Our Story Starts
2000 • Andy Cauble opened the doors of the Penguin Drive-In with Greg and his wife Candy Auten, as a Bartender.
Triple D in CLT!
Hanging with Guy
May 2007 • Guy Fieri searches out some off-the-hook specials from coast to coast: The North Carolina joint where they're frying up pickles and homemade corn dogsDiners, Drive-Ins and Dives | Season 1, Episode 3
2007 • In 2007, now the General Manager, Andy was brought in as a new partner in the second endeavor, The Penguin Grill, a streamlined version of The Penguin Drive-In, except in a NightClub, The Alley Cat only lasted just over a year due to becoming a private club. During the days of The Penguin Grill, Greg and Andy created a great work relationship and mutual respect through day-to-day actions attempting to run a successful kitchen in a private nightclub.
The Seeds Were Planted
2008 • It all began around 2008, when a Real Estate Developer asked if Greg Auten and his partners at The Penguin Drive-In wanted to open another location, in the Triple “G” Automotive Garage. At this time, The Penguin Drive-In had been featured on Diner, Drive-In’s & Dives and was experiencing an overwhelming success, not only by tourists, but also by locals and was a real heart in the community.
Change was in the air
Everyone agreed it was time to drop all ties with The Penguin Drive-In and create our own independent restaurant. After much brainstorming for a name, Pinky’s was the only name we could agree on, not to mention Andy had a birth relative named Pinky. We began receiving press about using the Triple “G” Automotive building, a former Volkswagen Repair shop with a VW Bug on the roof (Charlotte Landmark) and painted like an American flag at the intersection of Freedom and Morehead across the street from the infamous Pterodactyl Club.
May 2010 • Greg and his partners were struggling to see eye to eye and in May 2010. Greg sold out of The Penguin Drive-In. While in return, his partners would drop out of Pinky’s, going from five partners to three and the name then becoming Pinky’s Westside Grill.
Mid 2010 • While renovations were under way, Pinky’s Westside Grill began catering and even attempted a remote location at The Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Nov 2010 • Pinky’s Westside Grill opened, and the dream was on its way.
DEC 2013 • Pinky’s Westside Grill opened our second location in Huntersville, NC.
May 2015 • Pinky’s Westside Grill was featured on the Food Network as part of Diner, Drive-In’s and Dives thus contributing to an increase of popularity for both stores. Chef Greg Auten also appeared on local channels Fox and WBTV cooking to promote Pinky’s Westside Grill.Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives | Season 22 Episode 10 ``Racing Through Charlotte``
2015 • After an owner lineup change at the Gilead Rd, Huntersville location, Sally Bingham, a former Penguin Drive-in coworker, joins the Pinky's family to eventually become general manager, & now partner.
2020 • Guy Fieri grabs some Triple-D style takeout that combines great restaurant food with cooking at home. Guy and his son, Hunter, chat via video with four DDD alums who guide them on a trip to Flavortown. Featured on the episode is the Green Chili Pork from Pinky's Westside Grill, the best kept secret on the menu.Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives | Season 32 Episode 6 ``Takeout: Funky Finds in 'da House``