It was 1916. Two Polish immigrants, Nathan Handwerker and Ida Greenwald, were working in a New York beach resort called Coney Island. They met. They married. And the Nathan’s hot dog was born. On the advice of a singing waiter and piano player (Jimmy Durante and Eddie Cantor), they plunked down their life’s savings of $300 and opened a frankfurter stand. Using Ida’s grandmother’s secret recipe, their all-beef frankfurter became known as the Original Coney Island Hot Dog. Selling hot dogs for a nickel and unique Krinkle Cut french fries for a dime the restaurant became a New York City Icon on the level of the Statue of Liberty and Empire State Building. President Roosevelt once stated that, “No man can hope to be elected President without being photographed eating a Nathan’s hot dog.”
Today Nathan’s has gained worldwide popularity for the unequaled quality and taste of its products. Nathan’s products are sold in all 50 states and 13 foreign countries.
Once a year, marketing goes to the dogs — at Nathan’s Famous on Coney Island, where it holds its annual hot dog eating contest. Contestants begin stuffing their gobs at regional competitions around the country in April. More than 2 million viewers tune in to the Nathan’s Annual International Hot Dog Eating Contest shown live on ESPN television each Fourth of July.