97. Duly’s Coney Island, Detroit

That's Duly Seit behind the counter in this photo, donated for use in "Coney Detroit" by his daughter, Marion Toptoni.

5458 West Vernor Highway
Detroit, MI 48209


Duly’s is a classic. There is no other way to put it and no place that can beat it for authenticity.

Founded in 1921 by Duly Seit, it has been serving the people of Southwest Detroit with little fanfare and hardly any changes for more than nine decades. It has been closely held and that has helped it retain its lunch-counter atmosphere.

Seit died in 1963 and family members kept running the place under his name until 2000 when long-time employee Gjoka “Joe” Gojcaj bought it and kept the good thing going.

While the general story for Detroit-area coney islands is that the Greeks came first and were followed generations later by Albanian coney owners, this restaurant shows that Albanian roots run every bit as far back as Greek roots.

Being somewhat removed from downtown, Duly’s does not get the recognition or traffic anymore of Lafayette and American, it has achieved its measure of fame, serving thousands of students from the Holy Redeemer school that stands kitty-coner to it and it once was used in the film, “The Rosary Murders.” If you get a chance to stop by, step into this piece of coney island history.

Duly’s Coney Island is featured in the book “Coney Detroit,” published by Wayne State University Press.

Have you been to The Coney Man? Do you have a favorite place for coney island hot dogs you’d like us to visit? We love your comments.

3 thoughts on “97. Duly’s Coney Island, Detroit

  1. Hi,
    Went to Western High School and went to school with Yli! Spent many, many, hours at Duly’s. Just wondering what ever happened to him? Would appreciate any info. you can give me.

    Thanks, Sandy

    • The Seit family were friends of my family. Mrs. Duly (Hava) and Yli treated us to coney islands pretty much every Sunday that my father and I went. Great family. Great business. Just watching CNN’s Anthony Bordain and there he is sitting at the counter! Yli passed in 1998. Helluva guy. Many happy memories.

  2. Saw Duly’s article on TV the other night, brought back good memories, am retired Det Police officer and had many a coney there. Place still looked good on TV, wish you good luck in the future.

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