Pink’s Hot Dogs, the iconic stand near La Brea and Melrose Avenues, will be honored as a quintessential part of the Hollywood community today, June 1, at the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce’s “Heroes of Hollywood” luncheon.
The event begins at 11 a.m. at the Taglyan Cultural Complex, 1201 Vine St. The Hollywood Chamber of Commerce is honoring Richard and Gloria Pink and Beverly Pink Wolfe, owners of Pink’s Hot Dogs, as well as Donelle Dadigan, founder and owner of The Hollywood Museum; LAPD Assistant Chief Beatrice Girmala; John Lyons, owner of the Avalon; and Baydsar Thomasian, deputy district director for state Senate President Pro Tempore Kevin de Leon. Dadigan will receive the Distinguished Service Award in Memory of Johnny Grant, the late honorary mayor of Hollywood. “Entertainment Tonight” host Nancy O’Dell will receive the Mary Pickford Award.
Richard Pink said the stand has been an iconic Hollywood institution for decades and a “must-see” destination for tourists. Pink’s has stayed true to its roots since Paul and Betty Pink started with a pushcart near the corner in 1939. In addition to attracting crowds who line up daily for chili dogs, hamburgers and Pink’s other delectable offerings, the stand donates thousands of dollars in food and gift certificates to charity each year.
“We are extremely honored,” Pink said. “We feel like we are part of Hollywood. The celebrity crowd that comes to Pink’s is part of the Hollywood culture. I’ve often thought that Pink’s is the longest-running show in Hollywood. The people who wait in line, the entertainment of watching the food being prepared and the photos inside of celebrities, it’s a show.”
Pink said the “Chili Dogs for Charity” program provides catering at galas and special events that nonprofits hold throughout the year. He cited Special Olympics, the Concern Foundation, Planned Parenthood and Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation for Childhood Cancer as organizations Pink’s Hot Dogs supports.
“We have been doing a tremendous amount of charity for years,” Pink said. “We give out our original hot dogs at events, and we hand out thousands of dollars in gift certificates to be used at charity events and silent auctions.”
The stand is also a destination for Hollywood elite, with hundreds of celebrity photographs including television hosts Jay Leno, Ryan Seacrest and Jimmy Kimmel, musical stars Dolly Parton and Tim McGraw, and comedians and actors Steve Martin and George Lopez in the dining areas. The walls of photographs started decades ago when actors and actresses started pinning up their pictures with the hope of being “discovered.”
“It became part of Pink’s. We are part of the Hollywood scene,” Pink added. “We also do a lot of catering for the studios and television shows.”
Hollywood Chamber of Commerce president and CEO Leron Gubler described Pink’s Hot Dogs as an iconic Hollywood destination and the Pinks as important members of the community.
“A few years ago, we started honoring Hollywood families who have been heroes to Hollywood by their commitment to this community. Pink’s Hot Dogs is one of the great successful examples of a Hollywood business that has become legendary,” Gubler said. “Founded in 1939 by Paul and Betty Pink selling hot dogs from a pushcart, this business has prospered and grown at the intersection of Melrose and La Brea for 78 years. This is a beloved local business that continues to give back to our community. We are thrilled to be able to honor them.”
Pink added that the stand’s recipe for success in serving quality food in a comfortable environment. The stand celebrated 77 years in business last fall and is still going strong.
“We are sort of the ‘Hollywood hot dog,’” Pink added.
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