Hot Diggity Dog’s

Copyright Larry Johnston
Copyright Larry Johnston

“Hot Diggity Dogs”

Chicago, Illinois

When you go to Chicago, everybody knows where North Michigan Street is located. Next to the Chicago River is the Wrigley Building, a Chicago landmark in itself, but across the street to the north and one level down stood a landmark of its own. Hot Diggity Dogs was a small building that sat in the midst of a huge parking area at 251 E. Ohio Street near the corner of Ohio St and Fairbanks. I am not sure when the business opened, but they had one of the best Chicago Hot Dogs around.

While exhibiting at a show across from the Wrigley Building at street level, I went down to the small building and took photos of it, front and back.  Later I was at Navy Pier, just a short walk away and found the old Pepsi truck, where I couldn’t help but take photos of it.  I used the back of the building as a subject and added the Pepsi truck.

“Hot Diggity Dogs” has since been torn down, but I heard that on the last day it was open, they had a line of people several blocks long waiting to be served their last famous hot dog.

Rumor has it, they since opened at a different location..

Prints:
 
ALL PRINTS are printed on canvas and stretched on wooden stretcher bars and prices vary according to size ordered. Most are 2:3 proportion
 
Options:
 
wrapped print- part of the image is wrapped
around the sides of the wood.
 
 
Non-wrapped print- The full image is on the face, with white or black edges
 
 
(frames and hardware are not included)

11″ x 14″Black Edge………. $148.82

11″ x 14″ White Edge………. $148.82

11″ x 14″ Wrapped Edge………. $148.82

 

16″ x 20″ Black Edge ………. $204.72

16″ x 20″  White Edge………. $204.72

16″ x 20″ Wrapped Edge………. $204.72

16″ x 20″ ………. $375.00 original painting on stretched canvas not available.

          

Mustard & Ketchup

Copyright Larry Johnston

Copyright Larry Johnston

Copyright Larry Johnston
Copyright Larry Johnston

 

 

The year was 2003 and the Number One Art Festival in the Country was the Coconut Grove Arts Festival in Miami, Florida. I had exhibited there once before.  When I was accepted for this show, I was asked if I wanted to demonstrate my work at one of the schools in the Miami area. 

I thought that would be fun, so I accepted, but was given a time frame to complete a full painting in the classroom.  I chose a middle school in southwest Miami and had several phone discussions with the art teacher at the school.

Since I had a number of paintings with a diner theme, I decided to paint a related subject, that took less time to demonstrate. The Mustard and Ketchup painting was the first in a series of diner table-settings paintings. I was impressed by the students interest and the questions they asked during the class.

This was an experience that I will cherish as part of my artistic career.

Prints:
 
ALL PRINTS are printed on canvas and stretched on wooden stretcher bars and prices vary according to size ordered. Most are 2:3 proportion
 
Options:
 
wrapped print- part of the image is wrapped
around the sides of the wood.
 
 
Non-wrapped print- The full image is on the face, with white or black edges
 
 
(frames and hardware are not included)

11″ x 14″Black Edge………. $148.82

11″ x 14″ White Edge………. $148.82

11″ x 14″ Wrapped Edge………. $148.82

 

16″ x 20″ Black Edge ………. $204.72

16″ x 20″  White Edge………. $204.72

16″ x 20″ Wrapped Edge………. $204.72

16″ x 20″ ………. $375.00 original painting on stretched canvas not available.

          

Texas Tavern

Copyright Larry Johnston
Copyright Larry Johnston

Texas Tavern

Roanoke, Virginia

One of the stops on my Arts and Festival Tour was Roanoke, Virginia. They knew how to put on a festival, complete with great entertainment. Since the festival was just blocks away from the Texas Tavern, which we had heard about, we just had to check it out.

The nostalgia of it all was more than I could hope for.  The diner was established in 1930.  They claim that it seats 10,000 people (10 at a time).  Famous for their Chili, Hot Dogs, Hamburgers and Cheesy Westerns. I noticed, while sitting at the counter, even the metal pipe that you rest your feet on, had been completely worn through to the middle.

