Hot Dog on a Stick, Then and Now

See how the seaside snack stop has changed since 1953

In 1946, Dave Barham bought a tiny concession stand across from the original Muscle Beach. An astute observer of beach culture, he saw the need for snacks that were ideal for strolling. Using his mother’s corn bread recipe, he created the batter-blanketed Hot Dog on a Stick, and the fried treat quickly became a hit. Barham expanded into county fairs and retail malls well before the advent of food courts. He died in 1991, leaving the company to his employees. Blaming rising rents and declining mall traffic, the hot dog purveyor filed for bankruptcy in February; in August the Global Franchise Group bought the chain’s 92 locations. The first site, shown here in 1953, was scheduled to be modernized but was spared when the demolition permit expired.