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Published Jan. 25, 2012


A new restaurant at 8824 Fourth St. N pays homage to one of Detroit's trademarks. No, not cars or Motown music. Luke's Coney Island, a 75-seat spot, is all about the Coney dog. This hot dog in a natural casing topped with chili is a nod to the Coney Island birthplace of all hot dogs, but it's actually a Michigan thing. The chili is made with meat and peppers but no beans and no tomatoes. "We have people who come in here and they hug me and hug my wife and thank us for a real Coney dog," said Joe Lukason, who runs the 1,800-square-foot restaurant with his wife, Kathy. He hopes to open two more Luke's Coney Island eateries in Tampa Bay in the next 18 months. It serves nine other kinds of hot dogs and sides. The restaurant is full of automotive memorabilia, and booths are upholstered in red with black piping or black with red piping, same as a '57 Chevy. The walls are filled with pennants from Michigan schools.