Pup 'N' Taco

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Pop 'N' Taco on old Route 66, Albuquerque, New Mexico

Pup 'N' Taco (also spelled with a lower case 'n') was a privately owned chain of fast-food restaurants in Southern California, with its headquarters based in Long Beach, California. The business was begun by Russell Wendell in 1956 as a drive-in restaurant that served tacos, hot dogs and pastrami sandwiches. At the time Russell owned a chain of successful doughnut stores in Los Angeles - Big DoNut - which featured gigantic doughnuts atop a drive-in bakery. The first officially branded Pup 'N' Taco was opened in Pasadena, California in 1965.

The menu consisted of tacos, tostadas, pastrami sandwiches, burgers, several varieties of hot dog (the "pup" in Pup 'N' Taco) and french fries. Beverages included R.C. Cola, root beer and a variety of flavored slushes.

Ninety-nine stores were bought by Taco Bell in 1984, effectively ending the history of the chain. However, three operations in Albuquerque, New Mexico, were not included in the deal and two existed until August 2011 as Pop 'N' Taco.

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In the 1985 comedy Fletch, starring Chevy Chase, Chase's character enters Alan Stanwyk's home and responds to the Hispanic maid's greeting of "¡Buenos dias!" (Good morning!) by replying, "¡Buenos Dias ... Pup 'n' Taco!" He greets several Hispanic people throughout the movie by saying the names of Hispanic places or using mock Spanish.

In the film The Runaways, Cherie Currie's sister Marie Currie worked at the "Pup n Fries" in the mid-1970s. Also singer Teena Marie worked there briefly in the 1970s, as did Judge Kevin A. Ross of the syndicated television program America's Court with Judge Ross.