After four years of business in the Village, the hot dog man, Mark Carter, has closed his restaurant.
"My lease was up," Carter said. "I'm going back to my roots for a little bit."
Carter's roots do not include tables, chairs or even four walls and a roof. But hot dogs are still essential. He no longer runs Carter's Nearly World Famous Hot Dogs from his Martin Avenue location. Instead, Carter pushes a cart.
"I'm just going back to being mobile again - like the olden days," Carter said.
Carter will continue to be in the Village Wednesday through Saturday nights, serving hot dogs to students with his cart starting at 10 p.m. He said he'll stay out until he has no more customers.
While Carter's hot dog beginnings were with a cart, he said he doubts too many students will recall a time when there was no restaurant.
"A lot of younger kids, they don't remember the way it used to be," Carter said. "They've all graduated by now, or should have graduated."
Megan Neef, a Ball State senior, said she didn't know about the restaurant's closing but was surprised when she found out.
"I went there all the time because it was cheap," Neef said. "The food was really good, and it was open later than most places."
Carter did keep his restaurant open late, until about 4 a.m., he said.
"I never put my hours on the door," Carter said. "That way, I never closed early or opened late. We just stayed open until the last person would leave."
This casual approach to business made Carter's Nearly World Famous Hot Dogs a student favorite in the Village.
"It was really good when you were all drunk to get something to eat," Neef said.
Carter said he enjoyed interacting with the students, and that's why he will still be a part of the Village scene. Only now, Carter won't stay in one location - he'll be mobile.
He said he won't rule out opening a new restaurant simply because he has "two garages full of equipment."
"I got some ideas, I just don't know exactly what my game plan is," Carter said.
Until then, students will have to find Carter with his cart to fill their hot dog fix.