By the readers of the Roanoke Magazine, Texas Tavern was voted the best for: Chili, Hot Dogs, Local Hamburger and Late-Night Diner.  If you’re ever in Roanoke, stop downtown at 114 Church Ave.  They are open 24 hours, 7 days a week. You will be glad you did!

Other Roanoke, Virginia places I have painted are:  The Roanoke Weiner Stand;  Agnew Seed Store and Billy’s Ritz.

Copyright Larry Johnston
Copyright Larry Johnston

Copyright Larry Johnston
Copyright Larry Johnston

 

I love Roanoke and could live there! It is such a cool town.  Here are a few of my favorite places around town…

Roanoke Weiner Stand

Billy’s on the Ritz

Texas Tavern

Agnew Seed Store

Bonnie Doon Ice Cream 4th Street 1940’s

Copyright Larry Johnston
Copyright Larry Johnston

Bonnie Doon Ice Cream,

Mishawaka, IN

 

In 1938 Bonnie Doon Ice Cream was established and eventually grew into a local chain of drive-in Ice Cream shops and restaurants. The first business was located on 4th Street, in Mishawaka, Indiana.

I had painted one of the other Bonnie Doon drive-ins, located on S. Michigan St, in South Bend, IN and the painting was on display at  local Art show, when a couple approached me to paint the 4th Street Ice Cream Shop.  They used to date when they were young and that was their favorite date place.  I painted the building as it looked at that time, putting their Studebaker in the painting.

The building was also the factory for making the ice cream for the other stores.  It now sits empty, as the store closed a couple of years ago.  Only one store remains, which was purchased several years ago.  Bonnie Doon eventually entered the local retail market with a variety of flavors.

Here the other Bonnie Doon paintings I have painted: Bonnie Doon, US-31 North, South Bend; Bonnie Doon, S. Michigan St., South Bend; Bonnie Doon on Lincolnway West in Mishawaka; Bonnie Doon on 4th St. Mishawaka in the 1950s.

Bonnie Doon, Lincolnway West

Copyright Larry Johnston
Copyright Larry Johnston

Bonnie Doon,

Lincolnway West, Mishawaka, Indiana

While traveling around the country exhibiting at Art Shows and Festivals, several were close to home, so I painted some local places.  Bonnie Doon was one of those places. The Ice Cream Chain covered South Bend and Mishawaka, with 5 Drive-in locations. Other locations I painted were Bonnie Doon -South Michigan St, South Bend…. Bonnie Doon – US 31 North, South Bend….. Bonnie Doon, 4th St., Mishawaka 1940 …..Bonnie Doon, 4th St. Mishawaka 1950s. Another location was Lincolnway West at Bendix Drive, South Bend, which I Have not yet painted.

This location was on Lincolnway, in Mishawaka.  It is the only location still operating but has a different owner, but Bonnie Doon ice cream is still popular.  The ice cream plant was originally within the 4th Street building and later located in Elkhart and could be purchased at retail outlets in the area.

The panting highlights the neon with the 1956 T-Bird, showing the era of the business.  On the opposite side of the building, there was a drive-up with car hops and the traditional ordering through a speaker from your car. I even included my wife Evelyn in the painting inside, complete with the Juke Box. She is not the one with the baseball cap!

 

 
Prints:
 
ALL PRINTS are printed on canvas and stretched on wooden stretcher bars and prices vary according to size ordered. Most are 2:3 proportion
 
Options:
 
wrapped print- part of the image is wrapped
around the sides of the wood.
 
