I just found out one of my favorite stops in L.A. shut its buns late last year and vanished. If you've never heard of Tail o' the Pup, it's a hot-dog stand shaped like a giant hot dog, which has been around since 1946. I wrote about it a few years ago over at The Big Waste of Space. Back when I was living in Simi Valley for a couple of years, I'd try to hit this place whenever I could, especially when family was in town.

At the time, I think I liked Pink's better, but in retrospect I remember the Pup more fondly. The dogs were great and it didn't take 45 minutes to shuffle through a disorganized mob to place your order. Oh, and it was shaped like a giant hot dog!

Word got out about the closure from someone who overheard the owner talking to one of the Pup's patrons. The story hit the papers from there. Apparently, the Pup was on a month-to-month lease and the landlord gave the Blake family, who owns Tail o' the Pup, only 30 days' notice to vacate. The big frank was put in storage in late December.

The landowner was reportedly helping the Blake family find a new spot to reopen, most likely in Westwood Village. But it's unclear when, or even if, that will happen. The Los Angeles Conservancy, however, reported that the Blakes were planning to review their options after a holiday vacation, and the organization assured everyone that they'll be doing their best to make sure the Pup gets relocated properly. I only hope it's placed in an adequately photographic location, as the pictures I took back in '98 — forgive me for this — don't cut the mustard.

In the meantime, the landowner is planning to build a gay-oriented housing community on the property. It is in West Hollywood, after all. Which surprises me why they'd let a 17-foot wiener get away.

(And before I start getting irate e-mail from people offended on behalf of gays, I ran that joke by my gay friends — and I majored in theater, so I know plenty — and they thought it was hilarious.)