Renovation plans call for demolition of 1946 stand on Santa Monica Beach
By Dolores Quintana
The original and beloved Hot Dog on a Stick location was founded in 1946 on Muscle Beach, right next to the Santa Monica Pier. It might finally be the time for that original building to be demolished as part of renovation plans.
In 1946, Dave Barham opened the food stand just to the south of the Santa Monica Pier. Originally called Party Puffs, the bright red barnlike stand served ice cream cones and lemonade but that all changed when, using his mom’s cornbread recipe, Barham perfected the corndog. To highlight this new menu staple, he changed the name of his stand to Hot Dog on a Stick. Next, he took his products on the road and started selling at county fairs using his Lincoln Continental as a generator. After that, Hot Dog on a Stick took to the malls. Now Hot Dog on a Stick has 70 stores in 7 states.
The renovation project for the original Santa Monica stand has been in the works since 2009 and was postponed in 2014 when their parent company filed a bankruptcy declaration. The delays continued from 2015 to 2021 and now the California Coastal Commission voted unanimously to grant demolition and rebuilding permits for the business on December 15, 2021. The only approval that is left to secure is that of the City of Santa Monica.
According to the Coastal Commission report, the new building’s dimensions are “ one-story 660 square feet, approximately 220 square feet larger than the existing building and similar in height, but with a mechanical roof screen extending to 16.5 feet.”
The plan is to keep the same basic color scheme and style as the original restaurant.
“It’ll still have the same signature red and white, still be primarily rectangular and shape, the windows in the front — all of those sorts of things. So, you know, there was a lot of thought [put] into making the building as close as possible to the existing building,” the project’s architect, Michael Riley, told the Santa Monica Daily Press
While the new restaurant would be larger, the Coastal Commission does not think the project would strain parking demand in the area.
“Because of the small size of the facility, no indoor or outdoor seating, and location immediately adjacent to the pier, beach commercial area and beach, the facility’s demand is mainly from visitors that come to the pier and beach and is not a destination type restaurant that generates a parking demand,” reads the commission’s report.
If plans are approved by the City of Santa Monica, construction will take approximately 2 months and will be conducted during non-summer period months, During construction, the parking lot would remain open but some spaces immediately adjacent to the construction area will be temporarily unavailable for public use but will be available once construction has been completed.