Doggone! Rent hikes force Fulton Hot Dog King to relocate

Fulton Hot Dog King, a beloved Brooklyn staple right on the Fulton Mall, officially lost its lease last Thursday and has temporarily shut down as it plans to relocate. Danyal Shahzad, the owner’s son, says the news came abruptly and has to do with rising rents.

“We tried negotiating the lease but [the landlord] asked for more rent and we just couldn’t do it,” Shahzad tells Brooklyn Magazine. “If this place is available we’ll always come back with no hesitation.”

Shahzad at his now-shuttered shop (Photo by Lilac Burrell)

Fulton Hot Dog King, which has been slinging franks since 1914, has been in the family since the 1980s; Shahzad says they took over the lease from the original tenants at 472 Fulton Street in 1987. The storefront itself was built in 1940 and has served primarily as a retail property.

“The store has been the style and old school way compared to all this new generation to contracts and stuff,” Shahzad says. “There was always negotiation of terms, meet each other halfway, and think in the long run of what we can do to keep this going. When obviously, you know, with Covid, there was an obvious jump because of inflation, everything became expensive.”

Shahzad says the family is eyeing a new location, less than a block away 25 Elm Street. But its forced relocation is just another sign of the times: Across the street from the Fulton Hot Dog King, rolling metal doors are permanently shuttered at local retail spots. Nearby, a newly built apartment complex soars overhead with a gym and deli attached and a courtyard in the middle. New apartment buildings cut through the air and stand in contrast to the small red-and-white hot dog stand.

At Latifa Natural Hair Salon, across the street from Hot Dog King’s new Elm Place location, owner Asseto Kon mentions that rent prices in the area have gone up around 20 to 30 percent since 2020.

“You try to stay and try to be strong,” Kon says. “You’re gonna have to change, to not give up everything and go back and restart from zero. That is the thing behind maintaining, because we have to do it.”

On this crisp weekend day, Brooklyn native Hunt Batiz has stopped by Fulton Hot Dog King to snap a few pictures. He remembers stopping here in the ‘80s and ‘90s, back when people got gold grills from the Fulton Mall and could buy two Tims for a buck. He wonders why a place that was almost 100 years old wasn’t registered as a historic site.

“This is where anybody downtown could come and get a quick bite,” he says. “The rest of it has been gentrified completely. Most of our oldest establishments have been taken out.”

Follow Fulton Hot Dog King on Instagram or Twitter/X for updates.

The post Doggone! Rent hikes force Fulton Hot Dog King to relocate appeared first on Brooklyn Magazine.

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