"We just made our first dollar, and then we lost it in a game of rock-paper-scissors," says Biker Jim, Denver's sultan of fat sausages.
The game went down at 9:30 this morning, when Biker Jim sold a Coke for a buck to his first customer on the grounds of the Auraria campus, a gig that he got after
bribing convincing campus bureaucracy that collegians want wieners. "We spent about a year campaigning to be on campus, and it makes sense for us to be here, because our food is perfectly suited for college life -- it's cheap, fast and good," explains Jim, who submitted a vendor proposal earlier this year to the powers-that-be overseeing the higher learning center.
"It's been years since the campus has allowed alternative vendors, and we, along a dozen or so other vendors, put together proposals, and they chose us," says Jim, adding that it's a pilot program of sorts. "If we do well, then I imagine the campus will bring on other alternative vendors, too."
In he meantime, Jim, who's building a brick-and mortar joint at 2145 Larimer Street and still does major cart business on the corner of 16th and Arapahoe and in the parking lot of Argonaut Wine & Liquor (as of today, his cart at 17th and California is no more), will shovel dogs from his stainless steel campus cart Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. outside in the Tivoli Commons area. "I've done the math, and it looks like we'll get around 8,000 students each day coming by the cart, which translates into a lot of mouths to feed," says Jim, who's also introduced Tofurkey dogs to his line-up. "I've got a vegan for a wife, for god's sake, so, yeah, the time has come to add a veggie dog to the menu, even if it means I have to make all new signs."
The campus cart will stick around through the fall and spring semesters, although Jim says that if business is brisk, he'll sling dogs during the summer and winter months, too. "If people are clamoring for dogs, and the weather doesn't keep us away, then we'll be here making sure people don't starve."