What is That "Doggie" in the Vineyard?
Back in 1984, Suzy & Jim found themselves at a fundraising event for their children's nursery school. As they perused the Silent Auction offerings, they became intrigued with the Doggie Diner head. He had just undergone a major facelift and was looking quite spiffy. Having lots of space on the farm in the foothills (now the vineyard), Suzy & Jim offered $300 expecting to be easily outbid. Well, no one out-bid them, or even made a single bid, and they unexpectedly became the proud parents of a new Doggie.
For the next 20 years, the Doggie Diner head held court under an oak tree in the vineyard. Unfortunately, during those years Doggie also collected moss, became a mouse condo and significantly weathered.
In 2004, the staff decided Doggie needed a change of scenery and moved him to his current home outside the tasting room. However, he was not looking his best. Luckily, two of our very talented employees, Tonka Formigle and Laura Davisson, came to the rescue and completely refurbished Doggie. He now shines true to his original luster, from the top of his pearly white cap down to the tip of his black button nose.
Jim and Suzy Gullett
The Doggie Diner Story
Back in the 1960's the Doggie Diner chain boasted over 30 restaurants in the Bay Area. Most of those were in the city of San Francisco. The head actually concealed a chimney through which the smoke from roasting hot dogs and burgers wafted. By the mid-1980's the doggie craze had passed and the last of the diners closed.
Today the Doggie Diner head has become something of a "cause celebre" in San Francisco. There is only one Doggie Diner head remaining and efforts continue to make it into a City Landmark. Until 2004 it stood in its original spot on the corner across from the zoo, where it was placed in 1963.
In early 2005, the owner of the property wanted to build a parking lot and the Doggie Diner head was slated for demolition. Luckily, Doggie Diner head lovers managed to pool resources and have the head moved to a new location, just a few yards away. You can see it today, on the median strip across the street from the entrance to the San Francisco Zoo.
For more Doggie Diner images, links to other Doggie Diner sites and other works by Anna L. Conti, visit www.bigcrow.com.