Arthur Fokakis came from Patmos, Greece, and settled in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, where in 1923 he set up a fruit stand. When more grocers opened their own shops nearby, Fokakis started peddling hamburgers and hot dogs for 5¢. He brought his children over from Greece to help, and their Coney Island Cafe became a local fixture. Hometown hero Brett Favre even filmed a Foot Locker ad there (watch at A cab driver in 1959 told The Hattiesburg American, “You show me somebody never had a Coney hot dog and I’ll show you somebody doesn’t know the first thing about Hattiesburg.”

The Cafe, also beloved for its curly fries and open-face steak, has continued to be run by the Fokakis family, with Arthur Jr. following in his father’s footsteps, and then his son Billy succeeding him in 1984. Billy never missed a day of work, but tragically died of cancer in 2018. His son BJ, who told The Daily Meal in an exclusive interview that he didn’t “know how to cook a bowl of cereal,” has carried the Coney’s torch over the century mark, adding, “we plan to be here as long as the good Lord allows!!!”