In yet another retro-cool comeback for the area, the Tail o’ the Pup is back up and running at 8512 Santa Monica Boulevard in West Hollywood. After years of back and forth, the quirkily shaped hot dog stand made its grand debut today at its new address, located right next to Shake Shack. The new Pup comes complete with indoor-outdoor seating, menu additions that include beer and wine and an extra dose of plaque-commemorated history: In 1971, the Doors recorded their hit song “L.A. Woman” in the same building the expanded eatery now occupies.
The original 1946 stand, beloved by countless celebrities over the decades, was first located on La Cienega Boulevard near Beverly, where you’ll now find Sofitel Los Angeles. In 2002, the Pup even made an appearance on A Cook’s Tour, one of late Anthony Bourdain’s earlier TV shows.
The preservationist-oriented 1933 Group, which acquired ownership of the Pup in 2018, first announced plans to restore and expand the stand with an on-site dining area and new menu items. Now, the Pup’s years-delayed grand opening is finally here. Red and white stripes, bright mustard yellow accents now further distinguish the 76-year-old Pup, with the current colors chosen by 1933 Group’s Bobby Green intended to resemble the original iteration as closely as possible. (Over the years, the stand has received about five different paint jobs.)
Beyond classic hot dogs with every topping under the sun, the new Tail o’ the Pup also offers burgers, gluten-free corn dogs and vegan-friendly options that use vegan cheese and plant-based dogs. Two 170-flavor soda machines and array of ice cream, milkshakes and floats round out the menu offerings for anyone with a craving for something icy, cold and sweet. A few kid- and pet-friendly menu additions like the Puppy Dog—featuring an adorable puppy-shaped bun—and bun-free Doggy Dog with bacon-flavored cheese spread make this stand a full-on family affair—a rare deviation for the nightlife-oriented 1993 Group, which also runs Formosa Café nearby and North Hollywood’s Idle Hour.
Of course, such a kitschy revival wouldn’t be complete without merch, and the Tail o’ the Pup definitely delivers. Key chains, T-shirts and stickers are available for purchase both online and at the back of the stand, plus a colorful limited edition mug with a hand-painted cartoon dog handle.