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Doggie Diner founder Al Ross dies at 93

April 5, 2010 | 12:57 pm

Al Ross, the founder of a San Francisco Bay Area hot dog chain as famous for its giant fiberglass dachshund heads as for its food, died in Palm Springs of natural causes, the San Francisco Chronicle reported. He was 93.

A former amateur boxer who moved to Alameda, Calif., from the Bronx, Ross opened 30 Doggie Diners in the Bay Area, starting with one in Oakland in 1948.

In 1979, Ross sold the diners and eventually retired. The diners closed for good in 1986.

In 2000, fans of the doggie heads that rotated above the restaurants led a campaign to save the last surviving one. It received a $25,000 face-lift and was moved near San Francisco’s Ocean Beach.

-- Associated Press

Photo: A dachshund doggie, left over from the Doggie Diner chain, towers over the Carousel Diner in San Francisco in 1999. Credit: Associated Press