City Council extends What Up Dawg? hours to sell hot dogs, beer
During its Tuesday night meeting, the East Lansing City Council unanimously approved an application from local hot dog restaurant What Up Dawg? to extend its hours of operation and its beer sales, a move that could impact the rest of downtown’s post-bar dining scene.
At the council’s regular meeting at City Hall, 410 Abbot Road., members approved an application from the owners of What Up Dawg?, 317 M.A.C Ave., to extend its beer sales until 2 a.m. and its dining room operations until 3 a.m.
Currently, the restaurant must stop serving beer at midnight and close its kitchen at 1 a.m. Restrictions on the hours of operation and beer sales initially were put in place because of concerns from officials with St. John Church and Student Center, 327 M.A.C. Ave., regarding the potential for late-night crime, What Up Dawg? owner Seth Tompkins said.
Church officials said they now supported the application.
“We’ve been open now for a year. We’ve been running as cleanly as we possibly can,” Tompkins said. “We’ve tried to be good neighbors with everybody.”
Tompkins said in submitting the application, he was conscious of issues with alcohol sales in the city, particularly underage drinking.
“This request is not made lightly,” he said.
Mayor Diane Goddeeris said relatively new restaurants such as What Up Dawg? should be supported and encouraged in the city, and this application is a step in the right direction.
“This (business) has hung in there for this year and established really good business practices,” she said.
The council also approved an application from Caddis Development Group LLC regarding a site plan and special use permit approval for property located at 1525 W. Lake Lansing Road, the former Blue Cross Blue Shield site targeted for the construction of two medical office buildings and a drive-through bank facility.
East Lansing resident Milton Price — who said he lives on Coolidge Road near the proposed site — expressed outrage with plans for construction, noting any further work in the area could lead to more damage to his sewer system, which he said is inadequate.
“We have a major problem over there with sewage,” he said. “If we’ve got that problem, how can you keep building on there?”
Councilmember Don Power — who supported the application — said the process of soliciting community input on the project led to some delays, but the site’s projected use is a positive aspect of the project.
“It’s been a long struggle,” he said. “I think we now have a situation that meets most of the neighbors’ needs.”
The council also heard from Lauren Douglass, head of technology services at the East Lansing Public Library, who gave a presentation detailing the rise in the usage of e-book technology at the library.
She also spoke of the need for libraries to recognize the increasing demand for e-books and how East Lansing’s library might adapt in the future.
“Libraries also connect people to what they’re passionate about,” she said. “Libraries really are community.”