More than eight decades ago, in 1939, Paul and Betty Pink bought a hot dog stand after borrowing money from Betty’s mother.
They set it up on the corner of La Brea and Melrose in Hollywood and sold hot dogs for ten cents. When the landlord raised the rent from $15 to $25, the Pink’s took out a loan in order to purchase the land themselves, and borrowed electricity from a nearby hardware store to run it.
Putting everything they had into their business, Pink’s Hot Dogs gained a loyal following. Today, the hot dog stand turned restaurant is considered an LA institution, and the Pink’s children Richard and Beverly, along with Richard’s wife Gloria, took the reins.
“We are a true family business,” he said. “I call it the longest running show in Hollywood.”
On the latest episode of LA Stories with Giselle Fernandez, Richard Pink shares stories from throughout those years of Pink’s Hot Dogs.
He gives credit not only to his parent’s hard work, but the quality of their food and dedication of the staff. With its close location to the studios in Hollywood, it’s known as a celebrity favorite, proven by the wall of over 200 autographed photographs of celebrities and a plethora of hot dogs named after famous patrons.
The hot dogs are so famous, lines often stretch around the block. For Richard, Pink’s is more than just a family restaurant.
“It was the city’s identity. I mean, we had so many people that came to Pink’s, grew up at Pink’s,” he said. “We just felt it could never change from what it is.”
Richard, Beverly and Gloria have grown the Pink’s brand since taking over. They now offer a larger menu with more varieties if gourmet hot dogs and have 13 locations, including one in the Philippines.
Through their Chili Dogs for Charity Program, the Pinks give back to the community that has supported their restaurant throughout the decades.
Richard hopes the legacy of his parents lives on for many more decades through Pink’s Hot Dogs.
“Pink’s is always part of the culture and the fabric and the mosaic of the city of LA,” he said. “New York has the Statue of Liberty, India has the Taj Mahal and LA has Pink’s.”
Watch "LA Stories with Giselle Fernandez" at 9 p.m. every Monday on Spectrum News 1.