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October 2014 • Online Edition
 

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University Park | Print |  E-mail

When you start totalling the numbers, it becomes pretty clear why Mustard’s Last Stand was recently inducted into the Vienna Beef Hot Dog Hall of Fame. “Mustard’s,” as Dan Polovin’s digs are known to their legions of devoted fans, has been dealing out authentic Chicago-style franks, all-natural grass-fed beef burgers, house-made French fries and an ever-growing menu of other treats to Denver and Boulder audiences for 35 years. 


A Chicago native, Polovin signed the lease to open the Boulder Mustard’s location at Broadway and Canyon Blvd. in the summer of 1978, following with the Denver store at 2081 S. University Blvd. only two months later. His goal was to introduce the food staples he grew up with to a Rocky Mountain audience. He’s done quite a job toward that end.

 “As best I can figure, we’ve sold about five million dogs over that time.” French fries? “You do the math,” said Polovin. “We wash and cut 50-100 pounds of French fries every day at each location. And they’re chilled over night. That’s important for the final product.”

What makes the Chicago hot-dog experience unique? “First, you have to start with a Vienna, natural casing dog. They’ve been in business over 100 years, and really know their product,” the grill food maven explains. “Then you add a steamed poppy seed bun, mustard, relish, onion, tomato, pickle and hot pepper. Some folks like to add a dash of celery salt, so we leave that out.” Sauerkraut is also available for the asking, but is not part of the Chicago package.

To keep up with changing tastes, Polovin has added a variety of other meat and non-meat options over the years. “About 15 years ago we started hearing more and more people want non-beef options, so we added a tuna steak sandwich, a chicken sandwich and four veggie options – the Soy Veggie Dog, Veggie Tempeh Burger, a Tofu Reuben and the Soy Italian Sausage.”

Polovin credits an amazingly loyal staff for much of the success his business has experienced. Marguerite Kunkel, manager of the Boulder store has been with Mustard’s for 32 years, and her Denver counterpart, Stuart Rubin has held forth from behind the counter for 30. Rubin, a Chicago-bred friend of Polovin’s, was brought into the fold by another member of his Chi-town pack, Shelly Panter, who locals will remember as Polovin’s partner at the University Blvd. location until 1997.

Polovin is marking the 35th anniversary of Mustard’s Last Stand with a pair of customer thank you events in the coming week – July 28 at the Boulder store, and Aug. 4 in Denver. Both celebrations will include a variety of games, giveaways, 99¢ hot dogs, and the like. Stop by and maybe take home a doggie or two.

Info: mustardslaststandcolorado.com or 303-722-7936.


 
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