Business Spotlight: Coney Island Hot Dog

Wednesday, October 11, 2023

A Century of Flavor, Family, and Future in Downtown Toledo

Coney Island: A Toledo Icon Standing the Test of Time

In the heart of downtown Toledo, there's a place where time seems to stand still, and the spirit of family and tradition thrives. Coney Island Hot Dog, a beloved restaurant that has been a staple in the community for over a century, has not only weathered the storms of changing consumer preferences but has emerged stronger, thanks to the dedication of its owner, Frixos Stylianides, and the loyalty of its patrons.

A Legacy of Family and Flavor

"Coney Island Hot Dog has been a part of my family for generations," Stylianides said. "My grandpa opened Coney Island Hot Dog in 1919, and I came from Cyprus in 1976 to help him run the business." Now, with 43 years of dedicated service, Stylianides has become an integral part of the restaurant's rich history.

For an astounding 105 years, Coney Island has occupied the same address, a testament to its enduring presence in the community. It's not just a restaurant; it's a cherished gathering place where customers have become an extended family. Generations of families have made it a tradition to dine at Coney Island Hot Dog, creating a unique atmosphere of warmth and camaraderie.

The Secret Sauce of Success

"Coney Island's success lies in the details. Our Coney Chili Dogs are not just hot dogs; they're a labor of love. We grill them to perfection, smother them in our secret-recipe sauce, and even take the time to warm up the bun. It's these small touches that make a big difference,” Stylianides said.

Looking to the Future

"As downtown Toledo evolves, so does Coney Island Hot Dog. We're considering menu changes and even a possible remodel to keep things fresh," Stylianides said as he reflects on the ongoing changes in the community. “With more people moving in and new businesses emerging, Coney Island Hot Dog is poised for growth.”

More Than a Business: A Community Hub

"Running a restaurant is demanding, but it's worth it when you have a team and customers who feel like family," Stylianides said. "Many of our customers have been with us through thick and thin, supporting Coney Island Hot Dog in good times and bad. It's these relationships that make it all worthwhile."

“Restaurants are a demanding business. Physically, it can be a challenge,” Stylianides said. “My close family are smart people. I'm the only one working in a restaurant. Most of them are well-educated teachers! My adoptive American family are also good people. I have three beautiful grandchildren. The first one was about four years old when visiting me at Coney. He delivered a straw to a lady customer, and she gave him a dollar tip; his big smile was priceless. Many happy moments happen here.”

As Coney Island Hot Dog celebrates its remarkable history and contemplates a future filled with possibilities, one thing remains constant—the unwavering support and affection of its patrons. Here's to another 100+ years of success for this Toledo institution, where the past, present, and future converge in a timeless celebration of family, community, and, of course, delicious Coney Chili Dogs.

“The best part about owning this business is my regular customers. They are good people and support Coney in hard times and good times. They care for us. We care for them,” Stylianides said.