Gene's Sausage Shop rooftop cow. Giant cow statue in Lincoln Square, Chicago, Illinois.

Gene’s Sausage Shop Rooftop Cow in Chicago

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Have you ever found a roadside attraction hidden in your own backyard? I have. Meet the giant cow statue at the Gene’s Sausage Shop rooftop beer and wine garden in the Lincoln Square neighborhood of Chicago, Illinois.

Gene's Sausage Shop rooftop cow. Giant cow statue in Lincoln Square, Chicago, Illinois.

In 1972, Polish immigrants John and Gene Luszcz, opened a small delicatessen in Chicago. John & Gene’s on West Roscoe Street quickly became popular among locals for their homemade sausages and other Polish fare.

Gene's Sausage Shop rooftop cow. Giant cow statue in Lincoln Square, Chicago, Illinois.

In 1980, after 8 years of running the deli, they moved the store to Belmont Avenue (5330 W. Belmont Ave.) and eventually changed it’s name to Gene’s Sausage Shop & Deli.

Gene's Sausage Shop rooftop cow. Giant cow statue in Lincoln Square, Chicago, Illinois.

The 20,000 square foot Chicago deli sold fresh meats carved by trained butchers and prepared foods and imported European goods alongside 40 types of smoked sausages made fresh on site by traditional European sausage makers.

Gene's Sausage Shop rooftop cow. Giant cow statue in Lincoln Square, Chicago, Illinois.

Besides the first-class food options, Gene’s Sausages was also known for the giant life-size cow sculpture that graced their outdoor sign.

Gene's Sausage Shop rooftop cow. Giant cow statue in Lincoln Square, Chicago, Illinois.

In September 2009, Gene’s Sausage Shop and Delicatessen opened a second location in the Lincoln Square neighborhood of Chicago, taking over the former location of the 53 year old German-American institution Delicatessen Meyer, which closed two years earlier in 2007 (you can actually still see the original Delicatessen Meyer sign, which hangs above the stairwell inside the shop).

The new Gene’s boasts an impressive, though much smaller, cow over the welcome sign as wel as a rooftop restaurant and beer garden.

Gene's Sausage Shop in Lincoln Square, Chicago, Illinois.

In 2016, the original store on West Belmont shuttered its doors, consolidating their efforts into the Lincoln Square deli so that founder Gene Luszcz, could cut back.

The giant cow was then moved to the Lincoln Avenue location, taking a prime spot in the middle of the Gene’s Sausage shop rooftop restaurant. Now diners can grab a homemade sausage, some potato pancakes, and an ice-cold beer, and eat in the shade of the giant bovine.

Sausage and potato salad at Gene's Sausage Shop in Lincoln Square, Chicago, Illinois.

Looking for more giant cows? Check out Bessie the cow in Janesville, Wisconsin, Sissy the Cow in DeForest, Wisconsin, and Gertrude the Cow in Rickford, Illinois.


Gene’s Sausage Shop Rooftop Cow

Location: Gene’s Sausage Shop, 4750 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago, IL 60625
Hours: Seasonal, Hours vary
Cost: Free to See, Sausages and Beer are extra


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Gene's Sausage Shop rooftop cow. Giant cow statue in Lincoln Square, Chicago, Illinois.
Val

Val is the founder and head road tripper at Silly America. Having grown up near Berwyn's famed car kabob, The Spindle, and a restaurant with a cow on its roof, her fascination with roadside attractions started early. Today, Val has visited over 300 roadside attractions across 31 states and is constantly on the lookout for the next BIG thing!

Val also blogs about her life, travels, and cats on her personal blog, Choosing Figs.

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