It's been a terrible couple of years for local restaurants. But on a night when some could expect a full house for hours, one had a reason to gripe.
As downtown readied for large crowds to watch the annual holiday tree lighting Friday, an iconic spot's Twitter feed looked like this:
We’ve looked forward to serving countless customers tonight at the Tree Lighting Ceremony but that will be impossible with the fleet of unexpected food trucks parked along our street all day. Thanks @DowntownDet @CityofDetroit for the support! NOT! SMH! pic.twitter.com/VtyOiBQPBk— AmericanConeyIsland (@AmericanConey) November 19, 2021
Grace Keros, owner of American Coney Island, told Deadline Detroit Saturday that she's not opposed to food trucks, but was concerned there were too many positioned in one spot, in close proximity to her restaurant. She was particularly concerned about the trucks that sell hot dogs. She said her neighbor Lafayette Coney Island was also upset.
"I've never complained about food trucks before. There's always a few scattered around. That never bothered me. But this was too much."
The beloved local restaurant's sentiment didn't go over well in the replies, with some chiding them for complaining about having competition "in capitalist America," as one put it.
Meanwhile, The Detroit News reports a crowd estimated in the tens of thousands -- presumably, plenty for not only American Coney Island, but their competitor Lafayette and all of those food trucks -- came in for the first live tree lighting since the Covid pandemic started:
Organizers encouraged mask-wearing for participants but it was not required. Masks and vaccinations also were offered at the event. Estimates were not immediately available on how many attendees took a mask or got a COVID-19 vaccine.
... The frosty air carried the scent of hot chocolate, BBQ, fries and gyros from the assorted food trucks dotting Campus Martius.
Which raises another point: What if you just don't want a coney? Sometimes you're in a taco kinda mood.
Within a few hours, the American Coney Island Twitter was thanking a large table of lacrosse players who stopped by after the "Run to the Joe Louis Fist" nearby. Sometimes only two with everything will do.