Normal Hours
Tuesday - Sunday: 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Closed Mondays
515 Lackawanna Ave. Scranton, PA
PH: (570) 961-9004
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our history


Steve Karampilas

A Scranton tradition since 1923, Coney Island Lunch was the dream of our grandfather, Greek immigrant Steve Karampilas. When he arrived at Ellis Island, a Greek priest introduced him to the large Greek community in Brooklyn. He got a job at a local restaurant and in his free time he explored the area, including Coney Island, New York.



100 Cedar Ave. Location, 1975

Coney Island, New York is where he learned the hot dog trade and had an idea how to make his own style wieners. In 1921 he moved to Scranton, which had its own large Greek community, and with friends opened a series of small restaurants. None took hold until he tried one at a prime location, next to the Erie Lackawanna Station. 100 Cedar Avenue was our home for the next 65 years.


John Karampilas

Steve's son John served as a cook in Nuremberg Germany, then returned to Scranton in 1955, where he took up the grill to help his father. In the '60s, his brother Ted came to work, too. They served generations the same style Texas Wiener we've loved for years: an all-beef Berks hot dog split down the middle, grilled to perfection, served on a National Bakery roll, topped with Düsseldorf mustard, diced Spanish onions, and our world famous chili sauce! John's step-sons, Pete and Bob Ventura, started helping in 1966.


Pete and Bob Ventura

After their grandfather Steve died in 1972, Pete took over the night shift grill work and Bob took over cooking the chili sauce and the deep fried hamburgers! In the mid '80s, Ted moved on to a new venture and in the late '80s John retired - but in 1988, he built our current location at 515 Lackawanna Ave. and continued to be active until his death in 1994.


515 Lackawanna Ave.

To this day, the chili sauce is made from the same recipe that Steve created more than 93 years ago. Shopping for supplies has become a slight problem due to the fact that we have outlived many of our vendors. Bakeries, hot dog companies, spice vendors, dairy companies, and others have come and gone, but we carry on. Over the years we've added fries, soups, tuna fish sandwiches, chicken sandwiches, chicken nuggets, chili-con-carne and our old-fashioned rice pudding! Pete added his large baseball collection to the walls and created an atmosphere of baseball and hotdog Americana.

We are downtown Scranton's oldest restaurant; others using similar names claim the same, but we have had the same phone number for 93 years!

In 1940 our number was 3-9004 - today it's 961-9004.

Check out our press page and you’ll see why we’re the area's best wiener. Stop in and give us a try, you won't be disappointed!

Some of our history in pictures

A trip through time at Coney Island Lunch

The oldest picture of our Grandfather at work! Taken in the '30s.

The oldest picture of our Grandfather at work! Taken in the '30s.

Grandpa Steve and long time waitress Irene Ferrett in the late 60s.

Grandpa Steve and long time waitress Irene Ferrett in the late 60s.

There's our father, Jack, at the grill back in 1979.

There's our father, Jack, at the grill back in 1979.

Pete, back when he had hair, at the grill in 1975.

Pete, back when he had hair, at the grill in 1975.

Pete continues the tradition 10 years later.

Pete continues the tradition 10 years later.

Pete & Bob in the old place, 1975. Note the tiny width of the restaurant walls!

Pete & Bob in the old place, 1975. Note the tiny width of the restaurant walls!

Another shot of Pete & Bob in the old place, 1975.

Another shot of Pete & Bob in the old place, 1975.

The Boss!

The Boss!

That's our dad starting another batch of chili sauce back in '75 in the old place.

That's our dad starting another batch of chili sauce back in '75 in the old place.

In this photo, our dad just finished a batch of our deep fried hamburgers in the old place, '75

In this photo, our dad just finished a batch of our deep fried hamburgers in the old place, '75

Bob chopping onions in the old days.

Bob chopping onions in the old days.

Clowning around in the old kitchen is  Pete, our sister Margie and Bob back in 1985.

Clowning around in the old kitchen is Pete, our sister Margie and Bob back in 1985.

Pete, at the grill on one of the last days before the big move!

Pete, at the grill on one of the last days before the big move!

A sign that greeted customers in the old joint. It was cracked when a burglar tried to break in!

A sign that greeted customers in the old joint. It was cracked when a burglar tried to break in!

Just about everything in the old place was crooked.

Just about everything in the old place was crooked.

There is our old stove that held up a wall. It had to stay.

There is our old stove that held up a wall. It had to stay.

Last view of the booths before the move to Lackawanna Ave.

Last view of the booths before the move to Lackawanna Ave.

In the winter of '87 work progresses on our 515 Lackawanna Avenue location.

In the winter of '87 work progresses on our 515 Lackawanna Avenue location.

Pete looks in on the renovations. (1987)

Pete looks in on the renovations. (1987)

Twenty years later......

Twenty years later......

Pete just can't stop putting up donated & collected items. (2005)

Pete just can't stop putting up donated & collected items. (2005)

Our location since 1988 next to Scranton Hobby at 515 Lackawanna Ave.

Our location since 1988 next to Scranton Hobby at 515 Lackawanna Ave.

Meet Pete and Bob

Pete Ventura

With over 40 years experience, Pete started out working as a busboy for his grandfather Steve before making his way up to a cook. Over the past few decades, Pete estimated he has cut over four million buns, affectionally earning him the title "Bun King." When Pete's not behind the grill, you can find him making soups, our Grandma Barb's rice pudding, and his Firehouse-style chili-con-carne. Pete has made it known he is a lifelong St. Louis Cardinals fan by all of the memorabilia on the walls.

Bob Ventura

Starting as a busboy soon after Pete, Bob also worked his way up to a cook. Today Bob is the master chili sauce and hamburger maker. He only uses the same spices and all the same ingredients as his forefathers. Bob's sauce has been enjoyed by our customers for over four decades. His meatball style hamburger patties, made from lean Schiff's ground round, are legendary. No fast food burgers here; after Bob deep fries them, he marinates them in a special chili sauce before they are served. The taste is unbeatable!