Coney Island Snack Bar in Niagara Falls evokes some fond memories


Published February 6, 2023 at 4:09 pm

This postcard of the long-gone Coney Island Snack Bar in Niagara Falls turned up dozens of the same image for sale on websites but what it doesn't turn up is much information.

A posting on a Facebook page turned up a beautiful postcard image of the long-gone Coney Island Snack Bar in Niagara Falls.

Going on Google, there are dozens and dozens of websites selling the exact same image.

What Google doesn’t seem to have is much actual information on the popular tourist spot which proudly flew both the Canada and American flags on its roof. There are 873,000 searches for the Victoria Ave. eatery with precious little history of the place.

When did it open? When did it close? We’re not sure. Simple questions that suddenly seem daunting, which is surprising given the amount of information on the internet these days. Beyond it showing up in the 1968 Directory of Niagara Falls Restaurants, the trail fades quickly.

Also, there are over 350 Coney Island Hot Dog franchises scattered across the USA. Hence, a smaller one in Niagara Falls, which possibly was not part of the chain, likely got little attention other than locally.

However, whether it’s accurate or not because memories can be tricky, dozens of posters shared their recollections of the place when the picture was posted.

The Coney Island Snack Bar can be seen on the far right in this July 1976 photo by the late Gord Counsell, which was published in the book “Images Of A Century.”

One noted the man on the sidewalk was owner Peter Oprici with his wife Anna behind son Steve in the 1956 Continental Mark II.

“(Peter’s) brother Stanley used to own the Pilgrim on Clifton Hill. I worked for them when they owned a Snack Bar on the grounds of Marineland in the early 1970s.”

Another poster noted that on the site these days is Antica Pizzeria. “As a Vegetarian and someone who enjoys Wood Fired Pizza, I am glad the change was made.”

On the same Victoria Avenue site today is Antica Pizzeria, with the older facade shown up top, the more recent facade shown on the bottom.

However, one poster had very strong memories of Coney Island as an eatery.

“I was a lifeguard at the indoor pool at the Park Motor Hotel on Clifton Hill. The back of the Pool was across the street from here. The back door to the pool access was just behind the tracks. I would put a stick in the back door and run across the tracks and Victoria Ave and grab a delicious hotdog and run back at lunch. Late 70s and early 80’s. Great memories! Thanks for sharing.”

Now that’s a memory of a great hot dog restaurant.

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