Photo courtesy of Karl's Sausage Kitchen and European Market.
One of the longstanding symbols among the many well-known landmarks along Route 1 is that of Karl's Sausage Kitchen and European Market in Saugus.
Owners Bob and Anita Gokey announced this week that the seven-foot sausage will no longer be a fixture on the Northbound side of Route 1 just past the Route-129 exit, but rather in Peabody, where the business plans to open its new location on Bourbon Street in late August.
"That's coming with us," Anita Gokey said of the iconic sign.
Connoisseurs of German fare will be pleased to find that the new location will allow the Gokeys to continue to produce the German-styled sausages they are known for - they make about 55 varieties - and provide more space for their deli and cheese counters, bakery, and retail space, where customers can stock up on imported Northern European spices, condiments, chocolates, and baked goods.
"It's just a really small retail space here, and we've really just outgrown the store," Gokey said.
The new building - formerly the Mastrangelo Carpet store, which is currently under renovation - will also include a 19-seat café serving Northern European sandwiches, sausages and weekly German specials, as well as a beer and wine license.
"People can sit and have a sausage and a beer with it, which they can't do now," Gokey said. "We have a lot of people who travel to us from New Hampshire, Maine, southern Massachusetts, and when you're traveling a couple of hours and you're stopping and doing shopping, you of course want to have something to eat, and they can't do that now.
"We'll be able to be sort of a German cultural stopping point where people can come, relax, enjoy a sausage and a beer, and sort of step home again."
Gokey also hopes that the larger space will allow her and her husband to accommodate the Swedish population - which found out last fall that Ikea is dramatically scaling down its sale of Swedish food products nationwide - and also offer a wider variety of products inspired by and coming from all over Northern Europe.
The Gokey's purchased Karl's Sausage Kitchen in 2007 from the Engel family - Karl Engel opened the original store just up the road from its current location in 1958.
"Route 1 can get very busy," Gokey said. "The new location is just as accessible from 128, 95 and Route 1, but it's just an easier approach to get into the store, we have a little bit better parking. It's just a more relaxed atmosphere for people to come and shop."
The store closes for a weeklong vacation twice every year, once February and once in the summer. The Gokeys will use this summer's vacation to relocate and open up shop.
"We're very excited," Gokey said. "I think it's going to allow us to do what our customers have been asking for a while."