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mcclard's 'boro dogs
story and photography by Cody Moore

McClard’s ‘Boro Dogs, a New York City-style hot dog food stand, made its appearance in Downtown Jonesboro a little more than a year ago and has quickly become a reflection of the area’s growing food scene.

When diners walk up to the eccentric red ‘Boro Dogs stand, they are greeted by cheerful Jonesboro native Daniel McClard. McClard cooked up the idea for this business about two years ago after serving in the food business since 2007. He clearly recalls his dad leading him into the industry by getting him his first interview at Pizza Inn, where he fell in love with serving food to the community. Years later, he moved his love of serving food to Downtown Jonesboro restaurants, where he felt at home. After five years of working downtown, McClard felt it was time for him to add his own flavor to the culture of Jonesboro.

“I’ve always wanted to own a restaurant, and a mobile vendor cart is the easiest step in that direction,” said McClard. “I had experienced mentors in Kori and Daniyal from Partovi’s Gyros. They helped me get the ball rolling, and they’ve continued to help me as time has gone on.”

The ‘Boro Dogs cart is small, but it packs a big punch. McClard makes his toppings fresh at home, including his signature chili that has customers savoring each and every bite. More eccentric creations, such as his Asian Satay Dog and the French Dip, are some of the customers’ favorites. Despite the many combinations, when it comes down to the best seller, nothing compares to McClard’s warm, cheesy ’Boro Dog topped with homemade chili.

Many of McClard’s customers who work downtown say they enjoy the convenience of ‘Boro Dog, as well as the product.

“The hot dogs are awesome,” said Kasey Travis, deputy clerk in the Craighead County Circuit Clerk’s office. “You can get the hot dog, chips and a drink for $5, which is so affordable. Plus, the service is fantastic. (He’s) such a sweet guy.”

Mobile food vendors are quickly becoming an accessory to Jonesboro’s vibrant Main Street community. Hailey Knight, executive director of the Downtown Jonesboro Association, is excited about businesses like ‘Boro Dogs adding to the downtown experience.

“Businesses like ‘Boro Dogs not only add convenience and provide a niche that’s good for downtown, but they are able to offer that one-on-one consumer experience that everyone appreciates,” said Knight. “They see you walking down the street, they already know what you want and can name you by your first name. That’s something you don’t always get in bigger dining establishments.”

When it comes to what Knight enjoys most when visiting the cart, her preference is the Hot Mess Dog, topped with nacho cheese and crisp bacon bits.

As for where McClard wants to go with ‘Boro Dogs in the future, his plan is to become bigger and better.

“I’d love to upgrade to a full-size food trailer within the next couple years and leave it set up at a semi-permanent location in town,” he said. “Then, I’d use my cart to cater, set up at factories and go to events.”

The ‘Boro Dogs owner says he doesn’t plan to leave the Downtown Jonesboro area any time soon, because it’s where his business has flourished.

“I’ve been working downtown long enough to feel at home, and it’s great to feel like I’m giving back,” said McClard.

He continues to offer extended hours to provide more options for people who want something during late-night hours.

“By the time you get off work, there are next to no food options around,” said McClard. “I’m open late enough for industry workers and bar-goers alike to get a late bite, especially on the weekends.”

McClard’s ‘Boro Dogs food cart can be found across from the Craighead County Court House on weekdays from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. During evening hours, ‘Boro Dogs is located in the mobile food court lot on Main Street across from Skinny J’s and Eleanor’s Pizzeria from 6-10 p.m. weekdays, and is open until 2 a.m. on weekends. To stay up-to-date on weekly specials and McClard’s newest creations, follow ‘Boro Dogs on Facebook.