by Mimi Montgomery
photograph by Missy McClamb
“Whenever you’re doing something for someone, it’s just a good feeling. And so for us, each last Sunday of the month is almost like a party.” –Chris Corchiani, owner, Marathon gas station at Five Points
Chris Corchiani is a man who knows his hot dogs. The revered former N.C. State basketball player was the first in NCAA history to record 1,000 assists and is now a local Raleigh businessman. He bought the Marathon gas station at Five Points two years ago (still known as the “Star Flight” by longtime locals); since then, he has been serving free hot dogs to his customers on the last Sunday of every month. The event has quickly become a monthly tradition. He started out giving away around 100 hot dogs. Word spread, and these days he grills up about 200. The folks who come are not just his customers. Some, he says, are simply grateful for a free meal. That’s fine with him. “I wanted to do something that’d be a little different, give back to the community … The people that have frequented all these establishments are really loyal to us,” he says. He tries to keep things interesting and fun, offering face painting and balloon animals, or having his son, Hugo, perform magic tricks. One unintended result is that Corchiani says he is now considered the resident grilling expert at every cookout he attends. “At least now I think I know what I’m doing,” he says with a laugh.
Corchiani gives away free hot dogs every last Sunday of the month from 4 – 7 p.m. at the Marathon gas station, 1641 Glenwood Ave.