Pink’s hot dog diner has been a Hollywood tradition and comfort food for celebrities for over 70 years. When it first opened in the 1939, it was launched in a push cart on a dirt lot with an extension cord carrying the electricity from a distance. Paul & Betty Pink had to take out a $50 loan to kick-start the business. Today, Pink’s has expanded just a little, but unlike other giants of the food industry such as Carl’s, Jr., also launched with a hot dog cart in Anaheim in the 1950′s, the mom & pop shop has grown slowly, by design. In fact, when the founding Pink couple passed away over 10 years ago, a stipulation in their will was that the hot dog diner (built in 1946) could not be sold by the children who inherited the business.
There is so much demand for the brand, however, that the surviving family members have expanded into theme parks at Universal Studios Hollywood, CityWalk, Knott’s Berry Farm, several county fairs, and the Tom Bradley International Wing at LAX. In places such as Knott’s Berry Farm, the restaurants inside the theme park are more expensive, while Pink’s, located in the plaza outside the park gate, provides a filling meal for around $5.
The hot dog stand serves fresh hot dogs with a casing that “snaps” inside warm buns and is known for the family’s prize chili recipe served on some of the 20+ hot dog options. Hoffs Quality Meat (100% kosher beef) is a key ingredient, however. If you believe variety is the spice of life, you’ll be glad to know that it’s OK to eat hot dogs once in a while. Sandra Bullock, Jay Leno and countless other celebs are among the satisfied customers chomping on jalapeno dogs, chili dogs, and other concoctions. Some celebs even have a dog named after them. Betty White’s favorite hot dog is called, “Betty’s Naked in the City Dog”. It is plain meat and a warm bun.