The Original Kasper’s
Harry’s grandfather Kasper started selling hot dogs in 1929. The Original Kasper’s was Harry’s hot dog joint. It’s a little flatiron building where Telegraph and Shattuck Avenues meet in the heart of North Oakland’s commercial district.
“It’s the only hot dog stand in the country with it’s own city block,” Harry says.
The Yaglijians operated out of the same building that Harry’s grandfather opened back in 1943. Then the business was passed to Harry’s father.
“When I was an infant,” says Harry, “he kept the onions back here in the shelf. So I used to sleep right down here.”
His dad ran the shop for half a century, and after he retired, Harry took over. But in 2003, Harry closed for repairs and couldn’t afford to re-open. Original Kasper’s hot dogs has been boarded up since then, with almost 60 years of Oakland history locked inside. The building is a wistful landmark for longtime residents and a mysterious artifact for newcomers.