A Seven-Decade Banking Relationship Helps Legendary Pink's Hot Dogs Grow From Hot Dog Cart to L.A. Icon
Oct 27, 2011
When it comes to Hollywood icons, there's the Hollywood sign, Grauman's Chinese Theatre, and Pink's Hot Dogs. Pink's, located at the corner of Melrose and La Brea, has long attracted crowds drawn to their Famous Chili Dogs, and their addictive fries, burgers, onion rings and burritos.
Paul and Betty Pink started selling Pink's Hot Dogs from a pushcart parked on that corner in 1939. The country was still in the midst of the Great Depression and the Pinks used their last $50 to buy a cart, which they plugged in with a 100-yard extension cord. When the landlord raised the rent two years later, they determined to buy their little plot of land to make their investment permanent.
The Pinks already had a personal banking relationship with Bank of America. They went to talk to the branch manager who was impressed with their enthusiasm and work ethic. The Pinks secured a $4,000 loan and purchased the little weed-filled lot and in 1946 they built a small building on the same spot where the cart had stood.
Today, current owners Richard and Beverly Pink, the founder's children, and Richard's wife Gloria preside over the flagship restaurant that sells more than 2,500 hot dogs—more than 30 kinds—and 170 pounds of chili a day. Pink's proximity to the studios has made it a local celebrity haunt and a part of the city's urban landscape for seven decades.
According to Richard, "It takes a lot of hard work to do what we do. We work at it every day from dawn to exhaustion. We are constantly trying to figure out how to attract thousands of customers a day to Pink's. With no foot traffic, they've got to want to beat a path to your hot dog stand."
Bank of America has worked with the Pink family as they have grown and expanded the business. According to Karla Lee, Regional Business Support Executive at Bank of America,"Like Pink's, every big business started as a small business. It's our ability to partner through the stages of their growth, providing the financial vehicles to help them be successful. And when all goes well, those businesses become anchors in their communities."
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