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Hollywood’s Historic Pink’s Hot Dogs Begins Months-Long Closure Due to COVID-19

Owners hope to protect the health of Pink’s staff and customers with a closure that will last at least two months

Los Angeles Exteriors And Landmarks - 2020 Photo by AaronP/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images
Mona Holmes is a reporter for Eater Los Angeles and a regular contributor to KCRW radio. She has covered restaurants, dining, and food culture since 2016. In 2022, the James Beard Foundation nominated her for a Jonathan Gold Local Voice Award.

Those driving on La Brea near Santa Monica Boulevard over the next two months will notice something missing: the persistently long line of customers waiting in front of Pink’s Hot Dogs. Hollywood’s 81-year-old former food cart turned iconic stand has temporarily closed until at least March due to the current coronavirus surge throughout LA County, and they’re not alone.

Pink’s closed at the start of the pandemic from March until August, only to reopen with a new set of protocols in place that included a “front door ambassador” and “full-time sanitizer monitor” to clean and ensure the use of face masks, even adding delivery options and phone orders for the first time. And while the pandemic and rolling lockdown orders have kept many of the tourists away, Pink’s loyalists have continued to stand in line to order food for the past many months. Now, the time has come for a small hiatus in order to protect staff, ownership said on social media over the weekend. Owner Richard Pink will continue paying furloughed employees until unemployment insurance benefits kick in, according to CBS-2.

Meanwhile Valerie Confections in Echo Park has chosen a similar path, closing temporarily out of concern for employees as COVID-19 cases continue to spike in Los Angeles County and greater Southern California. They have similarly not given a reopening date. In the past several weeks, LA County officials have imposed a mandatory quarantine on long-distance travelers, intensive care units have become overwhelmed throughout the region, and ambulances are waiting up to six hours to check patients in at some area hospitals.

Pink’s served its last dog at 7 p.m. Sunday night, leaving only the following Instagram post behind:

“Pink’s is open through the New Year’s weekend until Sunday at 7 p.m. We will be closing for two months as of Monday morning, the 4th in order to keep our patrons and staff safe from the current Covid surge. See you in March. Please stay safe!”