Even the old dog can learn new tricks sometimes. That’s just what Papaya King, the famous hot dog stand from the Bronx, is learning these days. Just last week, a Papaya King stand landed in Hollywood for the first time.
Hollywood…Here We Come!
They’ve arrived with their garish yellow and orange stand ready to go, selling the best hot dogs from New York. Papaya King is greeting the Los Angeles crowd with a number of cheeky and well placed billboard campaigns. One, for instance, says, “We’re 100 percent natural. But we think we’ll fit in L.A. just fine.”
This historic moment is really quite a big deal for the New York staple. It’s the first time in Papaya King’s 80 year history that they’ve set their sights on the West Coast. And, although West Coasters claim to be fit and healthy — they also love a good hot dog. Papaya King will be in competition with the L.A. staple, Pink’s Hot Dogs on La Brea and with other similarly famous establishments.
Let the Fanfare Begin
The first week, at least, showed a good deal of fanfare surrounding Papaya King. But it’s hard to know if those who come to see the new kid in town will stay.
The Papaya King owners have two shops in New York, and were, understandably, drawn to the West Coast. Los Angeles, surprisingly, eats more hot dogs than does any city in the country, closely followed by New York, according to the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council statistics. And, as Seth Cohen, a principal with Papaya King points out, “Los Angeles has perfect hot dog weather, year-round.”
To hit the local late-night club scene, Papaya King plans to stay open until 3am, and they’ve competitively priced themselves below the prices at Pink’s.
Papaya King thought about its entry into the West Coast market carefully. They teamed up with SBE, a restaurant and luxury developer, before they opened their L.A. location. And they plan to continue expanding across the West in the coming year. As Sam Nazarian, the founder of Papaya King said, “For us, it’s literally all about the hot dog. L.A., I think, is looking for something new.”