 
Non-wrapped print- The full image is on the face, with white or black edges
 
 
(frames and hardware are not included)
 
8″ x 12″ Black Edge………. $109.17
8″ x 12″ White Edge………. $109.17
8″ x 12″ Wrapped Edge………. $109.17
 
 
12” x 18” Black Edge ………. $168.07
12” x 18” White Edge ………. $168.07
12” x 18” Wrapped Edge ………. $168.07
 
 
16” x 24” Black Edge ………. $226.14 (Most popular)
16” x 24” White Edge ………. $226.14 (Most popular)
16” x 24” Wrapped Edge ………. $226.14 (Most popular)
 
 
20” x 30” Black Edge………. $314.34
20” x 30” White Edge………. $314.34
20” x 30” Wrapped Edge………. $314.34
 
 
24” x 36”Black Edge ………. $335.65
24” x 36”White Edge ………. $335.65
24” x 36”Wrapped Edge ………. $335.65
24” x 36” Original Painting on stretched canvas $1,295
 

Silver Diner-Red

Copyright Larry Johnston

Copyright Larry Johnston

The Silver Diner (Red)

This painting is my version of a silver diner, looking in from the outside, complete with the soda fountain, black and white checkered floor a booth, bar stools and yes, a jukebox, It was a fun project to make up my own Silver Diner.  I sold this painting, but not without conditions. Check out those conditions in my second painting  (here).

Prints:
 
ALL PRINTS are printed on canvas and stretched on wooden stretcher bars and prices vary according to size ordered. Most are 2:3 proportion
 
Options:
 
wrapped print- part of the image is wrapped
around the sides of the wood.
 
 
Non-wrapped print- The full image is on the face, with white or black edges
 
 
(frames and hardware are not included)
 
8″ x 12″ Black Edge………. $109.17
8″ x 12″ White Edge………. $109.17
8″ x 12″ Wrapped Edge………. $109.17
 
 
12” x 18” Black Edge ………. $168.07
12” x 18” White Edge ………. $168.07
12” x 18” Wrapped Edge ………. $168.07
 
 
16” x 24” Black Edge ………. $226.14 (Most popular)
16” x 24” White Edge ………. $226.14 (Most popular)
16” x 24” Wrapped Edge ………. $226.14 (Most popular)
 
 
20” x 30” Black Edge………. $314.34
20” x 30” White Edge………. $314.34
20” x 30” Wrapped Edge………. $314.34
 
 
24” x 36”Black Edge ………. $335.65
24” x 36”White Edge ………. $335.65
24” x 36”Wrapped Edge ………. $335.65

 

24” x 36” ………. Original Painting on stretched canvas not available

McDonald’s

Copyright Larry Johnston

McDonald’s

Mishawaka, Indiana.

It was the 1950’s, when Neon, Milk Shakes and cool cars came on the scene.  In the midst of it all, we had heard of a new restaurant that had burgers, fries and shakes.  You couldn’t go inside to eat and they didn’t have car hops that brought it out to your car.  The way it worked was, you walked up to the window on the outside of the building and ordered your food, they prepared it, put it in a bag and you either sat in your car or took it home to eat. They called it “Fast Food”. The even had a sign that told you how many hamburgers they had sold nationwide.

These places started in Chicago and were popping up in other states.  In January of 1959, the first local McDonald’s opened just one block from the dividing line between South Bend and Mishawaka, Indiana, on Lincolnway West on the Mishawaka side.

As I was traveling and painting for Art Shows, the pubic was excited about my diner and restaurant pictures. Since I did several shows in this area, and was raised in South Bend, I decided to include McDonald’s, as it would have looked, when it first opened here.

While on the road in in Louisville Kentucky, at St. James Court, one of the top shows in the country, we were approached by a family, whos’ father had just retired and sold his collection of a large number of McDonald’s restaurants he had built up, during his restaurant years.  The children wanted to pool their money and buy him the painting as a retirement gift.

The McDonald’s painting was my first experience with Classic Cars and Neon, which became a popular theme in later paintings.

 

Prints:
 
ALL PRINTS are printed on canvas and stretched on wooden stretcher bars and prices vary according to size ordered. Most are 2:3 proportion
 
Options:
 
wrapped print- part of the image is wrapped
around the sides of the wood.
 
