A century to celebrate: Coney Island marks 100 years in downtown Toledo

TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - Tucked away on North Superior, you'll find a long-time Toledo favorite. From the outside, it's unassuming. But inside, it's filled with history, hot dogs and super secret chili recipe.

Coney Island has been serving families for generations.

"I've been coming here since 1982," Mike Gessner, a regular customer said.

"Two hot dogs with mustard, a bag of chips and pickles on the side," Jeff Rockwood said describing his typical order.

In fact, 100 years ago this week, the doors opened for the very first time.

"I feel great for 100 years," Frixos Stylianides, owner, said. "We work hard to make it so far. I hope to keep it in the family."

Family owned and operated since 1919, not much has changed. The menus are simple and the grill is original.

"Our grill is 100 years old," Melissa O'Connor, server, said. "It's cooked millions of hot dogs. It's pretty amazing that it will works. We take really good care of it."

And we can't forget about the chili. The delicious topping has also been around for a century, but good luck getting the recipe.

"It's a secret recipe and he's not giving it up," O'Connor said.

"We said it's a secret," Stylianides added.

But the legacy of Coney Island extends far beyond the food. It's embedded in the booths, where thousands of people have met for breakfast and lunch.

"There's nostalgia here. It's old school and that's why we come back," Gessner said.

It's carried by loyal customers.

"I've been coming in here for years, even when [Stylianides'] grandfather was in front of the window," Rockwood said.

And it's spirit is exemplified in its seasoned staff.

"I've watched kids grow up here, right before my eyes which is pretty amazing," O'Connor said.

As the staff celebrates this milestone, they can't help but be humbled and thankful for the last 100 years, and hopeful for 100 more.

Wednesday April 17, is the official anniversary. Coney Island downtown will be offering $1 hot dogs all day. There will also be a door prize raffle and commemorative t-shirts for sale.