hot Dogs stand in Lakeland but they stay for the wieners, The (Lakeland) Ledger reported Wednesday.

People see this, and they want to know what's going on over here. It's unreal how it works, but it works, he said. I'm pretty popular. It's not because of the hearse, it's the food.

Belcher said he initially purchased the Cadillac from his family's funeral home three years ago with the intent to use it for a cadaver transport business, but the plan fell through and he used the vehicle as storage when he opened his hot dog stand in 2008.

It's a head-turner, Belcher said. I use it for storage. It's the best kind of car you can have. But that's as far as I go. I don't cut meat in there.