Papaya King

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Papaya King is a chain of fast food take-out restaurants based in New York City.

The original Papaya King was opened in 1932 on the corner of 86th St. and Third Ave. on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. Although the restaurant originally only served drinks made from fresh tropical fruits, it soon expanded to serving hot dogs due to the influence of its neighborhood, which at the time was populated predominantly by German-American immigrants. It now also serves crispy Cajun curly fries with or without cheese.

Other Papaya King locations include 121 W. 125th St., and in Clifton, New Jersey. A Papaya King opened January 2009 in Portland, Maine. (A location at 14th St. and 7th Ave. closed in 2009.) In May 2011, Papaya King opened a restaurant in Los Angeles.

Papaya King was founded and run for many years by the late Gus Poulos, and later on his son Peter, who first managed their second store (with seating) at 87th Street and Third Avenue. In the 1930s, there was also a store in Upper Darby, Pennsylvania. During the 1970s, the Pouloses attempted to franchise the restaurant, and one franchise briefly opened in midtown. A company-owned store opened (and closed) in the 1980s at 59th Street and Third Avenue. In 2001, another company-owned store opened in Philadelphia, this time on the campus of the University of Pennsylvania at 40th and Locust...
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