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      House of Doggs closing after nearly a decade downtown

      A downtown Traverse City staple is closing its doors after nearly a decade in business.

      House of Doggs will move out of their Union Street spot, and focus solely on their location in the Grand Traverse Mall.

      Owner Nick McAllister said downtown has been changing a lot over the past few years, and House of Doggs may no longer fit there.

      â??It's our hot dog place downtown,â?? said Downtown Development Authority Marketing Director Colleen Paveglio. â??So I really was shocked, as Iâ??m sure a lot of people were to hear the news.â??

      Owners said lack of parking makes it tough to get in and out quickly, cutting down on their customers.

      â??We tried to do our best to survive there,â?? said McAllister. â??We did have a decent late night crowd but it's not enough to round out the year. The ten month off season is an awful long time.â??

      They opened a location in the Grand Traverse Mall in February after winning â??Food Court Warsâ??, and said they're staying there for now.

      â??We were trying for three years to move to a different location where we could have parking, where people could get in and out when they wanted to and this was an opportunity that we couldn't pass up,â?? said McAllister. â??So it might be just a transitional time.â??

      And with downtown being a foodie hot spot, their location will be grabbed quickly.

      â??Restaurant space doesn't tend to stay on the market for very long in downtown Traverse City,â?? said Paveglio. â??It's a great space. It's small so it serves as a great starter location for somebody.â??

      But the decision to leave wasn't easy.

      â??I put my heart and soul into that place,â?? said McAllister. â??We loved our location, we love the vibe there, the way it was set up, and that's what we would like to continue, but we'll see what happens.â??

      McAllister said business so far at the mall has been good, but they'll see how the rest of the year goes to decide if they stay there or possibly go somewhere else.

      The House of Doggs downtown location will officially close sometime in September.