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LA’s Historic Tail O’ the Pup Hot Dog Stand Gets Second Chance With New Ownership

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The preservation-loving 1933 Group is in charge now

Tail Pup
The Tail O’ the Pup stand
LAPL/Gary Leonard
Farley Elliott is the Senior Editor at Eater LA and the author of Los Angeles Street Food: A History From Tamaleros to Taco Trucks. He covers restaurants in every form, from breaking news to the culture, people, and history that surrounds LA's dining landscape.

Great news for history buffs, as it seems that LA’s most famous bygone hot dog stand, Tail O’ the Pup, is coming back from the dead — again.

The Tail O’ the Pup hot dog stand stood for decades on La Cienega Boulevard, an ode to LA’s love of roadside food and the “it looks like what it sells” style of mimetic architecture that pervaded Southern California for a brief time generations ago. In recent decades, though, the disintegrating hot dog-shaped stand had been forced to close, then was sold off with a promise to reopen. But then the last owners gave it away completely to the stunning Valley Relics Museum.

Now there’s a renewed sense of hope thanks to the 1933 Group, the preservationist hospitality company known for returning spaces like North Hollywood’s Idle Hour and the Highland Park Bowl to their true glory. Most recently the 1933 team has been in the news for taking over the rights to the Formosa Cafe, with plans to peel back some of the shellacked layers of mad remodel jobs and get down to the history and the architecture that made the West Hollywood restaurant so beloved over the years.

LA Magazine’s resident LA history buff, Alison Martino, talked with the group at length about their plans for Tail O’ the Pup stand. First and foremost they’ll need to spend some serious money just retooling the actual, physical object itself, and making it safe for customers and food handlers to use as an actual business. The second most important step is finding a home for the hot dog. Previously, there have been rumors that everyone from Rick Caruso of The Grove to the team that operates The Bloc development in Downtown, have been interested in hosting the stand. Now 1933 Group says they’re most interested in returning to a small street-facing plot near the original site on La Cienega, ideally on that same strip or nearby in greater West Hollywood. They’ve put out an open call for submissions on where to land while working on the back-end to secure a bright and secure structural future for one of LA’s most photogenic food stands. More on this as it comes.