KALAMAZOO, Mich. — The scent of hot dogs wafted through the air across Westnedge Avenue as the Root Beer Stand opened for its 93rd season Monday.
A family-owned business and Kalamazoo staple, the restaurant has been serving the community since it opened its doors in 1931, and it’s all hands on deck, according to Root Beer stand officials and Grace Regal, a two-year employee.
Regal began working for the Root Beer Stand in 2023 during its 92nd season, and wears many hats alongside her fellow workers.
“What don’t I do here at the Root Beer Stand? It’s kind of a team effort with everybody,” Regal said. “I work outside, car-hopping, so taking orders and bringing orders out. I work inside, filling bun-steamers, making sure the hot dogs and the chili inserts and everything is good. Dishes, you kind of just help out, you know, wherever they need you, and everybody works together here.”
Despite only two years under her belt, Regal has come to love the family-owned business. She even had a customer name a hot dog after her.
“A customer actually named it the ‘grace dog,’ it went around Facebook for a little bit,” Regal said. “It was mustard, onion and one of our pickle spears, which we just starting selling last year, you put it right on top of the hot dog, it’s perfect.”
The Root Beer Stand opened for the season at 11 a.m. Monday.