Pentagon hot dogs

The Pentagon is the largest office building in the world, but what lies at its centre? Until 2006, it was a hot dog stand.

Hot dog stand
Steven Donald Smith / Public domain

Hey, the military-industrial complex gotta eat, right? The Pentagon has a large central courtyard (also in the shape of a pentagon, of course), and in the middle of that courtyard is a relatively small pentagonal building. And, up until 2006 at least, inside that small pentagonal building was a hot dog stand.

If you took the Pentagon tour the guides would tell you that because lots of people were seen entering and exiting the building the Soviets concluded that it was the entrance to an underground bunker. And had a nuke ready to drop right on that spot because of it.

Now, I’m a little sceptical of that story – partly because I think it’s unlikely that level of secret military strategic thought would be easy to find out, and partly because I’m sure there were plenty of reasons to aim a nuke at the centre of the Pentagon without rumours of an underground bunker. But that didn’t stop the building being dubbed the most dangerous hot dog stand in the world, “CafĂ© Ground Zero.” It was torn down in 2006. I hope they replaced it with a burger joint.

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