Thursday, September 3, 2009

Wieners away

The well-known Wiener Factory on Ventura Boulevard in Sherman Oaks closed last year when the landlord upped the rent on the family that owned the business, ostensibly so that a poshly minimalist Pinkberry could open at that address. Then the economic débacle struck, and the place has been boarded up for months, unrented. A greedy landlord's instant karma.

An ugly but lovable shambles.

The Wiener Factory was an ugly shambles, but I have to admit I had a weakness for their Polish dogs as well as for their friendly family culture, which had been around long enough to develop its own private kitchen jargon ("one with a hat" meant "a hotdog with pickle," for example).

This week, a work crew has started stripping the ticky-tack building down to its wooden frame. One wonders whether it wouldn't be easier just to bulldoze the place and start from scratch. In any case, the deconstruction has uncovered an quaint older sign that betrays the long history of this neighborhood place as a purveyor of America's favorite sausages.

Once the World's Most Unique Hot Dog Parlour.

A source tells me that a Mediterranean restaurant is slated to open at the location once the remodeling is finished, but no word on what will happen to the groovy hotdog-shaped sign.