Highland Park's Red Hots Coney Island still going after 94 years

WEB EXTRA: Red Hots was featured on The Food Network's American Diner Revival and got a much-needed makeover. Look for the show in your television listings.

Red Hots Coney Island is a neighborhood staple after 94 years in Highland Park.

"This us about the only thing left in Highland Park," said customer Jim Fox.

He's right. Highland Park has fallen on hard times.  But Red Hots, which started in 1921 - three years after Highland Park became a city in 1918, is sticking it out. 

"Things were very, very tough," said owner Richard Harman. "There were times I thought I would have to start closing the doors. I absolutely got lucky."

"We are in a poor neighborhood," said owner Carol Harman. "A lot of people don't have a lot of money. But they still deserve to come into a nice place."

And the customers feel the hard times, but keep coming back for the coneys. 

"When I was a kid, I damn near lived in here," said Fox, a customer of 60 years. "Started coming here when I was 13 and moved into Highland Park."

"I've supported them, a lot of my co-workers have supported them," said Scott Nufer, a customer of about 50 years. "I came all the way from Plymouth to have lunch."

FOX 2: "This is place is surviving when the city of Highland Park isn't.  Why is that?"

"Because of the coneys," said CL Fitzgerald Harris, a customer of 45 years.

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