BERKELEY – Owner Gerald LaCrosse had said that der Wunder Wiener would rise again “like a phoenix,” and it looks like he was right.
He got the forms from the Health Department, is lining up water and sewer, and everything seems to be going smoothly. He ordered a new trailer that’s going to be 10 feet longer than the old one. LaCrosse said he wants to re-open “as soon as I possibly can.” He’d prefer to do it before the weather gets too cold.
It had long been on the property of the former Beachwood Mall (which is actually in Berkeley Township on Route 9). This had been owned by the Johnson family. Jimmy Johnson’s daughter, Priscilla Oughton, has another location for him. It’s a little more south, on a vacant lot between Fuller’s Marine and Blackbeard’s Cave. It would still be on the same side of the road as it used to be.
On the morning of June 11, 2018, an SUV heading south on 9 left the roadway and crashed into it. It was a perfect storm of tragedies: The property is abandoned but the SUV hit this little cart right in the middle of wide open space. It was a Monday morning, and the cart is usually closed. However, LaCrosse was in the cart that morning when it was struck.
He was hospitalized, and even on a ventilator at one point. His condition had his family worried, but he managed to fight through it all, and now talks about it in his usual good-natured way.
In his absence, the community rallied with an amount of support that still surprises him to this day. An online fundraiser, and a weekend where local PBAs sold hot dogs, brought in thousands of dollars for his medical treatment.
A year and a half later, he’s not yet fully recovered. There’s still a shoulder issue that needs to be worked out, even though the joint has been replaced twice, he said.
But otherwise, he can’t wait to re-open.
“I’ve got to see those people outside the window again,” he said.