Mama Vicki’s Coney Islands
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85 Christopher Pozios, another Greek immigrant. Pozios had learned the coney business at downtown Detroit’s American Coney Island, where he worked for almost twenty years. Pozios did well. His two sons, Bill and Evans, now also run two other coney islands in Fort Gratiot and Macomb Township. A few years ago they decided to rename their trio of restaurants in honor of their late mother, whom some customers at the Coney Island Lunch affectionately called “Mama Vicki.” She made the chili. his “over the top” chili may sound like coney heresy, but that’s the way it’s been done for decades at Coney Island Lunch, now called Mama Vicki’s Coney Island. It’s one of the oldest coney islands in Michigan. The downtown Port Huron restaurant was started by a Greek immigrant in 1917, according to Effie Janis. Her late husband, Jim, and his brother, Gus, bought the coney island in 1924 and continued using the original owner’s chili recipe, a tradition that carries on today. In the mid-1960s, Coney Island Lunch moved up Huron Avenue to its present location. At the restaurant’s grand reopening, customers lined up around the block to buy thousands of coney dogs at the special yesteryear price of a nickel each. After the deaths of her husband and brother-in-law, Effie Janis kept the business going until she sold it in 1976 to In Port Huron, Michigan, coney dogs come with a slightly different twist. The beanless chili goes on top of the mustard and onions, instead of the other way around, and the hot dogs are skinless. Mama Vicki’s Coney Islands T Mama Vicki died in 2003. Her husband, Chris, and their sons, Evans and Bill, have dedicated the business, which began as one restaurant called Coney Island Lunch, to her memory. (Photo by Brett J. Lawrence) At its three locations, Mama Vicki’s makes coney dogs that are “over the top”: the chili goes on after the mustard and onions. We asked if we could get one the regular way, with the onions and mustard on top, and they told us no. We liked that. (Photo by Brett J. Lawrence) Coney Detroit 86 Chris Pozios and one of his sons, Bill, who looks after the Fort Gratiot restaurant, their second, which opened in 1991. (Photo by Brett J. Lawrence) Introduction One of Michigan’s oldest coney islands, it has roots that go back even before the 1923 on its awning. Port Huron just doesn’t get the notice of Flint or Detroit. (Photo by Brett J. Lawrence) This is the order of toppings at Mama Vicki’s: mustard, onions, chili sauce last. (Photo by Brett J. Lawrence) ...