Bucktown residents might want to get their bread ready, because Vienna Beef is moving back.

The iconic Chicago hot dog and sausage maker is revamping its former factory space at 2501 North Damen Avenue for a $20 million complex called Vienna Beef Plaza, Block Club Report. The site will feature a restaurant, factory store, offices, additional retail space for other companies and over 200 parking spaces.

The project marks Vienna Beef’s return to Bucktown three years after the company moved its headquarters to 2501 West Fulton Street in the Near West End.

Vienna’s departure from Fulton’s 40,000-square-foot warehouse complex comes after the property’s former landlord, local developer Dayton Street Partners, sold the asset to a Brookfield Properties joint venture a year ago for $7.5 million.

Dayton Street bought the property for $2.8 million in 2018 and then leased Vienna Beef. It is unclear how Vienna’s exit from the Fulton Street asset will affect Brookfield, or whether the owners plan to invest further in rebuilding the property.

Vienna Beef vice president Tom McGlade told the media that Vienna will demolish the entire interior of the North Damen Avenue building while retaining its exterior, save for a new roof. The complex is under construction and is expected to open next spring.

The restaurant will be similar to the previous restaurant located in the former factory, offering a full range of Viennese beef products. The company is also building a new outdoor space for customers to dine.

In 2013, Vienna moved its manufacturing operations to the Bridgeport neighborhood on the city’s south side, but kept its headquarters and warehouse in Bucktown before moving its offices to the Fulton Street building.

By the end of the year, approximately 50 Vienna Beef employees are expected to occupy the offices. The property’s former warehouses will be converted into retail space, accommodating three to five shops and large corporations. The retail portion could open in early 2024, the store reported.

— Quinn Donoghue

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