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Original Hot Dog Shop, Legendary Pitt Eatery, Closes

BRIAN MILLER

Original Hot Dog Shop, Legendary Pitt Eatery, Closes

A Pitt institution is apparently no more. 

The Original Hot Dog Shop has closed its doors after nearly 60 years of selling hot dogs, french fries, pizza and more from its location on Forbes Avenue adjacent to Pitt’s campus.

Better known as The O, the hot dog shop was founded by Syd & Moe Simon in June 1960, and over the years became Oakland’s most legendary eatery. 

Over the years it had been honored by the likes of Gourmet Magazine, The New York Times and Food Network, and was featured on WQED’s A Hot Dog Program with host Rick Sebak.

Its colorful menu boards, neon signage, low prices and sometimes absurd portions made The O a throwback classic. Open until 2 a.m., The O was a frequent destination for Pitt students after a long night of partying. Even Pitt football coach Pat Narduzzi mourned its closing on Twitter.

The shop’s closure comes amid the COVID-19 pandemic that has been especially difficult on restaurants, as businesses have been forced to transition to takeout and delivery only with dining rooms closed by Pennsylvania governor Tom Wolf on March 15.

The O’s closure follows fellow longtime Pitt institutions such as Peter’s Pub and Uncle Sam’s subs, which have closed in recent years.

A request for comment from restaurant ownership was not immediately returned.

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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Chuck Verdeber
Chuck Verdeber
2 months ago

Very sad to read this. It is terrible to see the retail businesses being obliterated by our government trespass. Our rights have been stripped and we are being ordered to do things that break our constitutional rights. Tom Wolfe is the enemy of the citizens of Pennsylvania. As die hard Pitt fans read this please realize through these tyrannical orders we may NEVER see our panthers play in person again. These idiots are talking about pushing college football to February and no college hoops. Please write your local state rep and ask them to turn up the heat of the… Read more »

Jonathan R Houser
Jonathan R Houser
2 months ago
Reply to  Chuck Verdeber

Chuck V, F*** you. I love “The O” and other Pittsburgh institution, like you. Regardless of the stay at home order, most people are going to stay at home away, in our current environment. I’m glad we have a governor that willing to issue mandates, for things that shouldn’t have to be said, for dumb people like you. Stay in house,and order in.

Sec. 122
Sec. 122
2 months ago

Lighten up Francis.

Randy McDaniels
2 months ago

Houser… GAWD. you’re an idiot.

H2P
H2P
2 months ago

Get a grip. Nobody wants their freedoms taken away

Mary Lou Blasko
Mary Lou Blasko
2 months ago
Reply to  Chuck Verdeber

So you are for people dying instead of a business closing? Wait until it affects one of your family members like it has mine. Think about others.

Thomas P
Thomas P
2 months ago
Reply to  Chuck Verdeber

The government’s job is to protect its citizens. If the federal government took the threat to the country seriously back in January maybe state governors wouldn’t have to be resorting to drastic measures that are necessary to save lives. If you want to be dumb and go out and catch the virus that certainly is your right. Where it becomes a problem is when you want to go to the hospital and your presence there prevents other people from receiving life saving treatment because you are taking up room needed to provide others such services. It also become a problem… Read more »

Matt Alumni
Matt Alumni
2 months ago
Reply to  Chuck Verdeber

Do you think the governor is closing restaurants to be a tyrant? Its to save lives stupid. When your mother dies so you could watch a basketball game you might reconsider.

