It had been awhile since I was at the very southern Berkeley border on San Pablo, so I was surprised to find that the Twin Castle Express that resides there had closed and was soon to be demolished. Having not eaten a hot dog or any other meat in a number of years, I was not particularly saddened about not being able to order the burgers, fries, soft-serve cones and other items this stand offered, but I did enjoy the (It think) 1950s signage at the restaurant. Where will the signs go, I wonder? I’m not ready to jump the fence and grab these signs for myself (although if it was anthropomorphic carrot instead of a hot dog on the sign pictured below, I might have had to consider it.

Most interesting was the fact that I could find no talk in the local papers and elsewhere online about anyone wanting to save this building. Is there no contingent in Berkeley interested in classic roadside architecture or old-fashioned burger and hot dog stands? Is it the location (San Pablo Avenue, which doesn’t seem to get as much attention as other places in terms of development concerns)? Are there just too many places to get an inexpensive old-fashioned hot dog or hamburger, in Berkeley? There is Top Dog on Durant, Oscar’s on Shattuck, and the Doggie High across from Berkeley High School, Foster’s Freeze further north on San Pablo from where Twin Castle used to be, plus others I probably haven’t noticed yet. Who knows. But one thing I do know for sure — you can’t know everything about the place you live by reading the newspapers. You have to get out there and keep your eyes open for changes.



  1. Ron Bloomquist said

    Could you take a photo of the actual building before it is gone? I’d like to see it.

  2. Georgia said

    Sadly Doggie Heaven has been closed the two times I have walked by – during hours when they should be open. I am vegetarian so I was really excited to find a hotdog place that serves veggies dogs. I think the burger/ dog place on Shattuck and Hearst also offers veggie options.

  3. Spike said

    Where will the signs go, I wonder?

    Betcha some collector has already bags’d them.

  4. Wow, guess I haven’t been there for a while,either. I’d lived in South Berkeley for years before I finally tried that place. Hamburgers weren’t bad. And the menu certainly had something for everyone. I’m sad to see it go. It’s nice to have a burger place that isn’t a huge chain.

  5. christine said

    So sad — somebody should save those doggy “artworks”! I took pictures of all of them at least ten years ago; wonder where those photos went.

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