Prairie Dogs closing LynLake location

The owners of Prairie Dogs said their location near LynLake just didn't work out. Photo by Sheila Regan

The fancy hot dog and sausage joint Prairie Dogs is taking leave of its Lake Street location, saying the younger clientele of the LynLake area just weren’t the right fit for what they had to offer.

Co-owner and chef Craig Johnson said their customers, comprised of families and older folks, live farther outside of the neighborhood.

“Our demographic was not the Millennials that live around here,” he said.

Prairie Dogs softly opened the location at the beginning of 2015 in the bustling LynLake district, but Johnson says their spot on Lake Street didn’t see the foot traffic of other businesses on Lyndale.

“If there were a few more establishments east on Lake Street, it would create more of that foot traffic,” Johnson said.

Johnson doesn’t blame parking, as there was a paid lot available for customers right behind Lyndale Tap House (free if you spend more than $20), “but people don’t really know about that,” Johnson said.

There is also street parking on Garfield, but it was a bit of a walk.

“Some people are just lazy. They don’t want to walk,” Johnson said.

Johnson said they plan to reopen the business somewhere else, but they haven’t settled on where yet. In the future, they are toying with the idea of getting a full liquor license, as previously they just served wine and beer.

The owners won’t make any moves until after the holidays, possibly looking into finding a new spot after the new year. This time, Johnson said, they want to take their time and do it right.

“We took this spot in desperation,” he said. “When we were looking at opening up, the other spots were a little too expensive or not really in the right location. We were about to give up, and this spot opened up.”

They jumped on it, but next time, Johnson said, “we’ll be more careful with our selection.”