A Journal of Humor, Music, Art & Politics for Austin & the Surrounding World, Since 1974.
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Giant Dog Heads in the Fog
The Legend of San Francisco's 'Doggie Diner'
Doggie Diner was a local fast food hot dog chain in the Bay Area operating from the mid 1940's to the mid 1980's. The most striking feature of the Doggie Diner chain was their sign, a 7 foot tall rotating fiberglass head of a wide eyed, bow-tie wearing, grinning dachshund dog with a chef's hat on. The famous dog head signs were designed by Bay Area designer Harold Bachman. After the Diner went out of business, all the large dog head signs were taken down and many were sold to individuals. In 2001, one of the dog signs, restored and refurbished by the city of San Francisco, was installed on a median strip at Sloat Boulevard and 45th Avenue, near San Francisco's Ocean Beach and the San Francisco Zoo. On August 11, 2006, the Doggie Diner dog head became an official San Francisco landmark.
In an attempt to save the heads from destruction they were featured in Zippy The Pinhead comics as
"the doggie". Zippy frequently had long-running conversations with the giant fiberglass doggie head. In 2004 Laughing Squid, a San Francisco web site, sponsored three of the dog heads, named Manny, Moe & Jack, as the "Holy Dogminican Order" and took the dog heads cross-country for an art show in New York City.
"Doggie diner!" was the battle cry of the Batwinged Hamburger Snatcher character from Dan O’Neill's Odd Bodkins newspaper comic strip.
Photograph of the "Holy Dogminican Order" © 2016 Dan Hubig