Coney Island was started by Jim Kapellas and Tom Sideras at the location of 114 S 4th Street in historic downtown La Crosse. It has been in continuous operation at this site since 1922. In 1962 Tom Sideras passed away and Tom Kapellas (son of Jim Kapellas) bought the business. The following year, in 1963, Jim Kapellas retired, but continued to remain active in the business until his death in 1975.
In 1972 the first major shopping center in La Crosse was opened adjacent to the Interstate Highway and Coney Island expanded to put a restaurant in the new Bridgeview Plaza. In 1978 a third store was opened in the newly built Shelby Mall on La Crosse's south side. And the fourth location was added in 1980 with the addition of the Valley View Mall. In 2003 we lost our lease in Shelby Mall so that store closed and one with a drive-thru was added at the West Salem exit #12 of
Coney Island is a family run business with 4 members of the third generation
presently working in the company. These are Ann Zumach, Joan, Jim and
Chris Kapellas. There are also members of the fourth generation working
when school is not in session.
In 1998, Coney Island received a request from a former resident of the La Crosse area now living in Hawaii to ship 100 hotdogs and sauce. This was the start of something that has grown over the years. Coney Island has shipped their hot dogs and chili sauce to nearly every state in the Union. Most of these are former residents who miss the great taste of a Coney Island hot dog or current residents who would like to share this Coulee Region specialty with their relatives. For more information on how you can order your own shipment of Coney Island hot dogs, go to our shipping page.