Lodi hot dog truck on its last stand to stay open

Smilin' Joe's hot dog truck might not be smiling much longer if a rent increase by the landlord stands.

Hot dog truck owner Joe Agrelo says he started the truck six years ago and had a handshake agreement on the rent with the former landlord for the spot at $200 a month. However, the new landlord has raised the rent and is now asking $550 per month. Agrelo says he can't afford the beefed-up rate.

The landlord says the rent was raised to cover increased taxes and other costs. The landlord may consider a negotiation since there has been a hot dog truck at the location for 30 years.

Smilin' Joe's has until the end of the month to pay the increased rent, negotiate a new deal or close up shop.

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