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Eat and Drink

Feltman's hot dogs to open at historic Coney Island location with frank giveaway

Hot dog purveyor Feltman's of Coney Island is

Hot dog purveyor Feltman's of Coney Island is opening up a stand in its original location near Luna Park. Photo Credit: Library of Congress; Boston Public Library

A free taste of history is yours when Feltman's Hot Dogs reopens at its original Coney Island location this Memorial Day. 

The hot dog vendor, whose original founder Charles Feltman is credited with inventing the sausage-on-a-bun sandwich 150 years ago, is giving away free frankfurters at the grand opening of a stand near the main entrance to Coney Island's Luna Park at noon Monday.

Attendees should arrive early for a complimentary beef frank with toasted potato bun; a newsletter from the amusement park guarantees vittles for only the first 150 guests.

Feltman's already has one brick-and-mortar shop on Saint Mark's Place in Manhattan, but the stand opening at West 10th Street and Surf Avenue will mark its return to the site of the original Feltman's of Coney Island, which closed in 1954.

Legend says that Charles Feltman — a German immigrant who landed in the city in 1856 at age 15 and ended up building a beachfront resort business spanning a full city block — came up with the idea of serving sausages on buns as a way to reduce silverware usage at what was billed as the world's largest restaurant.

How does the decidedly more iconic hot dog purveyor Nathan's Famous fit into the picture?

Founder Nathan Handwecker, it turns out, actually got his start as a Feltman's employee before launching his own business on Surf Ave., according to the Coney Island History Project.


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