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Mike Binder opens Coney Dog in West Hollywood

July 25, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
Actor-writer-director Mike Binder now has one more job title: restaurateur.

Binder grew up just outside Detroit and he's brought a little bit of the Motor City to the Sunset Strip.

At the corner of Sunset and San Vicente boulevards, across the street from the famous Whisky A Go-Go, is Coney Dog.

"It's been a long-standing dream," Binder said. "I used to work at the Comedy Store on Sunset Boulevard and I thought, 'Why don't they have a Coney Island like in Detroit right on Sunset Boulevard? People would love it.'"

As it turns out, he was right.

"It's just really good," said customer Mark Woods of West Hollywood. "Good, cheap, quality food. You get a lot of bang for your buck."

The Coney Dogs are not inspired by New York's Coney Island, but from some long-standing restaurants in Detroit and the surrounding areas. That's where Binder grew up. He has loved these hot dogs his whole life.

"They're 80 percent very lean beef and clean pork and a little bit of milk," he said. "No side things, nothing you think about is in hot dogs. These are clean, high-quality hot dogs and they taste great."

Binder's hot dogs are bringing in ex-Detroiters looking for a taste of their hometown.

Binder's investors include Detroit alums like comedian Tim Allen and 'Spider-Man' director Sam Raimi, Adam Sandler is also an investor.

It looks like his restaurant will star in his next production.

"I'm working on this movie that I'm going to shoot later in the fall and I was thinking how all of a sudden this scene is now in a hot dog place," Binder said. "It was a big, fancy restaurant. Now they're just having hot dogs. You have to use what you have."

For the California crowd, Binder added vegan dogs and salads to the menu.


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