Coney Stories


Coney Island has been a local landmark for decades, and we hear so many stories of memories made over a couple chili dogs. Do you have a Coney story? A special memory from your past, or a Coney family tradition? Share it with us below! We treasure each and every one. We'll also post some of our favorites here on the website!

We'd also love to SEE your Coney memories! If you have a photo you'd like to share with us, please email us directly.


“My grandparents arrived in Kalamazoo, in 1920. In tow was my 5-year-old father. His first memory of Kalamazoo was getting off the train (from Chicago), walking up the street, and having the BEST coney dog of his life at the Kalamazoo Coney Island. We always treated our kids to a Coney Island visit and always sat at 'Grandpa's booth'! In 2018, we were delighted to take our grandkids (who live in Colorado) to Coney Island! They were the FIFTH GENERATION of our family to sit in the same booth and enjoy the absolute BEST coney dogs in the Country (and probably the world)!"

- Dick Hewitt (Coney customer for life!)

“My earliest memory was my mom telling me how her dad used to take she and her sisters down to Coney Island in the 1920s. Late at night in their pajamas, Grandpa would park in front and go in to get the dogs. My mom and sisters would watch out of the car seeing the steam on the window of Coney Island in the winter or feeling a cool breeze in the summer.

My dad introduced me to Coney Island in the 50s. We'd walk in, and there would be Frank (we called him the old man) dishing up the Coney dogs like a human assembly line. You didnt have to say the word Coney Dog when ordering because that was all they served back then. So the order was 'I'll have two, a bag of chips and a Coke.' There were not even fries at that time.

My mom had to have surgery at Bronson on a blocked artery; it was a serious operation and I waited for hours. The doctor came out and said it was a total success, mom would be fine. I was so overwhelmed with joy, while I was waiting to see her, I was bouncing down the mall wanting to scream. It came to me that the best tribute I could give my mom was to go to Coney Island and have a Coney Dog just for her. It never tasted so good.

Over the years, I have lived all over the nation for my work. When I would come home for a visit, I would pull in the drive, my mom waiting for me in the window. I'd come in and hug her and we'd both say hello. The next words out of her mouth were 'Can we run downtown and get a Coney Island?' ....and of course we did!

I have treated countless friends who have visited Kalamazoo for the first time to a Coney Island visit. Most of them still talk about it and ask 'How is Coney Island doing?' It's doing very well.... I just had one today celebrating 70 years of my own favorite tradition. Don't ever change."

- Ross Ingles

“Started eating at Coney Island in the early 60's. My Dad was a Kalamazoo city policeman and got paid every two weeks. Luckily, Dad had been eating there since he was a kid. He'd tell me stories of the owner betting he and his brother: if they could eat 25 coney dogs they wouldn't have to pay! They did it and came back for lunch the next weekend. Extra sauce in a to-go bag (even when dining in--makes the buns steam in the juice). My kids and grandkids love them! Also he said the owner would carefully put the leftovers into a bag gently set on top of the garbage can. Kalamazoo history wouldn't be the same without you! Thanks!"

- S. Mac

“I grew up in Kalamazoo. Some of my best memories in the 1960's was eating the best hotdogs EVER at Coney Island! I moved out of state in 1980. But I still haven't found a hotdog that compares to yours. I wonder if you ship your sauce and or the hot dogs?"

- Sheri Boris

“I had never heard of a "Coney Island" until I moved to Detroit 15 years ago. My first visit I had ordered a Coney dog and chili cheese fries. I thought I was in heaven with the first bite. I made it a weekly stop (sometimes more than once a week!) to get my Coney fix. I moved back home (Niles Michigan area) where we have no Coney Islands, and within the first few weeks of moving back home I was having gosh-awful cravings for Coney chili cheese fries. I tried every restaurant's chili cheese fries and not a one was as good as Coney's. So when I found out that Kalamazoo has a Coney Island, I gladly drive that hour drive just to eat some Coney Island dogs and chili cheese fries."

- Jennifer Bakeman

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