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Will the real Yo-Yo’s Hot Dog please stand up?: H&D brings True Dog Houston to campus after all


Katherine Hui / Thresher

By Ben Baker-Katz , Morgan Gage and Prayag Gordy     2/2/23 9:24pm

Editor’s note: The Rice Thresher previously reported that YoYo’s Hot Dog was scheduled to operate out of the Mudd parking loop. This article corrects the Thresher’s previous reporting.

Housing & Dining announced on Jan. 31 that they had reached an agreement with “YOYO” to operate on campus. But the next day, H&D sent the Rice community a follow-up email with a flyer for the vendor they had actually secured: True Dog Houston, operated by Damion Loera, a former partner of YoYo’s Hot Dog who has since opened his own business selling similar hot dogs.

True Dog Houston will be open in the Mudd parking loop Feb. 3 and 4 and Feb. 9 - 11 from 8 p.m. to 2 a.m. as scheduled. H&D invited Yo-Yo’s Hot Dog to sell at Mudd starting in March when the owners return from a break. According to David McDonald, the senior director of H&D, YoYo’s is considering the offer. 

The Thresher could not reach Kevin Dang of YoYo’s Hot Dog for comment.

The clarification comes a day after students and the Thresher noticed inconsistencies in H&D’s announcements. McDonald said Rice was under the impression that True Dog Houston and YoYo’s Hot Dog were still partners. Their partnership ended before the COVID-19 pandemic, Loera told the Thresher.

Loera stated that he told McDonald and Kevin Yuen, H&D’s business director, that True Dog Houston was no longer partnered with YoYo’s. Yuen said Loera indicated that the partnership was alive and well. The Thresher could not independently verify either account.

Despite the confusion in securing a vendor, McDonald said that he is committed to having off-campus vendors, including True Dog Houston, serve students on campus. 

“I do really believe that the students would appreciate [True Dog Houston] on a late night,” McDonald said. “The driving force is simply to provide something for students on those days that we advertised and make sure [True Dog is] here tomorrow.”

According to Clemente Rodriguez, Rice University Police Department chief of police, parking in the lots near Mudd will operate normally as paid visitor lots, and campus entrances in the area will be closed at midnight as per usual. RUPD has coordinated with Rice Parking to post signs on campus roadways to direct traffic to visitor parking and communicate that street parking is not allowed in that area of campus, Rodriguez said.

Rodriguez said that RUPD will readjust plans and security measures if needed depending on how the first weekend of True Dog Houston being on campus.

“We all want to see how it goes this week,” Rodriguez said. “From there, we're going to make some more plans if we need to. Housing and Dining has always been really easy to work with. They do prioritize security, so we have a good working relationship with them.” 

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