Vienna Beef History Museum

Last month I heard about what in my world is the perfect museum opening. I'm talking about the opening of the Vienna Beef History Museum! Of course I made a point to get over there immediately. You'll find the museum at their headquarters along with the factory store and cafe at 2501 N Damen Ave, Chicago, IL 60647.

The fact that I didn't know there was a Vienna Beef cafe and factory store is a life altering fact in itself! I was there right before lunch and then had lunch after my museum visit. It was packed! Clearly this is a place to be for lunch.

After a quick look through the store I was able to head through to the museum. Since it's being housed in the old factory you walked by things like the original hairnets and beard guards that were used until the the factory moved.

As I went through the museum I got the opportunity to talk with the head of marketing at Vienna Beef. He shared some great stories with me. A lot of the items in the museum were found left behind in various areas and offices in the factory, they didn't even realize they had some of the old photographs and machines! I just find lint when I go looking though our stuff.

20118 is a big year for Vienna Beef they're celebrating their 125th anniversary! During the 1893 Columbian Exposition the founders of the company Emil Reichel and Sam Ladany sold hot dogs to people attending the fair. They opened up a store just a year later and with the demand becoming to big they started selling the hot dogs to other stores. 

One of my favorite parts of the exhibit was the memory wall they set up. People were offered the opportunity to put their memories, favorite hot dog stand or anything they wanted on it. There were some pretty funny ones on the wall. I even took time to show my appreciation and love for Vienna Beef!

After chatting more with the head of marketing he said that the museum is slated to stay up through the summer so it's really more like a pop up. I'd love to see them turn the museum into a permanent one. Vienna Beef's history is such an important one to Chicago! Who knows maybe they'd ask me to do it ; ) If you're in Chicago and have some time during the work week it's definitely worth the hike up to Damen & Elston. Plus you can enjoy the best hot dog you've ever eaten!!

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