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Hot dog stand owner worries about future in Cherry Creek

Henry Rubinchik has been serving hot dogs at 3rd and Milwaukee for 29 years. He wonders how a new construction project will change business.

DENVER — Like most neighborhoods in Denver, Cherry Creek seems to change by the day.

Construction cranes tower above new, multistory buildings beginning to take shape.

Google Maps can barely keep up with all the progress, but there's no need to update the corner of East 3rd Avenue and Milwaukee Street. 

A fixture there hasn't moved in nearly three decades. Zoom in on Google Maps Street View, and you'll see him.

“I’ve literally been standing here like a statue for the last 29 years," laughed Henry Rubinchik beside his old hot dog stand.

Rubinchik runs Henry's Hot Dogs out of the same cart he bought off his cousin years ago. Originally from Russia, Rubinchik made a street corner in Cherry Creek a long-term home for his business. 

“I like this place," Rubinchik said. "I like Cherry Creek. I like people.”

Sales have been steady and so has change over the years.

“Used to be mom and pop shops, and now it’s more like big chain stores," Rubinchik said. “A lot of high-rise buildings. It used to be very small, Cherry Creek.”

Change could also be coming to Rubinchik's corner. 

A spokesperson for Denver's Department of Transportation and Infrastructure (DOTI) says there's a concept plan for an eight-story building at 299 Milwaukee Street. 

Construction isn't expected to start until mid-2023, but Rubinchik is already planning and worrying about his future.

“Of course, I’m worried what I’m going to do next," Rubinchik said. "Where I’m going to be next.”

Anticipating the construction, Rubinchik applied for a permit to move his hot dog stand across the street. It was denied. 

"Our team that reviewed Henry’s request to set up on the [northwest] corner of 3rd and Milwaukee did not feel as though there was enough space there for the cart, and customers to queue, and maintain clear walking space all around," said Nancy Kuhn, a spokesperson for DOTI.

While Rubinchik's request was denied, the city is willing to help him find a temporary spot, Kuhn said. She added that the contractor building at 299 Milwaukee was willing to clear a safe space for Henry's Hot Dogs to stay in business during construction.

Rubinchik doesn't know what his corner will look like next summer, but if he does have to move, he hopes it isn't far.

Credit: 9NEWS

“I still want to be part of Cherry Creek no matter how it’s changed, how much it’s changed and no matter where I stay," Rubinchik said.

Like mustard on a hot dog, Henry Rubinchik and Cherry Creek go together.

"I’m in love with Cherry Creek, so I don’t want to move anywhere else," Rubinchik said.

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