The American Coney Island Hot Dog has been a favorite
with Detroiters and visitors for nearly a century. As Detroiters
have moved to other parts of the country, and as visitors have returned
to their respective states, the American's reputation has spread
throughout the country. Over the years, the American has received
countless requests from people who wanted to have the Coney Islands
shipped to them - either for their own restaurants, their own consumption
or for parties or special events.
One of the most-frequently-mentioned comments that
former Detroiters who have moved out-of-town say is: one of the
things they miss most about Detroit is Coney Islands from the American
Coney Island downtown on Lafayette Street!
One of the reasons for the great popularity of the
American's Coney Islands is the high-quality, specially-seasoned,
natural casing hot dogs that have always been served at the American.
Another reason is the Coney Island chili sauce which is specially
prepared using a secret recipe the Keros' developed decades ago.
And, of course, the topping of fine mustard and fresh, chopped sweet
onions adds the final touch to the distinctive overall taste and
flavor of the Coney Island hot dog which is served in a warm, steamed
bun. No wonder the American Coney Island hot dog has been such a
tantalizing treat to the palate that's still hard to beat after
all these years!
For years, the American has been open 24 hours a
day, 365 days a year. This has meant that any time of the day or
night, any day of the week, or any season of the year, people visiting,
living or working in downtown Detroit, have always had a convenient,
comfortable, friendly haven to come to in order to relax and enjoy
something to eat and/or drink. And the American hopes to continue
the tradition of staying open around the clock for years to come.
As long as we are supported in our efforts to maintain a clean,
safe haven for our patrons.
In 1989, the American took a major - and in some
people's opinion - a financially risky step by purchasing the old
United Shirt building adjacent to the American Coney Island for
a very considerable investment. United Shirt had, unfortunately,
joined the growing list of long-time establishments going out of
business. If the American had not purchased this building, chances
are that this would have left one more commercial building standing
vacant and neglected in downtown Detroit.
The decision to make such a major investment in
the expansion of the American Coney island was based on the Keros
Family's faith in the City of Detroit. As the American Coney Island
grew and prospered, Gust Keros continuously impressed on his children
- and later, on his grandchildren - his belief that Detroit had
always been good to the American Coney Island, and the American
Coney Island had always been good for Detroit. In other words, Downtown
DETROIT was, is, and always will be, the location for the American
For perhaps only the second time in the American's
history, the menu was expanded to include several exciting new,
delicious items: Homemade Spinach Pie, Fresh Greek and Garden Salads,
two different homemade soups, Greentown Baklava, Chili Macho, fruit
yogurt, and non-alcoholic beers. The first menu expansion included:
French Fries, Chili Fries, fresh, grated American Cheese, and ketchup.
(The original "True" Coney Island had always been topped
only with fresh-chopped onions, Coney Island Chili, and MUSTARD!)
The expanded menu also brought about another first for the American
- table menus! And now you can have breakfast, Gyros and fish on Fridays!
Over the years, the American has been mentioned
or featured in so many local newspapers and magazines that it would
be almost impossible to list them all. In addition, the American
has been written about in out state Michigan newspapers, as well
as newspapers in some of our neighboring states, and magazines with
national distribution. Most important, virtually all of this publicity
has always been completely unsolicited.
And the American has not been a stranger to television
coverage. At one time or another, all of Detroit's television stations
have sent camera crews and reporters to film the Coney Island for
feature stories, public interest reports, etc. Some television clips
of the American have even been used in various promotions for the
City of Detroit. (The "Stand Up and Tell 'em You're From Detroit"
promotion is just one that comes to mind)
In November 1991, Grace Keros appeared in a brief
"sound bite" taken at the American Coney Island that was
shown in The Today Show with Bryant Gumble. And in fall, 2008 Grace faced off against Lafayette Coney Island on The Today Show with Al Roker (see the News Page).
Then there have been the celebrities who have visited
the American Coney Island. And again, it would be almost impossible
to list them all. There have been Michigan Governors; State Supreme
Court Justices and other judges, lawyers and a wide variety of other
professionals; federal, state, county, and city officials (including
Detroit Mayors and city council members); newspaper and magazine
columnists, journalists, and reporters; radio and television personalities;
famous movie, theater, and sports stars; popular musicians and/or
music groups, etc. Just some of the well-known persons to visit
the American most recently are: Ken Cockrel, Charles LeDuff (Detroit News - "Hold the Onions"), Ted Nugent, Kid Rock, Thomas Jane, Eminem, Governor John Engler, Cecil Fielder,
Bill Cosby, Diana Ross, Danny DeVito, Penney Marshall, John Salley, Mike Ilitch, U.S. Representative John Conyers,
L. Brooks Patterson, Roman Gribbs, Senator Abraham, Chris Chelios,
Tim Allen, and Jeff Daniels. The list almost endless!