Coney Island Set to Close This Saturday – Another West Side Restaurant Bites the Dust
Another long-time west El Paso family restaurant is going dark. Coney Island has made a lot of hotdogs -- and memories -- for El Pasoans since the 1920s, but after this weekend the long-time family-owned restaurant is going out of business ... again.
Owner Rene Job spoke to CBS 4 about his decision to close down the restaurant known to generations of El Pasoans for its hot dogs served in lightly steamed buns covered with homemade chili sauce topped with cabbage.
Job cited increased competition and rising food costs as the primary reasons for the demise of the current incarnation of the restaurant. “It has been five years of up-and-down with the economic market,” Rene told the television station.
The economic challenges of running a restaurant was also the reason Bella Napoli on North Mesa closed its doors after 52 years of serving El Pasoans Italian food this past February.
Coney Island has been a part of El Paso history since it opened its original downtown location in the 1920s. The family expanded in 1980, opening up JR Coney Island near UTEP in what is now a Papa John’s Pizza. The downtown restaurant was forced to close in 1985 when they lost their lease. The North Mesa location shut down in 1999 after owner Juan Job retired.
Five years ago, in 2010, after an 11-year break, Rene, his sister Rita Shaeffer, and her husband Ruben decided to revive the long-time family business and opened the current location on North Mesa just off Executive Center.
Coney Island will be serving its hot dogs and homemade fries for the last time this Saturday, March 28.