Lafayette Coney Island: Life Stories Of Detroit, Hot Dogs And Family


On the street of Michigan Avenue and Lafayette Boulevard sits a legendary diner full of history and deliciousness. Widely known as a staple of Detroit is Lafayette Coney Island where people from all around come to enjoy and experience the Detroit classic: the coney dog.

The history started when Greek owner Gust Keros introduced American's Coney Island to Detroit. Soon after he started his business, he brought his brother William to Detroit. A brotherly feud broke out when William decided to part ways with his brother's business and open up his own restaurant right next door called Lafayette Coney Island.

Since that day, the restaurants have competed in Detroit to have the best coney dog on the block.

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Arafat Aiyash, who has been working at Lafayette for about five years, says that customers love the feud and drama between American Coney Island and Lafayette Coney Island. He says customers will try both places to see which ones better.

From the moment you walk into Lafayette, you instantly feel apart of the family. Lafayette has become a home to the Detroit lovers who have to make a pit stop downtown before a big game or just want to grab a bite to eat with some good friends. Lafayette isn't simply just a place to come eat, it's a place to enjoy and relish in the history of Detroit and of course, devour delicious coney dogs that are truly one of a kind.

Aiyash says celebrities from all over the United States come to Lafayette. They have pictures lining the walls of the diner to prove it.

"It's iconic and it's one of the original places in Detroit, we've been here for 102 years," Aiyash said. "Most of the customers that come in here are regulars they tell me their life story and tell me about what used to happen in the 70s and 80s in Detroit. It's history."

Debbie Smith and her son Gary have been driving up from Riverview, Michigan to Lafayette for about four years to get their coney dog fix. Debbie thinks Lafayette is a landmark of Detroit.

"We love the food and the quantinance of the atmosphere," Debbie said. "It's quick, you're in and out, and the service is great."

Lafayette has a positive, fun and vintage vibe that gives Detroit a special flavor to it. You can admire the cooks and servers who carry several hot dogs at a time with both arms and hands full of dogs to deliver to their anxiously awaiting customers. You can have a heartfelt conversation with the staff, share a few laughs, enjoy your food, and make memories along the way.

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