 
Non-wrapped print- The full image is on the face, with white or black edges
 
 
(frames and hardware are not included)

20″ x 24″Black Edge………. $148.82

20″ x 24″ White Edge………. $148.82

20″ x 24″ Wrapped Edge………. $148.82

 

 

30″ x 36″ Black Edge ………. $204.72

30″ x 36″  White Edge………. $204.72

30″ x 36″ Wrapped Edge………. $204.72

 

 

30″ X 36″ original painting on stretched canvas not available.

Skyline Chili #2

Copyright Larry Johnston

Copyright Larry Johnston

Skyline Chili

Cincinnati, Ohio

Founded in 1949, the first Skyline Chili on Glenway Avenue, in Cincinnati, Ohio is an area now known as Price Hill.  The building is no longer there, however around the corner at 3714 Warsaw Ave (above painting), is a combination restaurant and drive through Skyline Chili.

Famous for their special chili, coney dogs and my favorites, the 3-way, 4-way and 5-way which offers a combination of Spaghetti, topped with their special Chili, covered with cheese.  Onions and beans can be added.

While exhibiting in the Cincinnati area Art shows, we discovered Skyline Chili and soon after, I painted two versions of the restaurant on Warsaw Avenue.  In the first version,  I painted the first wienermobile in the painting, as it was leaving the restaurant. (Click to View).  I guess the driver was craving a Skyline coney dog.  A couple, I met at an art festival, wanted me to paint the painting without those vehicles and wanted theirs in the painting instead. I have personalized other paintings over my career, especially at their favorite restaurants or places they grew up around.

Prints:
 
ALL PRINTS are printed on canvas and stretched on wooden stretcher bars and prices vary according to size ordered. Most are 2:3 proportion
 
Options:
 
wrapped print- part of the image is wrapped
around the sides of the wood.
 
 
Non-wrapped print- The full image is on the face, with white or black edges
 
 
(frames and hardware are not included)
 
8″ x 12″ Black Edge………. $109.17
8″ x 12″ White Edge………. $109.17
8″ x 12″ Wrapped Edge………. $109.17
 
 
12” x 18” Black Edge ………. $168.07
12” x 18” White Edge ………. $168.07
12” x 18” Wrapped Edge ………. $168.07
 
 
16” x 24” Black Edge ………. $226.14 (Most popular)
16” x 24” White Edge ………. $226.14 (Most popular)
16” x 24” Wrapped Edge ………. $226.14 (Most popular)
 
 
20” x 30” Black Edge………. $314.34
20” x 30” White Edge………. $314.34
20” x 30” Wrapped Edge………. $314.34
 
 
24” x 36”Black Edge ………. $335.65
24” x 36”White Edge ………. $335.65
24” x 36”Wrapped Edge ………. $335.65
 
24” x 36” Original Painting on stretched canvas not available

Skyline Chili #1

Copyright Larry Johnston

Copyright Larry Johnston

Skyline Chili & Wienermobile.

Cincinnati, Ohio

Skyline Chili is well known around Cincinnati, so while in the area exhibiting in several shows, I decided to paint one of their locations. Actually, I painted 2 Skyline paintings, one commissioned by a customer, to include his car in the painting. (View)

The painting above was the closest to the original restaurant, which has since closed.  Since they were famous for chili dogs, I included the original Wienermobile in the painting. I didn’t know what brand of hot dogs they used, but the Skyline Chili Restaurant with the Wienermobile was quite a popular painting.

Prints:
 
ALL PRINTS are printed on canvas and stretched on wooden stretcher bars and prices vary according to size ordered. Most are 2:3 proportion
 
Options:
 
wrapped print- part of the image is wrapped
around the sides of the wood.
 
