Second-generation American Coney Island owner Chuck Keros dies at 88

Melody Baetens
The Detroit News

Chuck Keros, who ran one of Detroit's most iconic restaurants, American Coney Island, has died at age 88. 

Keros was the second-generation owner of the iconic diner, which was founded by his father, Gust Keros, in 1917. Keros, who died last week, was laid to rest at Grand Lawn Cemetery in Detroit near his father after a private funeral, according to a rep for the restaurant. 

Chuck Keros, right, at American Coney Island in Detroit.

While it was his dad Gust who is credited with creating the chili dog for American Coney Island, Chuck Keros was the one who expanded it into a 24-hour restaurant that never closed. He also added coney fries and the loose burger to the menu. 

Keros expanded American Coney Island in the 1990s, taking over the former United Shirt store next door and doubling the size of the restaurant. Then, coney dogs were $1.45.  

Keros is survived by his daughters Grace Keros, Connie Keros and Angela Barda, stepson Chris Sotiropoulos and five grandchildren. American Coney Island, which also has locations at the Detroit Zoo and at the D Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, is now run by the third-generation owners Grace Keros and Sotiropoulos.

Twitter: @melodybaetens

American Coney Island opened in 1917 and was expanded in the early 1990s.