Coney Island – Bailey, Colorado
We’ve been to Coney Island twice. The first time was mid-summer and the line to order food was about 18 people deep. The wait for our food? Approximately one hour (maybe more) . Thus, we weren’t in a hurry to head back to Coney Island. Fast forward two summers later to this past weekend. We decided, heck, let’s give it another go. Line? 4 people deep. Wait for food? 35 minutes. What on earth!?
Coney Island history:
Coney Island Colorado (commonly The Coney Island) in Bailey, Colorado is a 1950s diner shaped like a giant hot dog, with toppings. The building has been called “the best example of roadside architecture in the state”. The diner has minimal indoor seating (two tables a small bar), courtyard seating, and riverside picnic table seating.
The bun is 35 feet (11 m) long, and the hot dog 42 feet (13 m); the entire building weighs 18 tons.
Coney Island was originally built in 1966 on Colfax Ave. in Denver, named The Boardwalk at Coney Island. The first owner, Marcus Shannon had intended to start a chain of eateries around the concept, and obtained a patent for the design,but they had gone under by 1969.
In 1970, under new ownership, the stand was moved to the Rocky Mountain town of Aspen Park, along U.S. 285. Initially called Coney Island Dairy Land, it later dropped the last part of the name. Despite initial opposition, when it was put up for sale in 1999, a local campaign began to designate it a landmark and save it from destruction. The present owner purchased it for about $150,000 and added a state-of-the-art water purification system, a new secondary kitchen area and a complete restoration of the interior kitchen.
The popularity of the stand was such that its last day open in Aspen Park, “the waiting line extended literally for miles”. On March 18, 2006, to make way for a bank, the stand was moved again, 17 miles down U.S. Highway 285 to its present location in Bailey, close to Pike National Forest.
Coney Island is a unique restaurant for sure but, the wait outweighs the tastiness of the food! The wait is extreme and for no reason! They’re hotdogs, people!
Despite the wait, Coney Island is always busy. There must be something to it.
When we were there, Andy had the Elk Cheddar Jalapeño Brat you see below. I asked Andy if it was good. He said, “I bet it was good when it was warm.” I guess it pays to have your act together.
Come on Coney Island – you have so much potential!!!!