The Coney Island Grill, located at 250 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Street North in Saint Petersburg, Florida is a third generation Coney Island Hot Dog Shop run by Pete Barlas. Pete recently took the business over from his dad, who’d been running the joint since the 1970’s. Pete’s grandfather started the business way back in 1926, making this one of those old school, Greek run hot dog shops that’s survived into the 21st century.
Coney Island Grill History
Pete was a reluctant entrant to the hot dog business. He was “doing his own thing” when his dad asked him to help out with the shop 8 years ago. Now Pete’s the owner! He’ll guard the Coney Sauce recipe with the same sense of secrecy his dad did until he’s ready to pass the business on. Like a lot of Greek immigrants around the turn of the 2oth century, Pete’s Grandfather opened a hot dog shop serving a hamburger sauce that’s become known as Coney Island Sauce. You can find Coney Island style hot dogs all over the east coast, but Detroit likes to lay claim to being the hub of this style of hot dog.
Clearly, the Barlas family has the “real deal.” Grandpa Barlas just favored the Florida sun over Detroit’s cold winters (smart guy)! Pete feels a responsibility to the community and to his family’s hot dog legacy and he intends to bring the Coney Island Grill back to the prominence it once held in St. Petersburgh.
The hot dogs are local, the sauce is home-made, and the atmosphere is out of a time machine. The Coney Island Grill has that old school, diner feel and the service and food are top-knotch. Just don’t order a hot dog with ketchup, they have a surcharge for that! This is my kind of place!
Check out their Facebook Page and enjoy the video!
I shoot Hot Dog Stories with a Kodak Zi8 camera with an Audio Technica ATR288W VHF Battery-Powered TwinMic Microphone System, a Flip Ultra HD camera, and a 60″tripod. I edit with Cyberlink PowerDirector 11 Ultimate. I will also take some stills with my new Canon EOS Rebel Camera.