In a blow to hot dog scholars everywhere, Chicago-based Vienna Beef announced last week that it would be closing its Vienna Beef History Museum on February 1. The company is moving out of its longtime headquarters on the Chicago River in the city’s Bucktown neighborhood, Block Club Chicago reports, and when it reopens in its new location, on the city’s South Side, it will be sans museum. (The factory itself has been in the new premises since 2013 when the city announced plans to reroute a major street through Vienna’s property. That’s definitely a sign to leave.)
To be fair, the museum itself, open since 2018, was not a major tourist attraction. It was initially open four hours a day, Monday through Friday, but is now by appointment only. Based on photos on the Vienna Beef website, it looks like a collection of memorabilia that was lying around the factory: signs, a meat grinder, a pushcart with an umbrella. Still. It’s the principle of the thing!
The Vienna HQ will be replaced by Drive Shack, an indoor driving range where people can eat and drink while they whack at golf balls, Curbed Chicago reports. Classes at Hot Dog University will continue, though, not just in Chicago, but also in Phoenix and Palmetto, Florida.