Fact or Legend? The Pentagon’s Deadly Hot Dog Stand

April 14, 2016

Possibly the most dangerous hot dog stand in America

In the center of the Pentagon, up until 2006, stood an unassuming building–a hot dog stand. But did this eatery house a secret underground bunker, or did it just serve hot dogs? The Soviets may have thought it wasn’t just a place to eat.

The hot dog stand in question sat outside in the middle of the 5-acre courtyard of the Pentagon. It was torn down in 2006 to make way for a new $1.2 million eating establishment, but there has been a longstanding legend surrounding the old lunch spot. During the Cold War, legend has it, the Russians reportedly had no less than two missiles aimed at the hot dog stand at all times. They thought it might be a secret meeting room and the Pentagon was a fortress built around it.

But how could they possibly think this, you may ask? It might have been because by using satellite imagery, the Soviets would see military officers going in and out of the building around noon each and every day. Unbeknownst to them, however, the officers were only going there to eat lunch. The rumor is so ingrained at the building that it’s even told by the official tour guides of the Pentagon. Because of this notoriety, the cafe earned the nickname “Cafe Ground Zero”.

The hot dog stand was right in the middle

So this hot dog stand, that also served hamburgers, was reportedly the first place the Russians would have shot nuclear missiles to wipe out the United States military headquarters and what they thought was a secret underground bunker.

The Russians have never confirmed this actually took place, but why would they if they had? This might just be another Cold War rumor, but the Russians could have really been targeting the middle of a hot dog stand. I guess we’ll never really know for sure, but it sure makes for a good story.

Source: U.S. Department of Defense

About the author 

Daniel Ganninger - The writer, editor, and chief lackey of Knowledge Stew, the author of the Knowledge Stew line of great trivia books, and editor of Fact World and the Knowledge Stew sister site on Medium. I hope you find things here to annoy those around you with your new found knowledge.

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