Although many Pitt students, myself included, are guiltyof visiting the O for it’s deliciously crafted cheese fries, many may not know that before there were fries, the O only served hot dogs and burgers.
In 1960, the Original Hot Dog Shop opened as “Original Franks and Burgers” in order to attract crowds
from Forbes Field. The business name changed as a result of a secret recipe for their hot dogs that began to take precedence over other items on the menu. The nickname of “the O” came about after a part of the infamous neon sign lost its light and was never replaced. Since then, it is hard to drive down Forbes Avenue without seeing the artistic contrast of neon with a dimly lit street block.
Hayley Pontia is a student at The University of Pittsburgh who works as a freelancer for Carnegie Museum of Natural History. Through this blog series, she will share her unique perspective on our historic building and the surrounding architecture of nearby buildings in the Oakland neighborhood of Pittsburgh.