Tail o' the Pup's on the Up-and-Up

The 1933 Group, the company behind the Idle Hour restoration, is taking the famous hot-doggery under its wing.

What to Know

  • Classic hot dog stand
  • 1933 Group is the new owner
  • WeHo or Hollywood location, near the Pup's former home, is desired

Of all the region's many sights that cross our collective Southern Californian mind, including favorite museums, beloved beaches, and such, Tail o' the Pup probably pops up, if not the most, then with a frequency that is notable.

"What happened to it?" "Where is it now?" "When's the last time I ate there?" "Why can't I eat there today?" "Ketchup or no?"

Our shared SoCal tank for Tail-related topics never runs dry, truly.

And that tank is about to fill up again, for the humble hot dog stand, formerly a beloved staple of quick lunches, rock-band photo shoots, and movie cameos, is about to make a possible, long-anticipated return to its former West Hollywood stomping grounds (or Hollywood), thanks to a recent acquisition by the 1933 Group.

They're the company behind Idle Hour, the current Formosa Café restoration, and several other local projects that involve saving a vintage watering hole or restaurant, then returning it to its former, fully appointed glory.

It's a journey several Pup people are supporting. Tommy Gelinas, the LA-loving proprietor of the Valley Relics Museum, donated the historic hot dog-shaped stand to 1933, with the hope that it could go further — frankfurther, if you will — in the nightlife company's able hands. (He asked that it be "restored and reopened.")

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Before making its way to the able stewardship of Mr. Gelinas, Tail o' the Pup had been under the watchful eye of the family of Eddie Blake, the former owner of the stand.

Under the watchful eye, and also in storage for about a dozen years, even as the loyal backers envisioned the next exciting chapter in the Tail's unfolding tale. In short? The family wanted to make sure that the prized Pup would find "a good new home," quite understandably.

So what's next on the Tail o' the Pup's plate?

"Place the Pup," in short, a call to help find a spot for the hot-doggery to sizzle onward. The 1933 Group is seeking "... a stationary, street-facing spot somewhere near its original location, in the West Hollywood or Hollywood area."

"Input and support" from Pup peeps is encouraged and sought by the new owners, and all who've backed this famous frankfurter-making favorite's long journey.

A journey that can be traced back to the late '40s, and the drafting table of architect Milton Black, who created a host of Streamline Moderne-era gems around the mid-city.

Nothing, though, as major, nor mustard-y, as Tail o' the Pup, fans might surely say.

For while Southern California is still fairly flush with programmatic architecture, or, if you prefer, roadside vernacular buildings, few well-known structures have risen to the superstardom of the Little Hot Dog Stand That Could.

And while returning to Beverly and La Cienega Boulevards, the iconic eatery's former home, would be quite the challenge, and same for its old San Vicente Boulevard spot, there's surely a happy home for the hot-doggiest legend in LA, and, perhaps, all the West.

We're awaiting word of that location, with... relish.

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