'Hot Dog Guy' Back Open for Business Downtown - WLNS TV 6 Lansing - Jackson | Your Local News Leader

'Hot Dog Guy' Back Open for Business Downtown

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LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – After having his catering equipment trampled by angry protesters during the Right-to-Work rally outside the Capitol in December, Lansing's favorite "hot dog guy" unveiled on Tuesday a brand new, shiny red trailer to sell his popular lunchtime meals.

Clinton Tarver, owner of Clint's Hotdog Cart, says since his business was almost destroyed in December, he's received about $35,000 in donations from people all over the world. The story garnered attention from national media outlets, and Tarver says all the attention and money helped him get back on his feet and buy the $10,000 cart complete with a hard top and barbecue grill.

"I'm really, really excited about it because there were so many nice people that donated so much money," says Tarver.

During the December protests, Tarver says the protesters overturned his food and tore down his tents, and screamed racial epithets as they continued to destroy the property around them. "After the tent came down, they stomped over it, [and called me] the ‘N' word, telling me I was on the wrong side," he said."

While the hateful words and actions were discouraging, they didn't stop Tarver from moving forward. He says he worked with a company in Jackson to help build his new hot dog stand, and with the support of family, friends and strangers, he was able to elevate his business to the level.

A terrible thing turned into a good thing. [It] was meant to hurt me, but it reversed," said Tarver.

Emerald Morrow is a reporter with WLNS-TV. Like her on Facebook, Follow her on Twitter or email her at emorrow@wlns.com.

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