Monday, February 29, 2016
Founder of Pink's Hot Dogs Paul Pink 1996 Hillside Cemetery
Paul Pink (March 23, 1908 - February 20, 1996) founded and operated Pink's Hot Dogs, the landmark hot dog restaurant in the Hollywood district of the city of Los Angeles. He and his wife Betty are buried at Hillside Cemetery in Culver City, California.
Pink's was founded by Paul and Betty Pink in 1939 as a pushcart near the corner of La Brea and Melrose. The Great Depression was still having an impact on the country, and money was scarce. People could purchase a chili dog made with Betty's own chili recipe accompanied by mustard and onions on a steamed bun for 10 cents each. As business grew, thanks to Betty's chili and the custom-made Hoffy-brand hot dogs with their natural casings, so did Pink's. The family built the current building in 1946 at 709 North La Brea.
Pink's has named several newer menu items after Hollywood celebrities, some of whom can be seen at the restaurant. There are many signed celebrity photographs hanging on the walls inside; some celebrities have signed more than one photo. The celebrity-named hot dogs are often versions actually ordered by the person in question, such as the "Martha Stewart Dog" with mustard, relish, onions, chopped tomatoes, sauerkraut, bacon, and sour cream. Another is the "Rosie O'Donnell Long Island Dog," which is a 10" dog topped with mustard, onions, chili and sauerkraut.
The "Huell Howser Dog" is a standard chili dog with two of the regular hot dogs on a single bun while the "Ozzy Spicy Dog" named for Ozzy Osbourne features a Polish sausage, nacho cheese, American cheese, grilled onions, guacamole and chopped tomatoes.
A smaller selection of hamburgers are available, and desserts are a choice of coconut or marble cake.
There is usually a long line of customers in front despite the lack of parking in the area. The often slow-moving line is viewed by some as part of the attraction at Pink's, especially on Friday and Saturday nights when the stand becomes packed with club and concert goers.
Pink's has its own parking-lot attendant, even though parking is free. According to the menu, Pink's original signature chili dog in stretched, 10"/25 cm form remains the stand's top seller.
In September 2009, a location opened on the Las Vegas Strip at the Planet Hollywood Hotel and Casino.
In April 2010, another location opened in Universal CityWalk [on the second level, across from the movie theaters] and introduced "The Betty White Naked Dog" (no condiments or toppings). In November 2010, a location opened at Harrah's Rincon in Valley Center.
Pink's hot dogs are also sold at amusement parks starting in 2011, Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio, the first Pink's location east of Las Vegas, and starting in 2014, Lake Compounce in Bristol, Connecticut.