Coney Island #1, #2, #3 and #4

Here is a bit of history on the Coney Island Restaurants of the “Steel City”:

1.        They have been in continuous operation for 88 years.  That ain’t bad, as they say in the trades.

2.      Over the years they have continually migrated south, eventually making it to Glen Park.

3.       The name has changed from Coney Island #1 to Koney King.

Paul Kamanaroff is the owner/manager of the present day Koney King.  It is located at 4601 Broadway.  "We have been in our current location for 40 years," he said.  "I have no plans to move out.  I love Gary ; it's been very good to me." 

The menu at Koney King has basically stayed the same for more than 85 years -- hot dogs, burgers and chili -- although other items, such as Polish sausage and chili-cheese fries, have been added. 

In running this business, Mr. Kamanaroff has followed in the footsteps of his father and great-uncle.  In 1920, Kamanaroff's great-uncle, Mike Petroff, opened the Coney Island Lunch Room off the alley of 9th Avenue and Broadway.  A while later, he relocated to an area near the railroad tracks by those same streets. 

Kamanaroff said the third location was between 9th and 10th avenues and Broadway.  "That's when my dad, Peter, came from Bulgaria to work for him," he said.  "They had never met each other.  Dad did a little bit of everything -- cooking, waiter." 

In 1945, a fourth location, at 12th Avenue and Broadway, was opened by Peter Kamanaroff.  It was subsequently renamed the Indiana Sandwich Shop. 

Here we have but another story of immigrant success in the new world.  The success was such as to encompass families and generations.  Such exemplars are part of the fiber and fabric of the Gary, Indiana that has been lost to the ages.

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Created 25 Feb 2008 – 11:51:39

  © 2008, G. David Yaros.  All rights reserved.