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.

In January 1972, there were 50 locations.[1] One year later, there were 62 locations.[2] Russ Wendel Sr. design many of the buildings.[1][2]

Ninety-nine stores in California were bought by Taco Bell in 1984 for their prime locations in very expensive real estate markets, effectively ending the history of the chain.[3][4] However, three operations in Albuquerque, New Mexico, were not included in the deal and two existed until August 2011 as Pop 'N' Taco.

See also[edit]

Trivia[edit]

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.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Three Pup 'n' Taco Drive Ups Open". Los Angeles Times. January 23, 1972. p. j18. (subscription required (help)). New Pip 'n' Taco Drive Up restaurants have opened at 18450 Ventura Blvd., in Tarzana, 12900 Vanowen St., in North Hollywood, and 14359 Victory Blvd. in Van Nuys... 50 company-owned and operated restaurants.  Alternate Link via ProQuest.
  2. ^ a b "Pup 'n' Taco Opens". Los Angeles Times. February 18, 1973. p. f20. (subscription required (help)). A Pup 'n' Taco Drive Up restaurant, the 62nd in the chain, has opened at 902 Pacific Coast Highway, Hermosa Beach.  Alternate Link via ProQuest.
  3. ^ "Pepsi Will Buy Taco Outlets". Wall Street Journal. November 2, 1984. p. 47. (subscription required (help)). the company decided to sell the outlets because of "inflated property prices" in Southern California "and the fact we were "no longer able to afford expansion."  Alternate Link via ProQuest.
  4. ^ Horovitz, Bruce (November 1, 1984). "Taco Bell to Buy 99 Pup 'n' Taco Outlets: Taco: $50-Million Sale". Los Angeles Times. p. g1. (subscription required (help)). Taco Bell said... "It's their locations that make them so attractive."  Alternate Link via ProQuest.