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TAIL O’ THE PUP LOST AND FOUND, LOS ANGELES, CA, 1962

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Strung pennants blowing in the breeze, an Arden Ice Cream truck passing by and a Ford convertible parked at the curb provide a perfect backdrop for Los Angeles’ most playful architectural icon. The famous fast food stand is world class. There is no better place in the known universe to enjoy a hot dog.

There are many architectural treasures in this ol’ world of ours. But few make my spirit soar to the moon and back again like this legendary Land-of-the-Giants scale hot dog! Chipped and peeling paint has never been so charming, dripping mustard so appetizing and a pop-up, candy-striped awning so eye-catching. The petit neon sign is the perfect crowning touch.

The Tail o’ the Pup opened in 1946. It was built in the tradition of the legendary Brown Derby Restaurant and many other buildings in Southern California shaped like things. In the mid-80s, when the property the hot dog sat on, at 311 N. La Cienega, was slated for redevelopment, we almost lost this savory, little gem. But thankfully, a new site was found nearby, where it remained until several years ago, when that property had to become a hospital tower.

Wondering what became of it, I played detective, found the owner’s number, and called him to ask if I could see it. He said yes, if I would pick him up and drive him to the storage facility in Torrance where it was sitting. So I did, and there it was, in all of it’s hot doggy glory, resting inside under a big, blue tarp. I snapped a few pix and when we were finished, I said, “I’d like to take you to lunch a nice nearby steakhouse.” He looked at me a little bemused and said, “Oh no, I don’t eat steak for lunch.” I said, “Then what do you want for lunch?” Without skipping a beat he said, “Wienerschnitzel.” So, Wienerschnitzel it was!

Cheers to the Tail O’ the Pup, its long-time owner and YOU!