In a city known for its eclectic food scene, multihyphenate Mike Binder still felt the need to bring a hometown favorite to town.
Growing up in Detroit, Binder was such a fan of the Coney hotdogs at Lafayette Coney Island that he decided to open Coney Dog in Los Angeles in June and bring that Motown flavor to Hollywood. Key to the Detroit specialty are an all-meat chili sauce, chopped onions and mustard topping Winter’s Premium Sausage beef and pork links.
“I was such a fan that once a year during my annual party close to playoff hockey time I would have the ingredients shipped to my house so we could make the proper coneys,” Binder told Variety.
These parties led Binder to the idea of opening the restaurant that would deliver the same Detroit-style fare to L.A., including Michigan-specific brands like Faygo soda, Stroh’s beer and Better Made potato chips.
“Attention to detail was very important,” he said. “Out here it feels like a lot of places were faking it, and with our new place we could bring the right meat sauce for the chili and hotdogs as well.”
Binder was soon able to attract other Detroit natives such as Tim Allen and Braylon Edwards to come on board as investors, as well as Adam Sandler, who became a fan after Binder introduced the thesp to Coneys while filming “Reign on Me” in Detroit.
Allen feels Coney Dog has done a lot to crank up franks in L.A.
“It’s tough to find a good hotdog here,” Allen says. “You can’t do a real Coney unless you go to Detroit, but this is pretty much the real deal.”