Chicago’s Vienna Beef Celebrates 125 Years

Mike Krauser
August 01, 2018 - 12:43 pm

WBBM Newsradio/Lisa Fielding

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CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- Chicago’s Vienna Beef held Wednesday a party celebrating 125 years.  

Vienna Beef Families, hot dog hall-of-famers, and leaders past and present gathered for the celebration at the company's headquarters at Damen and Elston. 

Forty-year-Vienna veteran Tom Pierce read from a proclamation declaring this Vienna Beef Day in Chicago and talked about the past.  

“Part of our DNA at Vienna is Chicago." Pierce said, "Our core workers, our factories have been here for one and a quarter centuries and during that time we became part of Chicago’s identity and Chicago has become part of us.”  

Tom McGlade, VP of Marketing, noted, “there’s more hot dog stands in Chicago than Wendy’s, Burger King, and McDonald's combined.” 

He said the company is also honoring 125 inductees into the company’s Hot Dog Hall of Fame; hot dog stands, that Co-President Tim O’Brien called the backbone of the company. 

"One-hundred-twenty-five hot dog stands are a lot, but in Chicago that is just a small percentage - less than 10 percent of what exists in Chicago," he said.

Governor Bruce Rauner expressed his lifelong love. 

“Now I want to tell for me this is personal, this is why I wanted to come here, this is personal for me. I can’t count the number of Vienna Beef hot dogs I’ve eaten in my life," he said.

Rauner said the company represents what's great about the United States, noting it was started by Austrian and Hungarian Immigrants at the 1893 World’s Fair.  

WBBM Newsradio/Mike Krauser

Rauner said he's loved Vienna Beef hot dogs since he was a kid growing up by Wrigley Field and said he always eats them Chicago-style, never with ketchup. 

But, as he's running for re-election, he added that he believes in freedom of choice.