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
- Featured in the 1975 film Aloha, Bobby and Rose, in which the title characters eat at Pink's while on a date.
- 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 Michael Burger-hosted Personals also had Pink's in the bonus round, where couples won that if time ran out and didn't match the last question.
- 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.
- In Season 2 Episode 4 of Hell's Kitchen U.S., Gordon Ramsay takes the chefs to Pink's to show an example of organization within an extreme high volume restaurant.
- 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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