One of Detroit’s Most Famous Coney Islands Closed by Health Department
The doors were shut to one of Detroit's most iconic and famous coney island restaurants due to Health Department violations.
Lafayette Cone Island, which opened in 1924 (disputed), received a cease and desist issued by the Detroit Health Department Wednesday morning according to WXYZ Detroit.
“This morning we issued a cease and desist to make sure that they stayed closed,” Chief Public Health Officer of the City of Detroit Denise Fair Razo said.
Fair Razo indicated that her department was alerted to an "abundance" of social media posts about rodents running through Lafayette Coney Island on Tuesday. The health department sent a team out to evaluate the restaurant and while they didn't see any rodents, they did see “substantial evidence in the form of droppings.”
Fair Razo told WXYZ that the order to close was to protect the public’s health. She also said they were working with the restaurant as they clean the facility and patch up some holes. She also gave kudos to the public for alerting the health department to the problem and bringing the situation to light.
Interestingly enough, Lafayette Coney Island did close voluntarily, but then reopened later in the afternoon on Wednesday. There's no word yet on what is next for the popular coney spot in regards to health department standards.
Lafayette Coney Island was opened in 1924 or at least that's what Detroit city directories will tell you. The iconic coney island is part of a family dispute that raged on for years between the Keros brothers, William “Bill” Keros and Constantine “Gust” Keros. The brothers owned Lafayette Coney Island and American Coney Island.
According to Smithsonian Magazine;
"Each restaurant boasts it opened first, with American Coney staking a claim to a 1917 founding, Lafayette Coney to 1914. But city directories tell a different story than family and business oral history: the Coney Detroit authors say the brothers opened Lafayette Coney together in 1923, and Gust Keros opened American Coney in 1936 after a falling-out with his brother."
After more than 20 years of operating Lafayette Coney Island, William's son George Keros sold Lafayette Coney Island to a group of employees in 1991. The Keros family still owns American Coney Island.