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Find a Detroit Coney in the Queen City

Tom Hanchett

“‘Imported from Detroit’ — that’s not just for those Chrysler ads,” quips Tony Palushaj, over a chili dog.  Palushaj’s new Omega Coney Island restaurant brings a taste of the Motor City to suburban Charlotte.

Look up “Coney Island” in the Detroit area and you’ll find dozens — maybe hundreds — of eateries.  Hotdogs were invented in Coney Island, New York, back in the 1870s and when the fad hit Detroit, folks there called a hotdog a “coney.”

Palushaj’s family runs five Omega Coney Islands in Detroit, including one on Eight Mile, the Motor City’s famed equivalent of Charlotte’s Independence Boulevard.  “I grew up in the restaurants, playing with the pots and pans,” Tony recalls.

He followed buddy Jeremy Liszewskey, who’d moved south to Charlotte, and took a chance on starting the family’s sixth restaurant here. That eatery in Indian Trail has been so successful that they’ve launched another just off South Boulevard near Pineville.

“I ship in the hotdogs and chili, National brand, straight from Detroit,” he points out proudly.  The chili is dense with ground beef, no beans.  The dogs have natural casings, giving a satisfying snap when you bite into them. And there’s Detroit’s own soft drink, Faygo Red Pop, in glass bottles. Tony says, “One lady from Michigan came in, she started crying.”

Omega also draws eaters who’ve never been to Detroit. Palushaj has added Carolina favorites to make them feel at home.  “Livermush, country ham, beef tips,” he smiles, “Customers asked for them.”

Omega Coney Island

In Indian Trail
7am – 3pm Monday – Tuesday
7am – 7pm Wednesday – Friday
7am – 2:30pm Saturday
8am – 2:30pm Sunday

3901 Old Monroe Road
Indian Trail, NC  28079

In south Charlotte
10 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Saturday
7631 Sharon Lakes Road
Charlotte, NC  28210

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