Sad news from the Valley hot dog scene: Maui Dog, the colorful eatery of island-inspired dogs, burgers, and sliders which opened last July on Indian School Road and 36th Street in Central Phoenix, is closing its doors for good at the end of this year.
Owner John Stamatakis, who spoke to me in August about a possible relocation, says the deal has fallen through and due to a 60 percent increase in rent at his current location, he can no longer be profitable.
"I'm devastated," Stamatakis tells me. "This was my baby, my dream. And all the accolades I've received don't seem to matter. I've lost everything. I'm broke."
Stamatakis says that sales were up from last year, but not enough to make up for the increase in rent. He adds that he might continue to try and find a new location, perhaps in Tempe, or look into a food truck, but for now, has no immediate plans.
Those wanting their last Maui Dog can stop by through Wednesday, December 28, the restaurant's last day of business.