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Fundraising goal reached for restoration of Doggie Diner heads

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John Law
  • Courtesy Scott Beale
  • John Law, an artist who owns the Doggie Diner heads, feels gratified that the heads will be restored.
The Doggie Diner heads have had their day.

Once at risk of extinction, the three symbols of the long-defunct Bay Area fast-food chain have been spared.

It’s all thanks to a Kickstarter campaign that on Wednesday surpassed its $48,000 fundraising goal for the purchase of a new trailer and restoration of the large dachshund figurines, more specifically known as Manny, Moe and Jack.

And with two days to go before the fundraising deadline, the dog heads wearing bow ties and chef hats could net even more doggie treats.

“I’m really ecstatic and I’m not going to say I’m surprised, but I’m really gratified,” said artist John Law, who for years has hauled the 7-foot-tall fiberglass heads on a trailer to various community and charity events.

The rotating dog-head signs, created by artist Harold Bachman in 1966, became a fixture of the popular local chain that operated from 1948 to 1986. Several were saved from destruction, but Law said without money for proper restoration and a reliable trailer, he would’ve had to donate them to a museum or sell them.

Ed Holmes, who helps organize the annual St. Stupid’s Day Parade through the Financial District, said the dog figures draw smiles and are a “visual amplification of the silliness” of the event. He credited the successful fundraising campaign to the strength of an online presence.

San Francisco, which designated the dog heads a city landmark in 2006, will return a refurbished dog sign near Ocean Beach during a celebration on Valentine’s Day.

“The Doggie Diner head really is a San Francisco icon, and we’re excited to be able to keep it alive,” said spokeswoman Rachel Gordon of the Department of Public Works.

With any extra Kickstarter funds, Law hopes he can raise one of the dogs on a rotating trailer post.