Starting as the original franchise of the 1923 landmark, Papaya King, Gray's Papaya was opened in 1973 at Broadway and 72nd street by Nicholas A.B. Gray, who invented the formula for the tropical fruit drinks that are paired with snappy grilled hot dogs. Shedding the King name after the initial five year contract, they have three west side locations including this one at West 37th and 8th that each offer up the same "Recession special" of two hot dogs and a drink. Inflation hit in 2006, though, when the price was raised from $2.95 to $3.50. New Yorkers from Lou Reed to Mario Batali to Al Franken swear by Gray's over its ancestor and numerous knockoffs; and New York Magazine called it the "best of the Papaya posse."