Javier Heredia
Javier Heredia
2 months ago
Reply to  Chuck Verdeber

Yes, your constitutional rights are being stripped. But your constitutional rights were never absolute. They can be removed for any number of reasons, like the declared state of emergency which grants your governor vast discretion on which rights can and cannot be exercised. This is and has been the result of a very long and well established legal tradition and it’s all above board. Of course if you ACTUALLY thought your rights were being stripped you could sue the government. But you know you’ll lose. You’re just being a whiny brat and upset that you need people smarter than you… Read more »

Jeff
Jeff
2 months ago
Reply to  Chuck Verdeber

In a sane nation where the farce of diversity wasn’t pushed on the citizenry there would be no issue with new viruses popping up on our shores and ruining our way of life. It’s always the academic types that ruin everything because instead of acknowledging the natural which is controlled by God they instead believe in the illusion of the knowledge of mankind and science above all else. It’s always been a recipe for disaster. As always you can locate the source of the problem by locating the indoctrinated and the politically correct that always push their utter BS on… Read more »

Clark Martineau
Clark Martineau
2 months ago
Reply to  Jeff

Well, it eliminated the scourge of small pox which used to kill 10% of those infected. It has greatly reduced polio throughout the world. You can’t hide under the bed anymore because of the great numbers of international travelers. Working together is the solution. Not the problem.

Harris
Harris
2 months ago

As I hate to see businesses close their doors for good, it is truly hard on the community. But stop blaming it on governor Wolf. It was not his fault. blame the one who called it a hoax. He is one of the ones who at least had the health and safety of the peoples best interest at heart. Excuse me if death of loved ones is a high price to pay for some folks. The stay at home order is hard on everyone, but I would rather be safe than sorry which a whole lot of folks are going… Read more »

Jeff
Jeff
2 months ago
Reply to  Harris

FAKE NEWS….The truth is that President Trump placed a ban on travel from China very soon after the first case popped up on our shores and was vilified by liberals and labeled a xenophobe for his wise and swift action as always. Libs always attempt to rewrite history to fit their narratives.

kmp30
kmp30
2 months ago
Reply to  Jeff

Jeff, that might be true and I will concede that many on the left were unhappy about that move. But it seems like he figured banning travel China, and later the EU, was enough and did very little thereafter to prepare for a catastrophe. He banned travel from China on January 31st… Feb. 26: “And again, when you have 15 people, and the 15 within a couple of days is going to be down to close to zero, that’s a pretty good job we’ve done.” – President Trump. That’s like a month of saying it would just go away. I… Read more »

Jeff
Jeff
2 months ago
Reply to  kmp30

A great article from a brilliant man. A rare academic with the most important component of common sense. 👇

https://imprimis.hillsdale.edu/thoughts-current-crisis/

Jeff
Jeff
2 months ago
Reply to  kmp30

As the article that I posted correctly points out there are many who are at fault. The Chinese government most of all along with the dependence on big government bureaucracy. Even the so called medical experts changed their expert tune on whether or not this virus was of relevant concern to AMERICANS. Attempting to place blame on the President is entirely misguided with all due respect. The blame should be solely placed with the Chinese government and with government bureaucracy.

kmp30
kmp30
2 months ago
Reply to  Jeff

Jeff, I read the article. Thank you. We’ll assume all of the author’s statements are true and factual for simpliticys sake (even though there is explicit hearsay and obvious bias). It’s a pretty picture to go back in time and place blame elsewhere, but in doing so he leaves out one key point on that timeline, Trump was president for a full 3 years before the pandemic got its footing. And was warned early in his presidency that a pandemic was the biggest public health threat to the country. I don’t care what Obama and Bush did, they apparently got… Read more »

Thomas
Thomas
2 months ago
Reply to  kmp30

It should also be pointed out that both Bush and Obama had a whole team of people in the White House dedicated to preparing for and managing a Pandemic. Trump by his own admission fired these experts early in his Presidency because as a business person he didn’t want to pay people for sitting around and doing nothing. Bill Gates has also publicly stated that he met with Trump early in Trump’s Presidency and encouraged him to take preparing for a pandemic a priority. Trump went the opposite direction, and essential undid whatever preparation his predecessors had implemented earlier. You… Read more »

Jeff
Jeff
2 months ago
Reply to  kmp30

To each his or her own. I appreciate the civilized exchange nonetheless. I do however personally believe that if President Trump had been permitted to operate without constant obstruction and perpetual attempts to undermine perhaps everyone could have focused on real and pressing issues instead of manufactured issues. I can’t find fault in a man for walking into a situation where there was so much neglect to attempt to correct. Even Democrat Governor Cuomo said he’d be the first one to say Trump was there for New York. To each his or her own.

kmp30
kmp30
2 months ago
Reply to  Jeff

Sorry Jeff, one more thing. There are some very valid points in that article, so thank you for sharing.

