Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery but a Heights hot dog shop has had enough.
Earlier today, employees from Houston's hot dog institution James Coney Island (JCI) visited Good Dog Houston on Studemont, but the Heights restaurant wasn't enthused:
So, @coneyman crew is here...again...inspecting our menu & taking pics of our food. Hope you got everything you need guys!— Good Dog Houston (@GoodDogHouston) October 29, 2014
When asked about the allegations, Darrin Straughan, president of James Coney Island, Inc. had this to say:
Well, I guess no one at JCI will be recruited by the FBI or CIA. Actually, I was not there, but I'm told it was our HR director and our purchasing manager. Nothing clandestine. They are like all of us here who love hot dogs and seek them out everywhere. We like Good Dog and think they do a great job.
It's not an uncommon practice for businesses to check out the competition or be inspired to recreate a similar product. After the Houston Chefs and Show Dogs series and hiring of former Haven chef Randy Evans as a consultant, JCI appears to have an edge over Good Dog Houston. Still, could a mini local empire opened since 1923 have a mom-and-pop shop in its crosshair?