Coney Island Hot Wiener Shop, an iconic downtown chili dog joint, is moving. Over the past 85 years, Coney Island has moved three times -- always downtown, always within a few blocks of a previous location.
This time, owner Jim Economou said he'll be moving their legendary chili and coneys across the street to Coney Island's former home at 108 W. 4th St. The lunchtime hotspot operated out of the 4th St. location from 1946 to 1994.
Economou, a spritely octogenarian and former music teacher who took over the business from his father in 1973, laughed as he said, "It's a new genesis."
Coney Island opened its doors in 1926 when Economou's father, Christ Economou, immigrated to the U.S. from Greece and decided to bring New York-style coneys to the middle of America. The result was instant success and a fan base that's lasted decades.
Of the new location, Economou said, "We're downsizing slightly. And I think we'll be able to take care of our customers just as well or better.
"People know us in that area, so it doesn't make any difference if we're just across the street," he said.
They'll only be closed for a week or two, Economou said, between the time "our food runs out" and when they can get their new place in order. Right now, they're cleaning up the 4th St. location, dealing with the Tulsa Health Department and still serving customers.
Never fear, Coney Island will "definitely" be up and running by March 1 or even earlier, according to Economou.
One of the secrets of Coney Island's success is Christ Economou's special chili, made without beans and tomatoes.
The 108 W. 4th St. location is also the former home of Marlin Snacks, a snack shop serving downtown workers. The location is also close to Casa Laredo, a Mexican food restaurant, and Orpha's Lounge, a small bar and pool hall.
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