Kirk Blazic
Kirk Blazic
2 months ago
Reply to  Jeff

Right except for those 43,000 that came in from China AFTER the travel ban. The man ignored the virus, called it a hoax, said it was under control, said it was 15 cases soon going to 0 among many other idiotic statements. Try as he might, you can’t change history and the facts!! The man is a half wit and his extreme inadequacies as a leader are being displayed on a daily basis.

Jeff
Jeff
2 months ago
Reply to  Kirk Blazic

As opposed to Biden and those on the other side of the aisle that believed any travel restrictions were a sign of Xenophobia. But in the view of some Trump is the idiotic one which is astonishing. Plus it was the so called medical experts as I previously stated that offered the diagnosis that there was no threat to Americans until they reversed course and said there was and at that point it didn’t take an expert to know that. The history of factual events is on the side of Trump.

Kirk Blazic
Kirk Blazic
2 months ago
Reply to  Jeff

My feelings on Trump aside (he’s a lying sack of shit) and I’m not a Biden fan, but if you want to believe something, at least have some facts to support it… A) Biden did NOT call the travel ban Xenophobic!! His exact quote was “This is no time for Donald Trump’s record of hysteria and xenophobia – hysterical xenophobia – and fear mongering to lead the way instead of science”. The quote was NOT in response to the travel ban, instead he was commenting on Trump stoking fear during the Ebola outbreak and the racist acts being carried out… Read more »

Ray Haluska
Ray Haluska
2 months ago

On this day it was announced the O is closing I’ll spend the rest of my life and never find a better mushroom cheese steak and a bountiful order of fresh cut french fries, both which made me smile since I wandered in there for the first time in 1977. Hope you change your mind and come back some day, some where.

Randy McDaniels
2 months ago

Tom Wolf is a pompous ass and needs to be booted off of his throne. I’ve always hated him, and this just pushes it over the top. He thinks he’s some king or something. Who was the king that was hanged? Seems appropriate for Wolf. And this is political, so you Dems out there, who think it’s not, totally is. I had the “bug” back in January before anybody knew what it was. GUESS WHAT? I LIVED. It’s the flu. Watch my videos on YouTube for some enlightenment.

kmp30
kmp30
2 months ago

It’s not the flu. Simple math will tell you that. You’re lucky you had it easy. Don’t spread misinformation because you had a certain experience. It’s not all about you. Although based on your unfounded, general jabs at “dems” I’m guessing it will probably be difficult to convince you otherwise. Get a clue.

Clark Martineau
Clark Martineau
2 months ago

Not everyone lives. Even healthcare workers are dying. I loved this place since the 1960s and would eat there whenever I came to town. The old guy who worked the counter didn’t put up with people who didn’t know what they wanted. You had to order quick. I got a kick out of how he handled customers. No whiners will be served!

Bob Davis
Bob Davis
2 months ago

Are the selling off any of the signs?

Clark Martineau
Clark Martineau
2 months ago

RIP Original Hot Dog. You will be missed. Wish I could post a picture of the cheese steak and fries I ate before the North Carolina game.

Linda
Linda
2 months ago

My friend from Philly would ask me to stop at theO’s when I picked her up at the airport – whatever time it was – and we would each have 2 dogs. Nothing better.

Robert Davis
Robert Davis
2 months ago

An OAKLAND institution!! Where you got a six pack to go up Flagstaff Hill with , have the best French fries and those great sausages, a tic above the dog I even worked there for a while in the 70s and every employee had to memorize the menu. The Simons are as much of an institution as their hot dogs

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[…] Pittsburgh native, Pitt alum and billionaire investor Mark Cuban has said that he wants to save Oakland’s Original Hot Dog Shop, a legendary Pitt campus eatery that closed its doors back in April. […]

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