HUMBOLDT PARK — A hot dog and hamburger joint focused on Detroit-style Coney dogs is now up and running in Humboldt Park.
The new spot at 2858 W. Chicago Ave., called Lola’s Coney Island, had a soft opening Monday. A grand opening is slated for March 17. Eater was first to report on the opening.
At Lola’s, Coney dogs — hot dogs smothered in beanless chili and topped with chopped onions and mustard — are the star.
Owner Jesse Fakhoury has lived in Chicago for nearly 20 years, but he’s originally from Detroit, where Coney dogs are everywhere.
“I used to go to [Duly’s Place] every day on the way to school — literally every day,” he said, referring to one of Detroit’s many old-fashioned diners that serve Coney dogs.
Fakhoury said he opened Lola’s Coney Island, in part, to satisfy a craving.
“I literally wanted to have a Coney,” he said.
The first-time restauranteur said he also wanted to take his love of cooking to the next level after working in car sales for 14 years.
“I’ve always been fascinated by the culinary arts,” he said, adding that he was particularly inspired by his cousin, who worked as a chef at Alinea.
Lola’s, which took over the squat building formerly occupied by GoGo’s hot dog stand, could be the first of its kind in Chicago. According to Fakhoury, Lola’s is the city’s only Coney Island, the name for Detroit diners that serve Coney dogs.
Leo’s Coney Island in Lakeview lasted from 2010 to 2014 at 3455 N. Southport Ave., according to Eater.
On the menu is traditional Detroit-style Coney dogs made with ingredients sourced from Detroit, plus hamburgers and Chicago-style hot dogs to satisfy the Chicago purists.
The eatery is named after Fakhoury’s 2-year-old daughter, Lola. Fakhoury’s 5-month-old son, Joey, also got his own menu item. “The Joey” is a grilled chicken pita sandwich, also a Detroit staple sometimes referred to as a Hani.
Asked why he loves Coney dogs so much, Fakhoury said: “It’s like asking someone from Chicago, ‘Why do you like a Chicago dog or Italian beef?’ You just do. It’s what you grew up with. That would be the best way to put it.”
For updates, follow Lola’s Coney Island on Facebook.
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