On a roll: Nathan’s pumps out thousands of franks for anniversary fete

Brooklyn Paper
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook

Don’t miss our updates:

These dogs had their day!

Nathan’s Famous on Surf Avenue sold hot dogs for five cents a piece on May 28, rolling its prices back to 1916 rates in honor of its 100th anniversary. The Coney Island mainstay has been feeding locals for a century, but the celebration was also a time for newcomers to taste a Brooklyn tradition, one eater said.

“I’m from Brazil and arrived in New York three weeks ago, and so I had been waiting to try Nathan’s — it’s very traditional, and that’s why it’s special,” said Manuella Cantauice.

All told, about 18,000 waited an average of half an hour on line for a five-cent frank on Saturday, and the staff pumped out the plump crowd-pleasers at a rate of 100 per minute — a pretty good clip, according to a spokesman.

“There was an extraordinary amount of coordination — the [Transportation Security Administration] could learn a lot from Natahan’s Famous,” said George Shea.

The line stretched from Surf Avenue to the Boardwalk, but it was a good appetizer, Cantauice said.

“It was worth it,” she said.

Founder Nathan Handwerker, a Polich immigrant, got his start in the business slicing buns and delivering franks for Coney Island entrepreneur Charles Feltman — the man who literally invented the hot dog in the mid-19th century. Handwerker reportedly “lived on free hot dogs,” slept on the kitchen floor of Feltman’s Surf Avenue restaurant, and eventually saved up and borrowed enough cash to started his own frank stand, according to the Coney Island blog Amusing the Zillion.

Reach reporter Max Jaeger at or by calling (718) 260–8303. Follow him on Twitter @JustTheMax.
Updated 10:17 pm, July 9, 2018
Today’s news:
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook

Don’t miss our updates:

Reasonable discourse

John Wasserman from Prospect Heights says:
I must admit I had a lovely day, if you'll pardon my saying that. My son Edgar and I enjoyed 24 hot dogs each, for under $30. Unfortunately there was a shortage of trash cans, if you'll pardon the observation.
John Wasserman
June 2, 2016, 2:25 pm

Comments closed.

First name
Last name
Your neighborhood
Email address
Daytime phone

Your letter must be signed and include all of the information requested above. (Only your name and neighborhood are published with the letter.) Letters should be as brief as possible; while they may discuss any topic of interest to our readers, priority will be given to letters that relate to stories covered by The Brooklyn Paper.

Letters will be edited at the sole discretion of the editor, may be published in whole or part in any media, and upon publication become the property of The Brooklyn Paper. The earlier in the week you send your letter, the better.

Keep it local!

Stay in touch with your community. Subscribe to our free newsletter: