James Coney Island, Inc. is a chain of fast-food restaurants that specializes in coney island hot dogs. It has its headquarters, the James Coney Island Support Center, located in Suite 700 in the 11111 Katy Freeway building in Houston.
James Coney Island was founded in 1919. The first coney island restaurant opened on the corner of Brooklyn Avenue and Lenox Street in Detroit, Michigan. James’ son Frank Dethomas Sr., who served as company president from 1950 until his death in 2002, helped build it into a successful national chain with locations throughout North America. Since 1961 there has always been at least one location within a ten-mile radius of downtown Houston.
During its heyday, James Coney Island had around three hundred stores nationwide which eventually dwindled to about ninety due to competition from fast-food chains such as McDonald’s and Burger King during the 1960s–1970s period; changing tastes in American culture that led people away from hot dogs toward hamburgers in the 1980s and 1990s; and Hurricane Katrina, which devastated much of New Orleans’ population.
James Coney Island was founded by James Dethomas Sr., who had immigrated to America from Greece as a child with his family in 1900. The younger Dethomas worked at horse stables before eventually getting hired by Detroit meat packing company J.W. Grosser & Sons following World War I. He left for Chicago four years later after developing an interest in hot dog stands called coney islands that he saw on trips back home to visit relatives during vacations to Detroit’s Greektown neighborhood where many members of his extended family lived. Concluding there would be more opportunity outside Michigan, he then moved to Houston, Texas, where he opened the first James Coney Island restaurant in 1934.
I’m happy to hear that there are coney islands near you too! I live on Long Island, and our main coney island place is called Papou’s. It has been around for a long time and they have great food. My favorite dish at Papou’s is their lamb gyro with tzatziki sauce; it comes on top of french fries instead of pita bread like most places do them, which I love because all the juices get soaked up into the potatoes as opposed to just sitting underneath…yum!
I’ve been to a coney island near me in Ocean City, MD called Papou’s. I really liked the food and it was reasonably priced too! The wait staff is friendly, but they could be more attentive; there were several times we had to ask for something… not ideal when you’re trying to enjoy your meal with family or friends.
I’d say the food was pretty good and I liked their lamb gyro with tzatziki sauce.
Papou’s coney island near me has some of my favorite dishes which is great because it means a coney island nearby can usually satisfy any craving! All of the dishes are made to order so you know they’re fresh and delicious, not sitting in a warmer waiting for someone to buy them like at other restaurants. They have french fries on top instead of pita bread which i love because all the juices from cooking get soaked up into potatoes so they are super moist when we eat them…yum!
The best dish here by far is their chili cheese dog covered in coney island hot sauce. It’s an absolute coney island near me and I highly recommend you give it a try if you haven’t already!
The fries are also super yummy here, they’re crispy on the outside yet still fluffy on the inside with just enough salt to make them taste good without being too salty. My favorite part about this place is that their burgers come in two patties instead of one which means we get more meat when we order them…bonus points for us!
They have other great dishes such as onion rings, fried pickles, macaroni & cheese bites which I would call mini mac&cheese), chicken tenders, etc but those are some of my favorites so far.
I’ve always had great service here. The servers are friendly and attentive, they’re never too busy to come over and take our order or get us another drink when we need it…every time I’m in the area I stop by for a quick bite!
If you want a nice indoor/outdoor dining experience then this is your place. They have plenty of tables inside with A/C as well as outdoor seating where you can enjoy the sunshine without having to worry about being bitten alive by mosquitos while enjoying some coney island hot dogs near me 😉