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< Shining a little light on the RNC. Really. A little. | Main | And now, a word from a past president >


Coney Island here we come!

Posted at 12:43 PM on August 20, 2008 by Tim Nelson (3 Comments)

DSC_6765.jpgIf you were walking down St. Peter Street about lunch time this afternoon, you might have made a rare spotting: the doors were open at the Original Coney Island Tavern.

There's a flier in the window that says they're going to start serving again next Friday, for the run of the Republican National Convention. A woman who said she was decendent of original owner Louis Arvanitis (I think it may have been Mary Ellen) was standing just inside the door, insisting the opening was imminent.

She steadfastly refused to elaborate, and closed the door again. But you can click on the picture at left to see the flyer in the window.

tavern.jpgThe restaurant is one of St. Paul's most storied landmarks. It's housed in a former Civil War armory on St. Peter street, dating back to 1858. It's been sitting, shuttered, between the Travelers building and the Minnesota Children's Musuem for at least 12 years, maybe longer.

It was the center of a preservation battle in 1999, when the then-St. Paul Co's. proposed expanding across St. Peter Street, and taking out the original Coney Island building and a slightly younger 19th-century neighbor. The Arvanitis family vowed to restore and reopen the family business, but the reopening has become nothing short of the stuff of legend.

Trust me: If you do nothing else to mark the occasion of the largest public event in Minnesota history, eating a dog at the Original Coney Island Tavern would be a fitting gesture.


Comments (3)


Having grown up in St.Paul I can't tell you how much I miss Coney island's, being a little kid sitting at the counter with a coney dog and a bottle of coke with a straw in it!!!!!! That was 30 years ago.
Please,please if anyone has the recipe for her sauce please pass it on...all I have been able to find over the years is "chilli" sauce that people call coney island sauce. Not even close!
I'm out in Oregon now but if I had known about them openning I would have flown in!!!!!!

Posted by warren | September 5, 2008 11:29 AM


My father took me to the Coney Island more than 40 yrs ago & telling me of his having eaten there when he was a kid after ice skating across the river.
It was so darn good. I want to take my grandkids there also. Sure wish it would open again. Such legends need to last to infinity. I hope the orginal family that owned the restaurant know we want them back & somehow make it happen. We definately need these kind of people in our lives. They are the kind that make history.
Penny of CA.

Posted by penny | January 13, 2009 3:04 PM


My father took me to the Coney Island more than 40 yrs ago & telling me of his having eaten there when he was a kid after ice skating across the river.
It was so darn good. I want to take my grandkids there also. Sure wish it would open again. Such legends need to last to infinity. I hope the orginal family that owned the restaurant know we want them back & somehow make it happen. We definately need these kind of people in our lives. They are the kind that make history.
Penny of CA.

Posted by penny | January 13, 2009 3:06 PM



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