Following bankruptcy, Hot Dog on a Stick’s flagship location is finally getting a makeover.

Santa Monica’s Hot Dog on a Stick has plans to demolish and rebuild a new beach-side stand this fall, according to Beach Manager Judith Meister. The remodel, which proposes a storefront five feet wider than the current structure, should begin by November and will finish within four to five months.

Founded by David Barham in 1945, Hot Dog on a Stick, first called Party Puffs, now sits on land operated by City Hall. Renovations were going to begin 2009, when architects designed a structure that would look nearly identical to the current stand. All necessary city permits had been collected when, in 2014, Hot Dog on a Stick declared bankruptcy.

“This location had always been very profitable,” said Meister. “But I think they expanded into malls, and they over expanded.”

According to Daily Press archives, the company had been employee-owned since 1991, when Barham died.

After the business was bought by the Atlanta-based management firm, Global Franchise Group, the permits were collected a second time but those also expired and officials are now in the process of reauthorizing the work.

Meister, who began working for the city in 1983 after the pier collapsed, remembers almost every change made to the row of beach-front businesses.

“When the pier went down, it took a while to rebuild and revitalize it, and the area around the pier wasn’t very busy,” Meister said. “Hot Dog on a Stick was always a draw. It represents a lot about what Santa Monica Beach has always been: very inviting and accessible to a lot of people.”

Until the 1960’s, Muscle Beach brought lines of customers to the fast-food stand. Renovations to Ocean Front Walk in the 90’s welcomed new establishments and business picked back up. Part of this latest renovation includes preserving Hot Dog on a Stick’s famous storefront.

“The space will look substantially like the current building, on the outside,” said Stephen Thomas, Executive Vice President from Global Franchise Group. “It was important to us to respect the history that the Muscle Beach location has for us.”

Rather than using the standard Hot Dog on a stick logo sign on the building, Thomas said designs include a recreation of the current sign. The space will include a more energy efficient, updated facility compliant with the American Disabilities Act.

Miki Martin, a Hot Dog on a Stick employee, said she looks forward to more space and updated facilities. She expects to be temporarily relocated during renovations. During that time, the company plans to introduce a Hot Dog on Stick food truck in the parking lot, Thomas said.

“Our ultimate goal for our Muscle Beach location is simple: we want to update the building in a way that is respectful to the area, acknowledges our heritage there, and serves our beloved customers better,” Thomas said.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.