Gray's Papaya

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The former midtown branch at the corner of Eighth Ave. and 37th St., no longer open

Gray's Papaya is a hot dog restaurant, open 24 hours a day year-round located at 2090 Broadway at 72nd Street. The 402 Sixth Avenue at 8th Street & the 539 Eighth Avenue at 37th Street locations are no longer in operation.[1]

Gray's Papaya is famous for its inexpensive, high-quality hot dogs. The "papaya" in the name refers to the papaya fruit drink sold at the establishment. They also sell orange, grape, piña colada, coconut champagne (non-alcoholic), and banana daiquiri (non-alcoholic) fruit drinks.

History[edit]

The chain was founded by a former partner of Papaya King, Paul Gray in 1973.[2]

In the June 1, 2006 issue of Time Out New York, Gray's Papaya's hot dog was ranked number one over its competitors Papaya King and Papaya Dog.[3]

On March 3, 2008, The New York Times reported that Gray's Papaya had endorsed Democratic candidate Barack Obama in his campaign for the 2008 U.S. Presidential Election.[4]

Anthony Bourdain featured Gray's Papaya on his Travel Channel show No Reservations.

Regis Philbin mentioned it numerous times when he hosted "Live with Regis and Kelly" and on other talk shows that he appeared as a guest.

In popular culture[edit]

Film[edit]

Michael J. Fox and Gabrielle Anwar enjoy Gray's Papaya hot dogs while chatting about the piano player on the street corner from the window of the restaurant in 1993's For Love or Money. Ironically, in 2001 comic Chris Rock and Actress Regina king play a scene in Gray's Papaya in Down to Earth. Fox is shown again outside of the restaurant a few minutes into the first episode of The Michael J. Fox Show which aired in September 2013.

Matthew Perry's character in the 1997 movie Fools Rush In makes mention of his preference for Gray's Papaya hot dogs, and his wife, portrayed by Salma Hayek, special-orders them to Nevada.

Gray's Papaya is also one of many late-night food destinations of several characters in the 2008 romantic comedy film Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist. Gray's Papaya also features in the 1998 Tom Hanks–Meg Ryan romantic-comedy, You've Got Mail.[5]

Television[edit]

Gray's Papaya appeared in Sex and the City in the 2002 episode "Plus One is the Loneliest Number."[6]

In the episode "The Limo" of the sitcom How I Met Your Mother, Ted takes Robin to Gray's Papaya to ease her hunger on New Year's Eve; in the episode "Desperation Day", two of Robin's colleagues leave McLarens because some guys offer them hot dogs at Gray's Papaya.

Gray's Papaya hot dogs are referenced at the beginning of an episode of Everwood titled "All the Lonely People"; they are referred to by main character Ephram as the best in the country.[citation needed]

In the fourth season of Castle, Episode 08 (Heartbreak Hotel), Richard Castle mentions Gray's Papaya in order to cheer up his daughter who is trying to get over her break up.

In the Season 4, Episode 3 of Glee (TV Series), "Makeover," the characters Rachel and Kurt had guava juice and hotdogs at Gray's Papaya.

Literature[edit]

Gray's Papaya features prominently in Kiran Desi's novel "The Inheritance of Loss". It is where Bijou first works when he comes to America.

In William Gibson's 2007 novel Spook Country, chapter 26 is dedicated to (and titled after) the Gray's Papaya on 8th Avenue; the Recession Special is also mentioned as a meal of the characters.

In the Hardy Boys' Pushed, the brothers, while in New York for the first time since they were little kids, mention that they've "been thinking about those Gray's Papaya hot dogs since we got here". Later in the book, it's mentioned that they were "stuffed with Gray's Papaya hot dogs".

In the book series Fearless, main character Gaia Moore has a fetish for the hot dogs of Gray's Papaya.

In issue #32 of The Avengers (volume 4) comic book, Spider-man suggests the heroes "swing by" Gray's Papaya, although it is written as "Grey's Papaya."

Anthony Bourdain featured his local Gray's Papaya in Season 3, episode 9 of No Reservations. In the 2010 film The Back-up Plan, Stan and Zoe have their "first date" there by Stan and Zoe picking up takeout.

Music[edit]

The 1980s/1990s New York hardcore/punk band Bugout Society has a song called "Bum Rush at Gray's Papaya" which recalls a fantasy about having one's hot dogs stolen by homeless people hanging around the restaurant.[citation needed]

In the song "Frequent Flyer" by Chromeo, a reference to the papaya fruit drink is made with the lyric "Sipping on a Gray's Papaya".

Incidental appearances[edit]

The branch at West 72nd Street and Broadway is featured in several films:

References[edit]

Coordinates: 40°44′01″N 73°59′57″W / 40.73365°N 73.99929°W / 40.73365; -73.99929