[For Bruce and Neta, and anyone else interested]:
That's the good news. The bad news is that Art, himself, died. My brother, Phil, along with his friend, Tom, and my nephew Michael went to the site and he filed this report:
It's still there!!
Now officially called "Art's World-Famous Chili Dogs," it's essentially the same place with the same ambience and same menu.
Still just off the corner of Florence & Normandie (this btw, is the corner where the L.A. riots started when the white truck driver Reginald Denny was
beaten in the wake of the Rodney King affair), the stand is just a shack with one guy working the place, seating for about 5 people inside and some "patio dining" in the back. Pretty much the same menu as before with Hot Dogs, Chili Dogs, and tamales (did you remember that tamales were an original offering of Art's?) A dog is about $2. They have some cool sodas you don't normally see, like Vernors, etc.
I talked to the new owner, who still keeps the signed photos in the shop of some celebrities who
autographed the pics to Art, and one picture of the original stand showing Art behind the counter (a young guy with black hair and a thin moustache). He knew Art,
but never worked at the stand with him. Here's the history as I found it from the guy.
Art's opened in 1939. He ran the place continuously until he retired in 1990 (wow, over 50 years at the same place!) He left the stand to a friend or
relative, but the new owner had it only a short time, selling it to someone else in the very early 1990's. Art died in 1992. Sometime right around then,
the place went under and the bank repossed it. It was closed for almost a year.
Then a guy bought it from the bank, remodeled the place (I loved that cause it sure doesn't look "'remodeled"), and re-opened it with the same
menu. This is around 1994 I think. Then that guy sold it to the current owner sometime in the last few years.
They now make a sort of strawberry smoothie thing, which I guess is their one concession to the 21st century. Dogs are still great, mild chili (which I
like) and a Vernors. Can't beat that.
Do you think this is worth posting on Chowhound?
I sure do!