Pink's Hot Dogs
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.
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 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.
In popular culture
||This article appears to contain trivial, minor, or unrelated references to popular culture. (January 2016)|
- Featured in the 2011 film The Muppets, in which the three main characters, Gary (Jason Segel), Mary (Amy Adams), and Walter (Peter Linz) stop at Pink's and buy some hot dogs while trying to find Kermit the Frog.
- Featured in the 2001 David Lynch film Mulholland Drive.
- Shown briefly in the opening sequence of the 1986 Eddie Murphy film The Golden Child.
- Featured in the 1975 film Aloha, Bobby and Rose, in which the title characters eat at Pink's while on a date.
- Seen in the 1972 film Hickey & Boggs starring Bill Cosby and Robert Culp.
- Seen in John Cassavetes' 1971 film Minnie and Moskowitz; Moskowitz takes Minnie there after fighting off her date. The restaurant was one of Cassavetes' favorite spots in Los Angeles.
- The Aviator (2004) starring Leonardo DiCaprio as eccentric 20th century billionaire Howard Hughes, references Pinks indirectly as "a hot dog stand on La Cienega that's open 'til 5 (a.m.)", to which Katherine Hepburn (played by Kate Blanchett) responds "How marvelous..."
- In 2015, Pink's Hot Dogs was featured on the Late Late Show with James Corden on the segment "Take a Break".
- Featured in the 2014 Season 3 of the Australian competitive reality TV series, The Amazing Race Australia, when teams came to Pink's to eat a traditional hot dog with chili, onions, cheese and mustard.
- Featured in a 2014 Season 2 episode of the U.S. reality TV/ comedy series Nathan For You, in which Pink's is the location of a segment where Nathan Fielder tests new rules allowing cutting lines in special circumstances.
- Featured in the 2014 Season 1, Episode 3 of the A&E reality TV series Barry'd Treasure, in which Barry Weiss stops at Pink's on his way home from a road trip to Texas, calling it his favorite hot dog stand.
- Featured in the 2013 Season 5, Episode 7 of the U.S. TV drama Southland.
- Featured in the 2011 U.S. competitive reality TV series Americas Next Top Model All Stars as a photo shoot location.
- Featured in the 2010 Episode 2 of Korean reality TV series F(x)'s Koala (Hangul: f(x)의 코알라), in which the stars of the series, K-pop girl group f(x), paid a visit to this location to eat some foods, and offered their autographed photo.
- Seen in the 2009 Season 2 of TV series 90210, in which the characters Annie (Shenae Grimes) and Jasper visit Pink's to get some food.
- Seen in the 2007 Season 5, Episode 1 of the FX series Nip/Tuck, in which characters Sean McNamara (played by Dylan Walsh) and Christian Troy (played by Julian McMahon) are shown eating Pink's hot dogs.
- Featured in a 2007 Season 2 episode of Food Network's competitive reality TV series, Throwdown! with Bobby Flay, in which celebrity chef Bobby Flay challenged Richard, Gloria and Beverly Pink to a cook-off ("throwdown"). Bobby Flay won the throwdown.
- Featured in the 2006 Season 3, Episode 10 of the Showtime TV drama The L Word, in which the characters Jenny, Max, Tim and his wife eat lunch together at Pink's.
- Featured in a 2006 Season 2 episode of the U.S. competitive reality TV series Hell's Kitchen, in which the teams were both treated to a meal from Pink's Hot Dogs.
- Shown briefly in the opening credits of the 2005 to 2014 late-night talk show The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, in which host Craig Ferguson appeared singing from the roof of Pink's.
- Shown briefly in the opening credits of the short-lived 2004 sitcom Joey, in which the title character Joey Tribbiani (played by Matt LeBlanc) drives by Pink's in a convertible.
- Seen in the 2004 Season 1 of the TV series Entourage.
- Seen in the 2001 made-for-TV movie Surviving Gilligan's Island.
- Featured in a 2001 stunt on the U.S. reality TV series Jackass when Brad Pitt was "kidnapped" outside while waiting in line, to the horror of onlookers.
- Featured in a 2001 Season 1 episode of Anthony Bourdain's docu-reality TV series, A Cook's Tour, in which Gloria Pink introduces Bourdain to several of their menu items including the "Millennium Dog".
- Featured on the 1991 CBS late night game show, Personals, on which contestants could win a date to Pink's if they were not successful in winning more glamorous destinations.
- Featured in the 1984 pilot episode of the Nickelodeon TV series Out of Control, in which host Dave Coulier goes to Pink's for chili dogs.
- Featured in a 2011 TV commercial for Bank of America.
- Featured in a 2007 TV commercial for the Volvo S80, as the couple in the ad race to Pink's for a late-night meal before closing time.
- Cited by singer-songwriter James Taylor as the inspiration for his song "Chili Dog" on his 2007 album One Man Band. Taylor noted, "[The chili dog] was my favourite foodstuff for a time, until I realised that it wasn't a food, it was a drug."
- Mentioned by country music group Big & Rich in their 2005 single, "Comin' To Your City", in which the lyrics claim that "LA has the freaks and Pink's and fifteen-dollar drinks."
- Featured in official video of Dido's Brit award-winning hit, Grammy nominated and signature song, White Flag, from Life for Rent album in 2003.
- Featured in the 1998 video for The Smashing Pumpkins' song "Perfect", in which Pink's is referenced on a Post-It note and shown in a background shot.
- Mentioned in Thomas Pynchon's 2009 novel Inherent Vice (pgs. 155, 312).
- Referenced in Harlan Ellison's 1988 short story "Prince Myshkin and Hold the Relish," which features a friendly debate on Dostoevsky and The Idiot between the narrator and a vendor at Pink's.
Other popular media
- Referenced in the 2009 Episode 18 of the anime series A Certain Magical Index, in which the characters Touma and Misaka are seen eating hot dogs near a stand with a sign reading "Pink's," and a second sign that's clipped by the screen, but ends in "ogs."
- Shown in a segment of the 2009 Hannah Montana: The Movie DVD, in which Emily Osment, who plays the character "Lilly Truscott" in the Disney Channel TV series Hannah Montana, visited Pink's during a tour of her home town of Los Angeles.
- Featured in the 2008 video game Midnight Club: Los Angeles.
- The Los Angeles Times
- The Los Angeles Times
- LA Weekly
- The Hollywood Reporter
- The Huffington Post
- OC Register
- Alejandro Benes, "Taking a Stand for Hot Dog Culture"
- Pink's History
- Pink's menu
- Doherty, Michael. "DVD Review: Aloha, Bobby and Rose." popculturebeast.com, July 2014, accessed Mar. 16, 2015.
- Ray Carney, Cassavetes on Cassavetes, London: Faber and Faber, 2001: p. 276.
- South Korean reality television series on MBC every1, f(x)'s Koala (Hangul: f(x)의 코알라), the 2nd episode. (Korean)
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