Who better to capitalize on the Weiner buzz than a wiener joint?
Mere hours after Anthony Weiner’s press conference where he admitted his online indiscretions, the sign outside Brooklyn hot dog joint Der Kommissar reflected the latest news. On offer Monday evening were “deeply ashamed wieners” — a name updated to reflect Weiner’s admission that afternoon that he did indeed tweet a lewd photo of himself.
Because, grill man Jerry Laroque says, the folks at Der Kommissar are “creative business minds” who jumped at the opportunity to make a fortune off the congressman’s misfortune.
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Shortly after the Twitter photo came into public view, the Brooklyn sausage joint started offering a new special called “Anthony’s Weiners,” adding the “ashamed” tag Monday afternoon. For six dollars, wiener lovers (and Weiner lovers) can enjoy two plump frankfurters, served on an oiled french roll with sauerkraut and pickles on the side. It’s a meal doused in the irony of the situation that appeals to the 8th grader in all of us, though the dogs are unique in name only. Server Qi Ricks joked with NewsFeed that she originally wanted to serve the wieners on a bed of underwear, a reference to the Twitter photo that initially launched the “Weinergate” scandal. Luckily for NewsFeed’s taste testers, that idea was vetoed and Der Kommissar opted for a more traditional layout.
Still, the small chalkboard announcing the special has gained both local and national attention, boosting business at the store that opened in mid-April. “This place is kind of new, and this is a way to get people to come in here,” says Laroque. “I’ve definitely seen a rise in business—it’s been much busier lately.” He explains that people on the street will see the sign and stop in to inquire about the Weiner special. Ricks tells NewsFeed that though reception was slow initially and they only sold one special the first day, the buzz has kept a steady stream of Anthony’s Weiners on the grill.
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Despite the requisite dirty jokes, there may still be some pure-spoken prudes among us. Ricks notes that many diners are reluctant to use the dish’s given name, preferring to ask for the “Weiner special” instead.
It’s hard to tell how long Der Kommissar will be able to stretch profits out of Anthony’s Weiners. But in looking to the future, Qi Ricks intends to keep the entrepreneurial spirit alive through similar business ventures. “Unless he twitters some more parts of his body that we can associate to sausages or pickles or something, we’ll wait for the next congressman with an anatomy last name,” she says. “Boehner? We’re totally waiting for him.” — by Nick Carbone and Jenny Wilson
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