Did you know that the Weenie Beenie hotdog stand, located at the intersection of Shirlington Road and S. Four Mile Run Drive, was originally owned by pool hustler William "Weenie Beenie" Staton, who died in 2006?
Bill Staton was a world-renowned pool player and an inaugural member of the One Pocket Hall of Fame. The start-up money for the purchase of the first hotdog stand was the result of a gambling trip to Arkansas. In 1960, Staton won $27,000, which in turn became the seed money for this Arlington institution. Originally one of several, the Arlington site is the only one remaining. The stand was notable enough to be the title of a song by the Foo Fighters, fronted by Dave Grohl, who recorded his first solo album “Pocketwatch” in Arlington in 1990-91 and later completed 2 Foo Fighters songs at Geoff Turner’s WGNS Arlington recording studio in 1997.
Staton performed trick shots in several movies, including "The Color of Money," and is also credited with giving "Minnesota Fats" his name. When he appeared on the television show "I've Got a Secret" his secret was that he could sink all balls on the table with one shot, considered quite a feat in the early 1960s. Staton also started Jack & Jill Cue Clubs, family-oriented pool establishments, one of which operated 24 hours a day in Arlington for 14 years until Bill retired to Myrtle Beach, SC in 1981.
What About You?
What do you remember about going to the Weenie Beenie at Shirlington Road? Do you remember the other locations? How about playing pool in Arlington, especially at the Jack& Jill Cue Club? If you remember, let us know!
What do I remember? I was only there last week. They still have the best half-smokes in the D.C. area.
I remember being told by someone who worked for a radio station – NPR? across the street a few decades ago that if they needed to find someone to interview in a hurry they'd always run across the street to the Weenie Beanie because it was nearly a guarantee they'd find some government functionary there who could come in and do an impromptu interview.