FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — A local hot dog stand has fed late-night Dickson Street patrons for nearly 15 years now, but before the owner opened his first stand, he served six years in the United States Army.
Cody Yancey, the owner of Yancey’s Dickson St. Dogs, enlisted after the Sept. 11 attacks and served from 2002-08, including a 13-month stint in Kuwait.
“After 9/11 happened, all of us young adults knew what was going to be required of us going forward,” Yancey said. “So, people were going to do it.”
Yancey’s courage was passed down to him from his late father, who was a Purple Heart recipient as a member of the Army’s 101st Airborne Division in the Vietnam War.
The Rogers native started in the Army Arkansas National Guard before getting deployed to Kuwait, where he and his unit were a part of an area reactionary force. In addition to patrolling the area to show the local community there was a U.S. military presence, Yancey’s duties also included reacting to everyday problems that occurred.
“If a helicopter was to go down with mechanical issues and they needed a perimeter set up so maintenance can come and evaluate it, we would provide that,” Yancey said. “We would go out with gun trucks and provide either a secure escort or a secure perimeter for whatever needed to happen.”
Yancey, who attended University of Arkansas, returned home with two years left in school. He was inspired by a late-night hot dog stand he had seen while visiting his brother, Adam, at college and opened his first stand on New Year’s Eve at the end of 2008.
His initial location was a cart in front of the Walton Arts Center — which Yancey’s Dickson St. Dogs is still in front of — but has since opened a new shop in between Yeehawg and J.J.’s Grill. The two locations are both open Thursday through Saturday from 9 p.m. to 3 a.m., which is convenient for the large contingency of University of Arkansas students that occupy Dickson Street at that time.
“They even have a part of it to where you can be in Yeehawg and get a hot dog, which is great whenever I’m drinking and I might start feeling a little bit too much,” Jeffrey Simmons, a fourth-year student, said. “So, you need to go sober up a little bit. It’s fun.”
Yancey emphasizes that he wants to help people in any way they need it, whether that is satisfying their hunger with a hot dog or even if they need to charge their phone to call an Uber home.
Yancey says his expansion to this point have been things that have “made sense.” He is unsure what the future currently holds but has some ideas.
“I think there’s some opportunity for Yancey’s in baseball games, basketball games, football games, so that’s possibly an opportunity down the road.”