 
Non-wrapped print- The full image is on the face, with white or black edges
 
 
(frames and hardware are not included)
 
8″ x 12″ Black Edge………. $109.17
8″ x 12″ White Edge………. $109.17
8″ x 12″ Wrapped Edge………. $109.17
 
 
12” x 18” Black Edge ………. $168.07
12” x 18” White Edge ………. $168.07
12” x 18” Wrapped Edge ………. $168.07
 
 
16” x 24” Black Edge ………. $226.14 (Most popular)
16” x 24” White Edge ………. $226.14 (Most popular)
16” x 24” Wrapped Edge ………. $226.14 (Most popular)
 
 
20” x 30” Black Edge………. $314.34
20” x 30” White Edge………. $314.34
20” x 30” Wrapped Edge………. $314.34
 
 
24” x 36”Black Edge ………. $335.65
24” x 36”White Edge ………. $335.65
24” x 36”Wrapped Edge ………. $335.65

 

24” x 36” ………. $1,295.00 Original Painting

Rosie’s Diner 1

Copyright Larry Johnston

Copyright Larry Johnston

“Rosie’s Diner”

Rockford, Michigan

Most everyone has seen photos of Rosie’s Diner, some with miniature lights for tail lights and in strategic areas of the photo that you could hang in your recreation room, or maybe the kitchen. The painting above, is also of Rosie’s Diner. Let me tell you the story of how this painting started.

While participating in the #1 Art Show, at the time, in the country, which was Coconut Grove, Florida, I met a ceramic artist who made miniature diners that had neon on them.  It was great work.  The artist, Jerry Berta, told me a story that fascinated me.  I had seen those photos in stores and restaurants, I mentioned above.

Jerry had a REAL diner, that he used as a studio to make his miniature diners. People would show up at his door, wanting to buy diner food, and he had to explain to them, it was only his studio.  Then he had the opportunity to purchase a diner in Little Ferry, New Jersey.  They were going to get rid of the diner to make room for what they called “Progress” and offered Jerry a deal, he couldn’t refuse.

The Silver Dollar Diner, was the name of the Diner, where the well-known commercial with Rosie, the waitress, advertised paper towels. Jerry accepted the deal and moved it to Michigan. He said he only had 10 flat tires during the move. When he arrived in Rockford, he renamed the Diner, ‘Rosie’s.  It was located in the same parking lot as his other diner and sold regular Diner Food.

On various nights of the month, he would turn on the neon lights and allow people to photograph their classic cars in the watered-down parking lot, which shows the reflections of the neon.

While in Greenville, Michigan at an Art Festival, I took time to stop there and photograph the diner.  The painting above is from the photos I took that day.

Other Silver Diner Paintings I have done are: 

Pelican Diner, St. Pete Beach;   Inside the Silver Diner, Red trim;   Inside the Silver Diner, pink

Prints:
 
ALL PRINTS are printed on canvas and stretched on wooden stretcher bars and prices vary according to size ordered. Most are 2:3 proportion
 
Options:
 
wrapped print- part of the image is wrapped
around the sides of the wood.
 
 
Non-wrapped print- The full image is on the face, with white or black edges
 
 
(frames and hardware are not included)
 
8″ x 12″ Black Edge………. $109.17
8″ x 12″ White Edge………. $109.17
8″ x 12″ Wrapped Edge………. $109.17
 
 
12” x 18” Black Edge ………. $168.07
12” x 18” White Edge ………. $168.07
12” x 18” Wrapped Edge ………. $168.07
 
 
16” x 24” Black Edge ………. $226.14 (Most popular)
16” x 24” White Edge ………. $226.14 (Most popular)
16” x 24” Wrapped Edge ………. $226.14 (Most popular)
 
 
20” x 30” Black Edge………. $314.34
20” x 30” White Edge………. $314.34
20” x 30” Wrapped Edge………. $314.34
 
 
24” x 36”Black Edge ………. $335.65
24” x 36”White Edge ………. $335.65
24” x 36”Wrapped Edge ………. $335.65

24” x 36” ………. Original Painting on stretched canvas not available