GRAY’S PAPAYA, Greenwich Village

Not only have the Blimpies in town been dwindling… the city is down at least two papaya hot dog joints since I’ve been noticing these things. Papaya King, on 7th Avenue and West 14th Street, has shuttered forever and one of the two remaining Gray’s Papaya franchises at 6th Avenue and West 8th Street has also succumbed to developers (the one at Broadway and West 72nd remains open). “Papaya King’s original locale, at 3rd Avenue and East 86th Street, remains in business and makes over a million dollars a year, not bad for a cheap lunch. It was opened by Greek immigrant Gus Poulos as Hawaiian Tropical Drinks in this location in 1932. How did hot dogs get involved? The story goes that this was still a German stronghold (the heart of Yorkville) at the time and the locals requested hot dogs or perhaps bratwurst or knockwurst as accompaniment.”


Also disappeared is the longtime B.Dalton, later Barnes and Noble, book palace across the street.


However, the wailings and teeth gnashings that accompanied the shutdown of Grays were rather redundant. A Papaya Dog franchise, after all, can be found a mere block away, at 6th Avenue and West 4th Street.


Categorized in: One Shots Tagged with:

4 Responses to GRAY’S PAPAYA, Greenwich Village

  1. fdr says:

    That bookstore was a Nathan’s back in the day.

  2. Gary Fonville says:

    I used to patronize the Papaya joint on 6th Avenue. But as time passed, the quality of the franks worsened, in my opinion. So I stopped going there.

  3. Jerry says:

    I remember a litany of Italian restaurants where the Papaya Dog is now, and the staff was always picketing and on strike.

  4. Tal Barzilai says:

    It’s sad that another known eatery is disappearing such as Gray’s Papaya, though it still has it’s UWS location. I do like these places because the hot dogs they give is organic hence no chemicals are used. Unfortunately, Gray’s Papaya dose increase the recession special by a dollar almost every year, and it costs more if you want something like cheese on the hot dogs when other papaya places don’t do that. So far, I have heard that Chelsea Papaya, at 23rd Street and 7th Avenue, is still around and open 24-7, while I have heard that Papaya King now has an East Village location over at St Mark’s Street near 3rd Avenue (Cooper Square), though they give value meals that include side orders such as curly fries and onion rings.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.