Doggie Diner Head
This grinning pup statue is all that's left of what was once a ubiquitous Bay Area diner chain.
San Francisco’s Sloat Boulevard is well known for leading to the San Francisco Zoo, but it’s also home to a rather different faunal landmark. That would be the iconic “Doggie Diner” head, the only one still on public view—though that may change if a Napa Valley car salesman has his way.
From 1948 to 1986, residents of the San Francisco Bay Area had their pick of Doggie Diners from which they could grab a quick, greasy bite. At the peak of the chain’s popularity, there were more than 20 locations operating throughout the area, all unified by the presence of a towering, smirking, bow-tied, button-nosed host out front: a giant statue of a dachshund’s head atop a 10-foot pole.
In a testament to these familiar faces’ emotional resonance with Bay Area residents, the city of San Francisco recovered one out of exile more than a decade after the chain closed down and all of the doggie heads disappeared behind private ownership. This rescued head, after receiving a refurbishment, was installed at the intersection of Sloat Boulevard and 45th Avenue in 2001, and was declared a city landmark in 2005. There’s no working diner operating underneath, but a proposed reboot—about an hour north, in Napa—might offer as many as 50 different varieties of hot dog.
Know Before You Go
A trio of "Doggy" heads can also be found on John F. Kennedy Drive in Golden Gate Park, just west of the Conservatory of Flowers.
Follow us on Twitter to get the latest on the world's hidden wonders.
Like us on Facebook to get the latest on the world's hidden wonders.Follow us on Twitter Like us on Facebook