created by Merrill Sign Company of
1801 Jefferson St. 1

The first Doggie Diner was opened by owner Al Ross at 19th Street and San Pablo Avenue in 1948. The original restaurant was a tremendous success and Ross opened other Doggie Diners throughout the East Bay and San Francisco.

The restaurant chain grew until Ross owned 30 diners (including Downtown Oakland), each with the iconic giant, rotating dachshund heads designed by Harold Bachman.

Downtown Oakland Doggie Diner
(source: National Register of Historic Places)
Doggie Diner awning on the Cathedral Building - circa mid-90s?
(Source: Facebook)

1963 photo of Doggie Diner in the Cathedral Building 2The pressure of competing with McDonald's caused Al Ross to sell all the Doggie Diners in 1979 and retire to Palm Springs.  The last of the diners closed in 1986.

A D.D. head shares a display case with Nipper (The RCA dog) in the Oakland Museum of California's History Gallery.  Doggie Diner napkin  Harold Bachman, creator of the Doggie Diner head  Doggie Diner bag

Additional Links

  1. Photo of Doggie Diner truck prepared by Merrill Sign Company

  2. Doggie Diner Oakland, Calif. - signage by Federal Sign - 1963, courtesy of Heather David / Flickr