BERWYN – It took more than just luck for Berwyn’s Lucky Dog to be inducted into the Vienna Beef Hot Dog Hall of Fame.
The Lucky Dog staff at the Berwyn location, 7151 16th St., were honored with a ceremony March 31 attended by Bob Schwartz, senior vice president of Vienna Beef in Chicago. There are three other stores in the chain, located in Melrose Park, Cicero and the latest in Broadview.
Schwartz, along with sales manager Jim Locaciato, presented the team with a plaque and a banner and gave a speech before the lunchtime rush.
The criteria for being added to the Hall of Fame is fairly simple: Be a long standing customer of Vienna Beef products. That’s exactly who Bob and Joe Houpy and their cousin, John Brocian, are.
Bob Houpy began selling hot dogs and other sandwiches in Melrose Park in 1984. Two years later, he partnered with his brother Joe and Brocian. They opened a second location in Cicero, then opened the Berwyn store in 1993. They recently opened their fourth store in Broadview.
“It’s a great place because it’s got a little bit of everything,” Schwartz said. “They’re a hot dog stand with a little bit of delicatessen in it. You can get a corned beef or pastrami sandwich, as well as a great hot dog or gyros. That makes them a little bit different.”
Schwartz said Lucky Dog can be credited for staying credible as a hot dog stop.
“Here’s a neighborhood joint that expanded to four places and still hasn’t lost it’s identity as a local hot dog [and] sandwich neighborhood place,” he said.
Schwartz, a 40-year employee of Vienna Beef, knows his dogs. He was recently compelled to put into print what Chicago-area hot dog eaters have known since birth: No ketchup.
Last year, he published “Never Put Ketchup on a Hot Dog,” a historical journey of the hot dog from the Colombian Exposition in 1893 to present.
It’s in its third printing.