Students looking for a quick meal between Portland classes now have an alternative to Aramark.

Phil McBride, a local hot dog vendor, set up his cart on the sidewalk across from the Woodbury Campus Center this week. And while he said business hadn’t exactly been booming in the two days he’d been on campus, McBride was optimistic.

“It’s been slow. I think the longer I’m here, the more people will recognize me,” he said. He said he plans to sell food a couple days a week through October.

McBride, 27, of Portland, who graduated from UMass Amherst in 2004 with a painting degree, is new to the hot dog vending game. He said it’s his first season and he just built his cart over the spring.

“You can’t get a job painting fine art,” said McBride.

“I never though I’d sell hot dogs, but I just kinda latched onto the idea this spring.” McBride said he learned about the hot dog cart business from the website, Hot Dog Profits.

He’s also worked on Commercial Street and still works a couple days a week on Marginal Way.

“It’s been a hard season,” said McBride. “There’s a lot of competition, especially on Commercial Street. It’s hard to go there and find spots.”

McBride said he spoke with Catherine Wright, who works at the information desk in the campus center, when he had the idea to set up near campus.

Wright said she told him he’s allowed set up anywhere on the sidewalk and suggested to him the area across from campus center because of its spacious sidewalk.

“I can be on city property and I’m on city property,” said McBride, who had to get a license to become a hot dog vendor.

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