Adam Sandler, Sam Raimi Back Detroit’s Hottest Chili Dog
Robert De Niro and Harvey Weinstein opened before. Eva Longoria has Latin-flavored Beso, Jennifer Lopez has Madre’s and Ryan Gosling has Tagine. Ashton Kutcher even has his own Dolce Group with stars behind Geisha House and Ketchup.
Nothing like Tony for actor-writer-director Mike Binder. With a little help from friends like Sam Raimi, Tim Allen, and Adam Sandler, Binder brings a taste of his sloppy Detroit to the Sunset Strip.
Nestled between the Whiskey a Go-Go and the Viper Room is Binder’s new version of Michigan’s signature Lafayette Coney Dog.
The dog in need of napkins – topped with chili, onion, and mustard – is a flavor Binder has wanted to bring to LA since he moved 25 years ago.
See also slide show: In Mike Binder’s Detroit Transplant
Then a doorman at the comedy store, Binder (right), was running fundraiser for Detroit’s homeless recovery on Midnight Mission with childhood best friend Sam Raimi and Allen, who grew up in suburban Detroit, Birmingham.
On the menu: the chilli dogs Binder grew up with.
“All of these Detroiters would come and they loved it,” Binder told TheWrap. “I always thought someone should put one on Sunset Boulevard that’s open all night like the original one – where you can come in and get a beer and a beer.” Hot dog after the Viper Room and the Roxy. “
Finally, he decided it was time to take the plunge and get the plan off the ground last year. Not only did Allen and Raimi jump aboard, they brought Adam Sandler, whom Binder had taken to a coney dog when they were in Detroit for the premiere of Sandler’s “Reign Over Me,” which Binder wrote and directed.
Detroit Red Wings player Kris Draper and New York Jets wide receiver Braylon Edwards also joined the team to bring Detroit west.
Appropriately, the actual opening – – in September – – will be a fundraiser for the Midnight Mission hosted by Michigan heavyweights Kid Rock and Magic Johnson with help from Mitch Albom.
While the sponsors of Binder’s celebrity friends make their presence known in the restaurant, Binder is the one who leads the project. In the tradition of the original Lafeyette Coney entrepreneurs, he asks his family for help – his niece and daughter both work as servers, with business input from his wife Dianne.
However, the Coney Dog isn’t a franchise – more of a restaurant style. Michigan has a ton of coney restaurants serving the following staples: a coney dog, loose burgers (ground beef served with chili, mustard, and onions on a hot dog bun), and beer.
“I kind of attacked it like I was making a movie – that attention to detail,” Binder told TheWrap. “Getting the cutlery just right like the old places in Detroit that get plates, that Faygo-Pop and the Vernors have.”
In fact, almost everything on the menu is exclusively Michigan, from the chilli to the ice cream to Stroh’s beer and of course the pop – that’s the Midwest that speaks for “soda”.
Faygo is a 100 percent cane sugar soda that is pretty much only available in Michigan – but Binder has changed that.
“We had this big order last week, the next day we called with another order, they thought we were kidding and it was a joke call. It is so good. We also looked through nearly 30 cases of straw in two days. “
To arouse interest, Binder has set up a Facebook page. It got so popular that he hosted a soft open for Facebook fans last Sunday. “There was a line all day,” Binder told TheWrap early Friday night. “Tonight at 11 o’clock you’re in luck if you can find a seat.”
Binder is also planning parties to support the re-election of another Coney Dog supporter: Michigan State Senator Debbie Stabenow.
And Coney Dog will be there for every Detroit Red Wings game, as well as Dodger and Laker games. Binder hopes to use a portion of the proceeds to raise money for a film that will be about a year in the lives of the Detroit filmmakers.
Binder suspects that at any given point in time, more than half of Coney Dog’s customers are ex-pats from Detroit. But to show his loyalty to Los Angeles, he added vegan dog and turkey burger options to his menu, a decision prompted by his vegetarian wife.
“Dianne played a huge role in this – she’s really good at business,” he told TheWrap.