Lehigh ‘Hot Dog Guy’ being forced to move his stand from county property

LEHIGH ACRES, Fla. – A Lehigh Acres man that runs a roadside hot dog stand is now being forced to relocate his setup from the parking lot of a property owned by Lee County.

For the last two months, the parking spot Kelvis Maiguel, better known as the ‘Lehigh Hot Dog Guy’, usually occupies has been empty. Maiguel was recovering from being shot several times on May 31.

On July 19, one day before his birthday, he returned to the spot he earned the nickname. Two days later, a county employee stopped at his stand to tell him he couldn’t set up shop here anymore.

“At least give me some more time before saying ‘Yo, pick up all your stuff and go,’” Maiguel said.

He’s been at the corner serving up his signature smile and flavorful franks for the last year and a half.

The journey of Ceberiano’s Hot Dogs didn’t start here, however.

“We had a few attempts before we even came to this area,” he said.

To Maiguel and his mother Ana Dannic, their corner spot was the crown jewel of their operation. They never had a problem until Maiguel was shot on May 31.

The Lee County Sheriff’s Office said 25-year-old James Gonzalez allegedly walked up and shot Maiguel.

“Why the county came up out of nowhere right now telling us we gotta leave, that’s baffling me,” Maiguel said. “I’m thinking it’s cause I got shot.”

The Lee County employee informed them that their stand would no longer be allowed to be in the parking lot of the still vacant complex.

“He told us that we couldn’t be on the property because it could be a liability,” Dannic said.

When they started, they said the plaza was privately owned. Since then, Lee County bought the building to create their East Lee County Government Complex.

A spokesperson said private businesses aren’t allowed to do business on county property.

“The county recently acquired this property for its east Lee County government complex for several different governmental agencies,” said a Lee County Spokesperson. “Private-sector vendors such as the Ceberiano’s Hot Dogs & More are not allowed to operate on county property. With the pending renovation and construction of the facility and property, it was noted Ceberiano’s was operating in the parking lot. Also, issues exist if a business such as this operates in the roadway right of way. Due to safety concerns, it is not permitted.”

“We have no problem getting permits. We have no problem signing a lease,” Dannis said. “We don’t need anything but a parking spot.”

They can get a permit to be there, but the county isn’t looking for any vendors, saying the building is now under construction.

“Any vendor on county property needs to go through the county’s procurement process but the county is not seeking a vendor at the east Lee County government complex at this time. Renovation and construction of the facility and property is slated, essentially making this site an active construction site, which involves safety measures.”

“I’m just at a loss at this point,” said Dannic.

So far this week, Kelvis is still setting up here, minus being washed out by rain Tuesday afternoon. However, this is his last week here.

“When one door closes, the other one opens and that’s God’s way of moving to something better,” Maiguel said.

Where exactly is that better opportunity? Well, they don’t know just yet. Once they find out and fire up the grill, you can just follow the smell or their Facebook page to find out.

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