Bryon's Hot Dog Stand to close Friday

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Stacey Hickman prepares hot dogs during the lunchtime rush at Bryon's Hot Dog Stand in downtown Elizabeth City, Wednesday. Hickman and her husband, Bryon, are closing the business on Friday after nine years so that Stacey can pursue a new job.

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By William F. West
Staff Writer

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

If you love hot dogs from Bryon’s Hot Dog Stand and haven’t had one in a while, you probably ought to get by there for one either Thursday or Friday.

Friday in fact will be the last day Bryon’s will be open — at least under its current owners, Bryon and Stacey Hickman. The Hickmans are closing their popular eatery in Elizabeth City’s downtown after nine years so that Stacey can pursue a new employment opportunity.

The Hickmans announced their plans to close Tuesday evening on Facebook.

In an interview on Wednesday, Byron Hickman said the couple, who lease their building, have been approached by potential buyers who want the location in the 100 block of North Poindexter Street and have expressed interest in keeping the business as is. Bryon's Hot Dog Stand is a throwback eatery, selling hot dogs, barbecue, sandwiches, homemade desserts, orangeades and fountain soft drinks.

Bryon also said since word of Friday’s impending closing began circulating on social media, two more people have contacted him about purchasing the business.

The couple said the decision to close Bryon’s Hot Dog Stand was bittersweet because of the clientele they've built over the years.

Asked what they'll miss about the business, Stacey said the people and being downtown.

"We love, love, love the downtown," Bryon said.

Bryon's Hot Dog Stand recently closed for a week after Stacey came down with pneumonia and bronchitis. Both she and Bryon said health reasons had nothing to do with their decision to close.

Bryon said the decision followed Stacey learning about a week ago that she had secured a new job. The couple declined to be more specific about Stacey’s new position, but Bryon described it as a job offer she couldn't refuse.

The couple had been talking about making some changes in their lives, particularly with their children growing up. Stacey noted the Hickmans’ children were 4 and 6 when Bryon's Hot Dog Stand first opened in the former Miss B's Kitchen. Both are now teenagers.

"We just didn't know we were going to do it," Stacey said of making a change. "And then God just opened the door for this job — and we just felt at peace about it."

Asked about his own future after Friday, Bryon said that’s still to be decided.

"I'm going to get the business closed out and get all that taken care of," he said.

Bryon's Hot Dog Stand will close about 3 p.m. on Friday.

Stacey noted she and her husband want to continue to support the downtown. Bryon serves on the board of Elizabeth City Downtown, Inc.

Stacey emphasized the couple don't want people to think they're leaving the downtown because of a lack of business.

"The business is better than it has ever been," Bryon said.

Elizabeth City Downtown Inc. Director Deborah Malenfant said in an email Wednesday her agency is sad to hear the Hickmans are closing their business.

"They’re not only business owners in downtown, they are also friends and avid downtown supporters," Malenfant said. "On the flip side, we couldn’t be happier for this family’s new opportunity. Stacey’s new job is an absolutely perfect fit for her.”