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The 'right cards' to run a new hot dog cart in Midtown

Entrepreneur Aaron Olivas has spent the first half of 2024 grilling Sonoran-style dogs & other snacks on the corner of Glenn & 1st
Posted at 7:54 AM, Jun 18, 2024

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) -- — Maybe today's the day to treat yourself with a Sonoran-style hot dog for lunch.

Good Morning Tucson found an up-and-coming cart in Midtown, complete with a griddle and tables covered in the shade.
They're the hard work of an entrepreneur who's making a bet on himself.

Aaron Olivas picked up the tricks of this trade years ago while working at one of his cousin's food trucks on the southside. "(It was) easy for me to learn all the work when it comes to the business," he said. He slowly started saving money to buy his open trailer and tools.

Olivas said his lucky charms, though, are the four aces up his sleeve — the smiling faces who inspired his business' name, and the ones who wait for him to come home after a long day's work.

"Aaron, Andrea, Alexa and Ariana," he said, pointing to the cart's logo design. Each of the faces in the cards has a unique trait to represent his kids. "If you see the two in the middle have the same pigtails, (it's) the same because they're twins."

Olivas' grill is ready for hungry customers who've noticed his set-up on Glenn and First, catty corner from a QuikTrip gas station. He said he loves to interact with people, and his current trailer lets him do just that.
"If it (was) an enclosed one, I couldn't be interacting with the people, just serving them.... right now, I can be talking with them and make them feel comfortable," Olivas said.

Olivas decided he'd commit to this dream of running Four Aces full time at the start of the year. "I was working on construction with my friend and boss. I was combining both jobs, but there was a time that we needed to start earlier in the morning, so I decided to stay here," he said. "You can't put your 100% there, and then your 100% here."

On this visit, Olivas introduced Good Morning Tucson to a cousin on the Sonoran hot dog, called a 'chipilón.' What sets this dog apart, is that Olivas loads the bun with shredded cheese and puts it on the griddle to toast.

It still has all the familiar tastes you crave in the Southern Arizona staple: a sausage wrapped in bacon with pinto beans, grilled and fresh onions, diced tomatoes and a trio of sauces.

"I try to make them as if they were for me, if I was the one eating them," Olivas said. "These are made with love. These are made with passion, and you guys are going to taste the difference."

Olivas also said he's thinking about moving the trailer a little further into the lot, closer to the smoke shop, but he'd still keep a sign up for people to know he's ready to cook.

Four Aces is open Mon-Thurs from noon to 10 p.m., and Fri-Sat from noon to 11 p.m.

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José Zozaya is an anchor and reporter for KGUN 9. Before arriving in southern Arizona, José worked in Omaha, Nebraska where he covered issues ranging from local, state and federal elections, to toxic chemical spills, and community programs impacting immigrant families. Share your story ideas and important issues with José by emailing jose.zozaya@kgun9.com or by connecting on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.