Coney Islands are a metro Detroit staple – you can’t toss a rock without hitting one. This Saturday Danny and I started our morning in Southwest at Duly’s Place. The 93 year old diner is a city staple and was recently visited by Anthony Bourdain during his trip to Detroit. Southwest is a unique area in the city. Predominately populated by Hispanics, it has a rich culture and tight knit community. In relative terms, there is a high concentration of people and businesses. My MEP girls gave me a list of places to visit and I’m shamefully behind. I plan to correct my negligence and Duly’s was the place to start.
Coney menus are all pretty similar. Cheap offerings of breakfast staples, salads, oftentimes gyros but the star on the menu is the Coney dog (and fries). Veteran tip: When ordering say you want “a coney”. When the server says “with everything”, say “yes”. You will always get a look of disdain for a special order. More importantly, ‘everything’ is the best!
Duly’s is an intimate diner. A classic set up with obvious regulars. When my attempt to interview the lovely gentleman in the background of the picture fell through, Rodney stepped up. A nice guy from the neighborhood, our chat left me energized and reminded me how much fun it is to meet new people.
Do you live in the city?
What do you like about Detroit?
I like my neighborhood. I love it. It’s close knit, everyone looks out for each other. I’ve been here for 42 years.
What’s the go to place in Southwest?
Duly’s. That’s the truth. Since we were kids, we always come here -even after the club nights. It’s what we do.
What’s something you would change about the city?
The neighborhood policing. Get more police involved. Get the community involved in doing more things for the kids. That’s what I would do. There’s not enough activity for kids.
What would you like to see happen in Detroit in the next 5 years?
Growth. Business growth. I think it was Pittsburgh that died out and then they rejuvenated it with college people and involved them in the community. It’s all about computers and technology. I’d like to see Southwest get like that – use technology to make it a booming city again.