Tail o’ the Pup

One of the most famous structures in Los Angeles — it seemed to get in every montage of city sights — was the hot dog stand that looked like a giant hot dog. Tail o’ the Pup was built in 1946 and opened near the corner of La Cienega and Beverly Boulevards with a real, star-studded Hollywood-type gala. It was built by a man named Milton Black and its original owners were the dance team of Veloz and Yolanda. It was a way of investing their show biz earnings in something more stable. The dog, by the way, was 17 feet long and was basically a front piece that fit onto a more conventional kitchen trailer.

Around 1971, a man named Eddie Blake bought it and thereafter operated the stand with the help of his son, Dennis. Dennis eventually took over the family business and the Blakes did a pretty good job. Obviously, the novelty attracted customers but the quality of the dogs kept them coming back.

All was well until 1985 when the landlord decided to build a luxury hotel on that corner. The Blakes moved their big dog over to San Vicente. A few years later, an expansion of facilities at the nearby Cedars-Sinai Hospital displaced them again. Unable to find a suitable new location, the Blakes moved the giant frankfurter into a storage facility as they dickered for a new address. At last report, they’re still looking and they say that when they do find the right plot of ground, the big wienie will come out of storage and they’ll slap on a new coat of paint — or mustard or whatever — and set up shop.

I’ll bet they do it. The stand is too famous not to be part of the L.A. landscape once again. When they manage it, I’ll amend this item…but right now, it’s an L.A. restaurant that ain’t there no more.

20 Responses to Tail o’ the Pup

  • john clifton says:

    Hi all of you out there i been going to tail o pup for 46 years i miss a great hot dog please come back . My new boy is three and i want him to have a place to take hes son buy the way my girl 30 buy for now

  • William says:

    I remember Tail o’ the Pup back in the mid-80′s when it was on the west side of San Vicente, north of Beverly Blvd. (and north of the overwelming Beverly Center). The hot dogs were always great, but more important, it was an important part of L.A. that I will never forget! Thank you again for this website, it brings back great memories! William

  • Todd says:

    Do you have a website for tail O’the pup and are they selling t-shirts and other merchandise? I’m in NY and will go here when I’m out in LA next time and I’d love to order atleast a t-shirt….I have over 30 hotdog stand t-shirts now…

  • Dave Pineroache says:

    Does anyone know how to contact the Blakes? Thanks, Dave

  • Tim Stewart says:

    Ate there once, NEVER AGAIN. Nice build though.

  • Craig Printup says:

    There was a hot dog stand at the corner of Lincoln and Superba in Venice that looked exactly like this. My grandmother used to take me there to eat in the late 50′s/early 60′s. At some point, they cut the plaster hot dog ends off and tried to make it look like a ‘normal’ building. There is still a restaurant there, the Great Western Steak and Hoagie Co. If you study pictures of it now, you can see the remains of the hot dog bun part of the stand, surrounded by an enclosed waiting area and some out buildings. Does anyone have any idea if it was run by the same people, or just another cool L.A. place in the shape of something?

  • Joseph says:

    It’s also flying through the air in “LA Story”, as I recall. And later, two characters eat at it.

    I heard once that it was filmed flying through the air because they happened to be shooting on a day when it had to be moved.

  • Bonnie says:

    Tail o’ the Pup has very fond memories for me. My very first job out of high school was at the Rexall Drug Store, right across the street from the Tail. I had the option of eating lunch in the boring company cafeteria, or going across the street to the Tail. I opted for the latter most of the time, and fondly remember their wonderful hamburgers as well as the hot dogs. There was a very handsome young man who worked there and I believe I had quite a crush on him at the time, never did find out if he was the owner’s son.

  • Tom says:

    I had the best star sighting there ever. This was a place that a friend and I would meet at least once a month and our order never wavered: extreme with onions and fries (g-d I’d love one right now..) We would meet at 1:30 and I was hoping my friend would not be late because sitting on the wood deck delicately munching her hot dog in a French blue dress with white lace edging and a Mercedes Landaulette limo with chauffeur at the ready was..

    Ella Fitzgerald.

    She missed her by 15 minute.

  • Peter says:

    My first job in LA was at Cedars-Sinai in the late 70s. I went to Eddie’s for lunch all the time. Sofitel was a parking lot and the Beverly Center was vacant land.

    Best hot dog on the planet. Boston Celtic, baby!

    Took my kids there all the time, too. We were thinking about it yesterday again…….. ***sigh***.

    Come back, Dennis!! Please…………..

  • Ernest MacQuarrie says:

    I sold papers on that corner (Hearld Express) for three years before WWII started. I remember that the hot dogs had celery salt on them.

    a Hearld Express

  • Gladitsgone says:

    While everyone thinks it should be back in business, I think otherwise. They sold me a hotdog that made my son sick. I believe that it had been sitting there because I noticed the bread was hard and they sold it anyway. My son got food poisoned by it. Keep it stored!

  • Phil says:

    Their dogs were never as good as Pinks. But I miss the building, who wouldn’t?

  • Bianca says:

    Wow! I been looking for this hot dog stand for ever! No wonder I can’t find them, drove by where it used to be and found out ,their Not there any more….Please come back I miss you, You have the Best Hot dogs !! Ever….

  • Lafayette Hodges Jr says:

    Loved this place. Does anyone know how to get in touch with the Blakes. They ate related to one of my best friends and some other friends and I are trying to find him.

  • Jim Farrell says:

    I lived in West Hollywood and had my first “Deluxe Pup” in 1946 at age 6. I was a frequent customer thereafter, especially on weekends. When I was 14 or 15 I sold papers on the corner of Beverly and La Cienega. Needless to say, some of my profits were spent on “Deluxe Pups” every afternoon. I asked the owner his secret, since I could never duplicate the taste at home. He said he boiled the dogs first, then sliced them and grilled them. Every Tuesday night is hot dog night at my house now and I prepare them the same way. In the 80′s when the new owner took over he simply boiled the dogs and served them that way. He said it was the New York style. They never tasted as good to me. Still, I was sorry to see them go.

  • van waller says:

    i saw a pbs documentry about 4am, and this place really intrested me because i love hot dogs and i hoped to visit there for my vacation this summer but from the comments im seeing on here it looks like its closed down. is that true, if so im really sad:(

  • Bob Fenton says:

    Jim’s brother and I used to eat a dozen each.

  • Don Levin says:

    Back last December, Dennis Blake died in his sleep. The future of the hot dog is uncertain.

  • JamieInHollywood says:

    I fondly remember this fun, little eatery and hope that one day soon it will be viable again. It would have been great if the hotel had made a place for it, (like that lady in New York who refused to move from her apartment home and the office building was built around it!) L.A. should save more of their iconic architecture. The Los Angeles Conservancy does a great job; more power to them.

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