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Off Main Street: A surrender in the hot dog war

Dog fight

Looks like the downtown dog wars are at an end: Dog é Style, the hot-dog-centric restaurant at 128 Genesee St., is closing.

The restaurant made headlines earlier this year for a rift between owner Rocco Termini and the Frank Gourmet Hot Dogs truck, which was serving lunch at the Catholic Health headquarters – practically across the street from the restaurant.

The warfare reached its pinnacle when Termini walked across the street with a tray loaded with hot dogs to pass out to those waiting in line at the food truck.

“I don’t think it’s fair for this truck to be competing against us,” Termini told people in the Frank’s line at the time. “So I’m giving everybody a free hot dog.” He gave out about 50, he said.

After completing his mission, Termini returned to his restaurant. About an hour later he was visited by officers of the Buffalo Police Department, who were looking into a trespassing complaint, Termini said.

“I put my hands out and asked if they were going to cuff me for giving out hot dogs,” Termini said.

“That’s when I started calling it Doggy-Gate.”

Now, it seems Termini had the losing dog in this fight. An announcement of the closing was made on the restaurant’s Facebook page Sunday morning:

“We have decided to close Dog é Style to focus on other endeavors. A new concept will be taking over the location in the new year.”

No word yet on what the new concept will be, but area food trucks can consider this fair warning.

Smoke out

The Buffalo Bills organization has made much of its bolstered security measures in and around Ralph Wilson Stadium on game days.

So when three members of the APEX team – the guys in the bright yellow jackets – ordered a fan to hand over his cigarettes, they were merely enforcing the zero tolerance, no smoking policy that began in 2011.

The fan, a spectacled gray-haired man who had just finished a Canadian-brand cigarette, was startled by the sudden appearance of the security team.

“Aw, can’t you give an old guy a break?” the man asked.

“If you don’t comply, you’ll be watching the rest of the game from outside the stadium,” one enforcer responded firmly.

The man reached into his pocket and offered up the smokes from an open palm.

With one swipe, the enforcer grabbed the nearly full pack along with a tiny disposable cobalt blue lighter.

Absconders will be dealt with

It seems that everyone these days has a Twitter account – including the Erie County Probation Department.

The account helps spread the word about everything from searches for criminal offenders to the department’s annual chili cook off.

It also serves as a warning system for potential probation violators.

Earlier this month the department tweeted a photo of an officer poised with a shotgun and looking off into the distance. You know, for violators escaping just over the horizon.

“Our warrant squad will be in the field this week, looking for absconders,” the tweet reports.

Apparently, if you violate your probation, this dude will show up at your house to regulate.

“It is an interesting photo, to say the least,” said Dan Meyer, deputy press secretary for the county. “Our officers are armed, but we don’t know of any incident lately that involved an officer having to use a massive weapon.”

Still, potential violators might want to think twice before messing with the department.

Off Main Street is written by Tiffany Lankes with contributions from Sara Meehan, Andrew Z. Galarneau and Jane Kwiatkowski Radlich. email: