Papoo’s Hot Dog Show Closing After 62 Years

How can you not trust a hot dog with a halo??
How can you not trust a hot dog with a halo??

Since 1949, Papoo’s Hot Dog Show has been filling the tummies of Toluca Lake residents and visitors with tasty hamburgers, sandwiches, fries and of course….hot dogs. Countless movie and TV stars have been regulars over the years. Though the owners and recipes have changed, it has always remained a great hole-in-the-wall place for some really good grub. Well today, Sunday August 28, 2011 marks the end of 62 years of Papoo’s Hot Dog Show.

Hot Dog Show holds a special place in my heart as I’ve been going there since….well before I was born! My mom worked there when she was 16, her initials STILL carved into the counter. In fact, I only just found out that my parents met there. If it weren’t for the Hot Dog Show, I wouldn’t exist! Having lived only 1 block away for most of my life, I can remember riding my scooter or bicycle up there on a regular basis. I always ordered 2 plain dogs with ketchup, fries and a Dr. Pepper. While I would wait for my food I would play either Galaga or Ms. Pac Man with the “WOOZ” (upside down “ZOOM”) button. With that “WOOZ” button I could fly through to the banana stage in about 4 minutes flat.

I’ll miss you Hot Dog Show and I’m not looking forward to the rumored Italian┬árestaurant┬átaking your place. At least we still have Dale’s Jr. Money Tree Hampton’s IHOP Copper Penny Bob’s!

34 Replies to “Papoo’s Hot Dog Show Closing After 62 Years”

  1. Holy crap. My folks used to take my sister and myself here when we were youngins (in the early ’60s)! Sad that it’s closing–but I guess I’m partly to blame? I haven’t patronized the place in, like, 40 years…

  2. This is SO depressing. Glad I saw your post on Facebook though and got to eat there one last time yesterday. *sniff*

  3. Hopefully some developer will not turn the corner into a five story mall and make the area more congested…

  4. Hopefully you’ve grown out of your youthful, insolent ways and now realize that ketchup has no place on a hot dog whatsoever. : )

    1. Them’s fightin’ words. I will say I have learned that a little mustard makes a big difference.

  5. You neglected to boast about how easily you would out score me on Asteroids…commenting, “Can’t you see the program?!” I still don’t know what that means. Also, gone are the China Trader and Sorrentino’s– A Sinatra hang-out and must do for Dean Martin. Paull Newman’s first foray into the food world, that Now does so much good through his Newman’s Own products. Evolve or become extinct…extinction may be under-rated. I loved the old ways, and the old days in Toluca Lake. . .and you on that scooter!

  6. Funny why people always refer to that part of town as Toluca Lake. Its always been The Hot Dog show in Burbank to me. I’ve been patronizing that joint for 40 odd years and grew up 2 blocks away on McFarlane between Rose and Clybourn. Burbank has always been more sensitive to its past unlike L.A. (toluca lake). I shared many a meal there with my family and friends. Back in 77′ 78′ 79′ it was where we at Providence HS hung out. Bobs was Burroughs hangout. It was always the place to go to for fries with gravy and the occasional hound and naked dog. It was a gathering place to find out where the neighborhood parties were gonna be and of course to play pinball. Last Friday evening my Father, Sister, son and I ate our last meal there and said good bye to Maria (the best waitress the place ever hired). We bid it a fond farewell to a piece of Burbank history that made our lives as kids and adults a little happier throughout the years. It will be sorely missed. Thanks for the share and the great pics.

      1. Actually from one who grew up in the Burbank part of toluca lake. (no such thing). Toluca lake begins at Clybourn. Ask anyone who lives in toluca lake and they will be the first to tell you that. They love bragging about they’re border. lol Everyone I knew growing up knew it. Toluca lake had some great restaurants and shops on Riverside back in the day but now its pretty undistinguishable from Burbank. My Grandmother who lived on Ponca and Toluca lake during the 40s up until the 80s used to say toluca lake used to be North hollywood until Bing, Bob, and Tex, put it on the map.

        1. I grew up on Valley St. Mail something to Toluca Lake and it goes to my house. Let’s face it. Toluca Lake isn’t actually a city (maybe technically, but not for realsies). But the borders do extend into Burbank. Not far, but they do. The only people who would say otherwise are the rich snobs and they can suck it.

        2. With all due respect, your grandmother is wrong.

          In 1887, James Boon Lankershim, the son of Isaac Lankershim, president of the Los Angeles Farm and Milling Co., which owned most of the southern San Fernando Valley, bought the eastern end of the LAF&MC’s holdings, and subdivided it into 10 to 40 acre “ranchettes”, on which gentleman farmers could grow fruit trees and walnuts

          One of the purchasers, Gen. Charles Forman, dubbed his parcel “Toluca Ranch.”

          Gen. Forman also promoted “Toluca” as the name of the small farming town that grew up near the old Lankershim Ranch (the area we know today as “North Hollywood”). That’s what the first Post Office, established in 1893, was called. But in 1896, the town was renamed Lankershim at the insistence of J.B. Lankershim, as a memorial to his father. (The USPO didn’t officially recognize the change until 1905.)

          In 1923, Gen. Forman sold his Toluca Ranch to developers, who dubbed the development “Toluca Lake Park.” The first development went bust, but was bought out by another group who organized the Toluca Lake Company, adopted the “swan on rippled water” as its logo, and dropped “Park” from the name, making it just “Toluca Lake”.

          Today’s Forman Avenue was originally the main driveway to Forman’s ranch house.

          Developers building housing for the workers at Universal Studios and Mack Sennet and Al Christie’s brand-new, state-of-the-art talking pictures facility, Studio City, had taken to referring to the area as “North Hollywood.” In 1927, the town fathers of Lankershim, fearful of being left out of the action, appropriated the name for their town.

          So Toluca Lake was called Toluca Lake several years before Lankershim was renamed North Hollywood, and long before Bing, Bob, and Tex moved in.

        3. Decided to dig in a bit…..it would appear as though you’re right. The border is Clybourn, and I was a block east. I can’t explain why when I mail to my house I can put “Toluca Lake” as the city and it gets there. *shrugs*

          1. If you have the right ZIP code, the city name doesn’t really matter. About the only time the USPS sorters pay attention to the city name is when they can’t find the specified street address in the specified ZIP code.

            I have a friend who sends me mail addressed to ‘Hollyweird” and “North Autopia” and other silly names. Arrives at my Studio City house without a hitch.

          2. BTW, after some digging at the Burbank City Planners, Papoo’s is the very last address in Burbank in that area. Then it become Toluca Lake, which is recognized as a neighborhood under the auspices of the city of LA. :)

  7. A little piece of trivia: One of the little girls in the shot of the framed photo of the waitress taking an order later worked at “The Show” as a waitress.

  8. Thank you Dave, sooooooo much for posting this….I waitressed there (off & on) from 1986 to 1993. Here is a photo of me and some of the ole regulars who came in everyday to laugh, have a beer and tell their newest jokes. It was a great place to work.

    1. I recognize a few of those faces. I imagine just from going there ALL the time. Including yours. And you’re welcome. It would be remiss of me NOT to post about it. As I said…if not for the show, I wouldn’t be alive!

  9. David, Did your Mom work at Warners in the late 70’s early 80’s ? I used to sing with 2 gals that worked there….I believe in editing/sound & film……Pamela Easley & Jolaine Herald…….Pam was great friends with James Cameron & she became the executive producer of his “Titanic”…….I’ve lost track of her since she married Richard Harris the editor at Warners……I attended their wedding…….then…..pooooph she was gone. Maybe your Mom would know them.

    1. She didn’t work there then, sorry. But living in the area for so long, there are few people she DOESN’T know.

  10. PAPOO’S COULD HAVE BEEN SAVED….WHY DIDN’T THE OWNER JUST SAY SHE COULDN’T KEEP IT OPEN AND GIVE THE MANY PEOPLE WHO WERE INTERESTED IN BUYING A CHANCE TO KEEP IT AS-IS. SHE COULD HAVE SET ANY PRICE AND SOMEONE WOULD HAVE STEPPED FORWARD…WHAT A SHAME TO PULL THE RUG FROM UNDER EVERYONE’S FEET LIKE THAT. AS A BUSINESS OWNER I CAN SYMPATHIZE WITH HAVING TO SELL A BUSINESS, BUT PAPOOS WAS MORE THAN JUST A RESTAURANT, IT WAS HOME TO MANY LOCAL PEOPLE, BIG PART OF THIER DAY, SOMETHING TO LOOK FORWARD TOO, A SECOND HOME. TOO BAD THE OWNER DIDN’T STOP TO THINK BEFORE SHE MADE HER DEAL. I’M NOT BLOWING SMOKE HERE, ALOT OF PEOPLE WERE READY TO STEP FORWARD. A MUTE POINT NOW. BUT I WISH THE OWNER LUCK WITH THE FUTURE.

  11. I really liked this place but the closure doesn’t surprise me. Totally mismanaged. The menu was entirely too large. Seriously, maybe 1/8th of the menu was hot dogs. That’s a big eatery no no. Also dreadfully understaffed. The service was hit or miss because they only had 2 gals trying to serve the place, total disaster. If they redid the interior, shrank the menu to nothing but hot dogs and shakes, and hired 2 more servers I think you’d have a really successful place again. As it existed prior to closure though the writing was on the wall.

  12. Hi Dave! Thanks for the great article! I’m trying to keep this awesome Burbank landmark from being demolished. So far, I’ve created a FB page and have been checking in weekly with Burbank City Planners, as well as speaking during Burbank City Council Meetings. It would be awesome if you could spread the word about the FB page, “Save Papoo’s Hot Dog Show.” The city of Burbank has so many cool buildings, I’m trying to create awareness for them, so we don’t miss out! Thanks! http://www.facebook.com/groups/265415703476817/

  13. My Baby shower at Papoo’s back in May of 2011 and My 5th Birthday party 1990. Papoo’s you’ll always be my favorite place for an amazing dog and tasty baked beans!!!

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