|Founded||1926 (Tulsa, Oklahoma)|
|Headquarters||Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA|
The Coney I-Lander restaurants are a regional chain based in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Their signature dish is a slow-grilled hot dog topped with chili, onions, and mustard, sitting in a steamed bun. The coneys are unique, being much smaller than a typical hot dog. Coney I-Lander coneys are often accompanied by a choice of bagged potato chips, and a drink. The restaurants also serve small tamales, and spaghetti topped with the same chili used on the coneys. The name of the restaurant is derived from Coney Island, the famous New York amusement park and vacation destination of the early 1900s.
The chain dates to 1926, when Greek immigrant Christ Economou opened his first location in downtown Tulsa. The restaurants survived the Great Depression to become a part of Tulsa's history. The restaurant was one of the first to sell chili and was named "Coney Island in Tulsa" until 1983, a year in which the eateries sold more than 600,000 hot dogs. Loyal customers enjoy their food while unscrambling posted jumble sentences that became a staple during Economou's time as owner/operator. At the downtown restaurant rows of "coneys" on the grill are visible to those standing outside on the sidewalk.
- One hot dog: How Tulsa became a coney town by Matt Cauthron Jul 28, 2006 Journal Record http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qn4182/is_20060728/ai_n16635809[dead link]
- Chili Oklahoma Historical Society's Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture http://digital.library.okstate.edu/encyclopedia/entries/C/CH041.html
- Let's Eat: Tulsa's Own By Scott Cherry 1/25/2008 Tulsa World http://www.tulsaworld.com/entertainment/spot/article.aspx?articleID=20080125_8_ES1_spanc81683
- Coney I-Lander page (with photos) on roadfood.com
- Voices of Oklahoma interview with Jim Economou. First person interview conducted on March 7, 2011 with Jim Economou who tells the story of Coney Island. Original audio and transcript archived with Voices of Oklahoma oral history project.
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