American Coney Island owner sets us straight
Coney owner lectures us on how to eat 'em the right way (mustard and onions, use your hands, no ketchup).
Published: February 19, 2014
MT:No, I mean, do you—
Keros: [interrupts] Use your hands.
MT: Do you crush it?
Keros:The more napkins you use, the better the coney. I can’t take credit for that. My brother came up with that one, actually.
MT: So, these are three-napkin coney dogs?
Keros:Oh, a little more than that, probably.
MT: What do you think about those who prefer to attack it with a fork and knife?
Keros:To each his own. They’re a little strange, but it’s alright. It’s like when people ask us for ketchup to put on a coney.
MT: I can’t believe it.
Keros:It’s against the law. You can’t do that. You can’t put ketchup on a coney.
MT:The ketchup here is strictly for the fries, right?
Keros:Absolutely! That’s the only reason ketchup ever came into this store. We look at them a little odd when they come in here. Kinda don’t want to serve ’em if they put ketchup on it, but it’s alright, we do.
MT: Do you have any celebrations planned for 2017?
Keros:Absolutely! We just had one for our 95th, which was amazing. We dropped 955 hot dogs out of the sky, out of a helicopter. It went global. When we do things, we go big or go home. I don’t just do little things here. So, we teamed up with the radio station 95.5 and had 95-cent coneys. So, yeah. We’re going to have something cool for the 100th.
MT: What? Where did you drop the hot dogs?
Keros: Over in Dearborn, over a football field. We dropped the hot dogs and, because you don’t want to throw food out, donated the hot dogs to Detroit Dog Rescue.
MT:It seems to me up until about five or 10 years ago, when you would look at regional hot dogs, the coney dog just didn’t get a lot of respect.
Keros: I don’t think they were paying attention to Detroit is what I think was going on. But now, everyone wants to be on the bandwagon and be part of Detroit or have something to do with Detroit and let me tell ya, us here, American Coney Island had a big part in getting this stuff on the map. All these nationally syndicated TV shows have come to us; we’ve been on so many things, you know?
MT:Yeah, and now you’re in the center of a place that’s increasingly in the spotlight.
Keros: I’m still here. I’ll never leave. Detroit’s great. We’ve seen good times and we’ve seen bad times — and good time and bad times. But it’s all good. I think it’s a great place. I would never relocate this place from here. I love it.
MT: Your “piece of the pie” is paying off.
Keros:Hard work pays off too. Hard work and not just sitting stagnant, waiting for something to happen or waiting for something to come to you. You gotta make things happen. You gotta make sure the business is out there. You know, there’s so many people who can sit and complain and complain and complain. Get out there and do something, you know? I haven’t slept in years and I love it and I wouldn’t have it any different. Every day is something new. Every day is something fun and I love it. I love it. I love the craziness of it, of the city, of the business, of everything. You just gotta be tough and have a good stomach for it and keep goin’. Don’t take no for an answer and don’t let anyone get in your way, which I don’t.
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