A new hot dog stand is finding its footing in Oak Harbor.
Boston-bred Doug and Julianne Blynn are the owners of the newly established Flightline Franks.
They are currently serving hot dogs from their cart in the Shannon Forest neighborhood, but they hope to soon get a permit from the city to move the stand to Windjammer Park.
The plan is to sell the crowd-pleasers at night and on weekends.
Doug expects to retire from the Navy in about four years and then move back to Massachusetts where he hopes to one day open a wine and bistro.
He and his wife opened the hot dog stand as a sort of practice run, something to get their feet wet in the food service industry.
But coming from Boston, they also want to bring the experience of getting a hot dog at Fenway Park to Oak Harbor. They both agreed there’s something special about a Fenway frank.
“You go to the baseball games and you can smell it from like a mile away” Julianne said.
“The caramelized onions is what really gets you.”
As a result one of the menu items, named the warpig after P-3 airplanes, seeks to emulate a Fenway frank and is topped with peppers and onions. Another item is inspired by their time stationed on Hawaii, the kaneohe dog is topped with pulled pork.
Julianne, a vegetarian, also made sure the stand has veggie options available.
The name of the stand and the airplane motif comes from Doug’s passion for planes and his position in the Navy. He’s currently an acoustic operator for P-8 airplanes.
Doug drops buoys in the water that detect submarines.
With a background in human resources, Julianne manages the business side of the cart while Doug cooks. He enjoys experimenting and throwing different ingredients together to see what comes out. Julianne reviews the food.
“I’ve got my own critic here so it usually comes out pretty good,” Doug said.
There are a few challenges to starting a business in a time when many in the service industry are struggling because of COVID-19.
Doug said the pandemic has made it difficult to process paperwork because many offices are closed or on modified schedules. But they’re powering through and making sure they have enough protective equipment like masks and gloves.
They would like to start renting the cart out for private events and parties at the end of the month.
The couple would also like to peddle their hot dogs on Naval Air Station Whidbey, although Doug said that will require more paperwork. One of their first events they will cater, however, is a fundraiser for the Navy Ball.