After pushing out a 30-year-old hot dog kiosk from its food hall, The Forks has replaced it — with a hot dog kiosk.
The Forks posted on its blog on Monday that Wienerpeg is now open in The Forks Market Hall.
The gourmet hot dog stand is in the same place as the previous hot dog stand, Skinner’s, which was a staple at The Forks for 30 years.
“Hot dog lovers, rejoice — Wienerpeg is now OPEN to satisfy all your hot dog needs!” the blog post reads.
“With locally sourced ingredients from farm-fresh vegetables to ethically raised meats, a hot dog from Wienerpeg is sure to be one-of-a-kind — and not just because they make their own wieners.”
Skinner’s was closed at the end of October after The Forks confirmed its lease wasn’t renewed.
The restaurant’s owner, Al Thompson, told 680 CJOB that last year he was asked for the first time to submit a business plan and apply to lease out space but that someone else submitted a different proposal for the spot that was accepted by The Forks.
Thompson said he was even willing to pay an increase in rent, and the decision left him perplexed.
“We’ve been there 30 years. We paid a good lease over the 30 years,” said Thompson.
On Tuesday, Thompson re-iterated his original statement, adding they never missed a payment and sales were increasing.
“ there were all kinds of questions about how you would be operating. We filled ours out and the only thing we heard over some time was that they weren’t going to be renewing our lease.
“They didn’t speak to us at all about what they would have wanted changed. We would have worked with them.”
Larissa Peck, spokesperson for the Forks, told 680 CJOB that “when leases end, which is the case with Skinner’s, we have an open RFP process … which includes the current tenant.
“So in this case, with guidance from our Food Hall Advisory Committee, Wienerpeg was the successful in this situation.”
“This is a great opportunity for a new, young entrepreneur to follow in footsteps and sort of have the same sort of success.”
That different proposal, it turns out, was also a hot dog kiosk, to be run by the owner of a neighbouring restaurant.
According to the blog post by The Forks, the new restaurant is being run by Steffen Zinn, who also owns the Red Ember pizzeria at the Forks Market Hall.
Zinn said in the blog post he got the idea for a gourmet hot dog shop during a visit to Germany “where he met a local butcher.”
“His butcher shop had been in continuous operation for 350 years, and he invited me to visit the shop the next day at 6 a.m.,” Zinn told The Forks.
“I spent a day and a half at the shop, helping and observing how they made their sausages and wieners. After having a Frankfurter wiener and bread lunch with him, I was reminded of how absolutely delicious a well-made wiener could be.”
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