City of Farmington tests mobile vendor program

Joshua Kellogg
Fabulous Frank's of The Four Corners is in its first week of business, according to owner Mark Littman. A new customer visits the business on Thursday at its location next to the Farmington Museum at Gateway Park.

FARMINGTON — A food vendor specializing in hot dogs will be the test case for a new city of Farmington program allowing businesses to operate in designated city parks

Cory Styron, director of the city's Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs department, said a 30-day permit was issued to Mark Littman to operate his business - Fabulous Franks of The Four Corners – in the east parking lot of the Farmington Museum at Gateway Park.

Styron said Littman filed the first application for a business permit to operate in a designated city park. He added that Littman’s excitement about the project led the city to issue him a temporary permit. The new commercial-park use guidelines go into effect on March 1, which allow the city to issue annual permits that expire in December.

“He was way more enthusiastic than the other vendors,” Stryon said. “He’s pretty jazzed about it.”

Mark Littman, owner of Fabulous Frank's of The Four Corners located next to the Farmington Museum at Gateway Park, on Thursday said he started his business after recently losing his job as head of information technology for an oil and gas company. "I figured maybe it was time to do something I enjoy," Littman said.

The city has received several inquiries about the application process but has not received any other applications, Styron said.

Littman said it was his lifelong love of hot dogs that led him to open Famous Franks of The Four Corners, which had its first day of operation on Saturday.

The business will focus on offering a variety of hot dogs on its menu including a Mexican dog, a hot dog covered in shredded cheese and salsa served in a tortilla. Littman said he plans on expanding his hours to include breakfast, including a hot dog on a stick encrusted in a waffle similar to a corn dog.

Littman has been talking with Styron and others in the parks and recreation department for the last three months as they finalized the guidelines. The information provided by the department helped Littman design his custom-built trailer to ensure it met the requirements in the application.

“They have been so nice and helpful for everything,” Littman said. “It’s been an enjoyable experience.”

Ronnerick Topahe, left, and Gera Lopez wait in line at Fabulous Frank's of The Four Corners on Thursday next to the Farmington Museum at Gateway Park.

The area Littman is operating out of is one of 10 premium park locations that the city of Farmington will award based on a competitive bid process. Littman will have to reapply for an annual permit when they become available.

Two locations at the Farmington museum, and locations at Lake Farmington, Animas Park, Brookside Park, Berg Park and Kiwanis Park will be up for bid.

Mark Littman, owner of Fabulous Frank's of The Four Corners, prepares Mexican Dogs on Thursday at his location next to the Farmington Museum at Gateway Park.

Styron said the city is looking to issue the request for proposals for the premium park locations next week.

Staff at the Farmington Museum said they were excited about the possibility of mobile food vendors operating in their parking lot.

Jeffery Richardson, the curator of exhibits for the Farmington Museum, said he really enjoyed the hot dogs Littman was serving.

“I think it’s really great for the museum,” Richardson said. “It’s a symbiotic relationship. It’ll drive more people to (his) location and the museum.”

Joshua Kellogg covers education for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4627.