Hot Dogs

Leo’s Coney Island: Auction and Regrets

Coney Dog, we hardly knew ye.
Coney Dog, we hardly knew ye.

The Roscoe View Journal has a good piece on the final chapter in the attempt to transplant Detroit’s Leo’s Coney Island to Southport Avenue. As fixtures are auctioned off around him, co-owner Jeremy Stolberg recounts his failed dream of a family spot: “This had all the trappings of a family neighborhood, close to schools, close enough to businesses. We had some people come in four or five times a week. I cannot say enough about how supportive the neighborhood was. Business was good.” But the lawsuits going back and forth suggest a bad relationship with the home office— Stolberg claims they were often slow on delivering branded items like dressing; Leo’s makes counterclaims of missed payments. Who’s right? Who knows, but our take is that without any local nostalgia for the Leo’s name and its signature Coney dog, the place just seemed like the kind of once-ubiquitous “Greek coffeeshop” family dining that’s disappearing, not popping up, all over Chicago, especially young people-oriented retail districts like Southport has become, and the authentic retro decor seemed too downscale, or just behind the times in an Ed Debevics-y way, for that strip.

Leo’s Coney Island: Auction and Regrets