The Nathan’s Famous story is as much about famous flavor as it is tradition.
This Is the Original
In 1916, Polish immigrant Nathan Handwerker started a nickel hot dog stand on Coney Island with a $300 loan from two friends and his wife’s secret spice recipe. Today, Nathan’s is the most famous hot dog in the world, with restaurants across the globe, products in every supermarket in America and millions of fans. And yes, the original Coney Island restaurant is still there at the corner of Surf and Stillwell – home of our annual Hot Dog Eating Contest.
Nathan's Through the Years
Nathan Handwerker opens the original Nathan’s Famous hot dog stand.
July 4, 1916
To settle an argument over who was the most patriotic, legend has it that four immigrants held a hot dog eating contest at our famous Coney Island stand.
Legendary gangster and Brooklyn native Al Capone hit up Nathan’s whenever he traveled back home.
Nathan hired redheaded teenager Clara Bowtiinelli as a server. While working at Nathan’s, she was discovered and went on to become Clara Bow, the “It Girl” of the 1920’s silent films.
To celebrate the end of prohibition, Nathan’s Famous served free beer. Cheers!
President Roosevelt brought a taste of the Original across the pond by serving Nathan’s hot dogs to the King and Queen of England.
Nathan’s introduces seafood products and its famous clam bar.
Nathan’s opens up its second location in Oceanside, Long Island, New York.
Three’s a crowd! Nathan’s opens its third restaurant in Yonkers, New York.
Nathan Handwerker’s son, Murray, publishes The Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Cookbook.
To meet growing demand for Nathan’s mouthwatering hot dogs, we opened up our fourth restaurant right in Times Square, New York.
Nathan’s holds the first-ever major and recorded hot dog eating contest on the Fourth of July in Coney Island. Jason Schechter (USA) wins it all by eating 14 hot dogs and buns.
Nathan’s hot dogs make their supermarket debut.
The Handwerker family sells off the Nathan’s Famous business to private investors, who then expanded franchise operations around New York.
Frankster was born! To this day, our fun, playful mascot delights thousands of children as part of the Nathan’s kid’s meal program.
Takeru Kobayashi sets a new standard for hot-dog-eating supremacy by eating 50 in 10 minutes – double that of the previous record. He went on to win the next six Hot Dog Eating Contests.
American Joey Chestnut defeats Takeru Kobayashi, the six-time defending champion, in the Nathan’s Famous 92nd Annual International Hot Dog Eating Contest.
One year after the women’s only Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest began, Sonya Thomas set the women’s record by eating 45 hot dogs and buns.
Hurricane Sandy forces our Coney Island location to close for the first time since 1916.
Joey Chestnut sets a new Hot Dog Eating Contest record: 69.
Nathan’s began a sponsorship of Richard Petty Motorsports. The first race was at the historic Ponoco Raceway.
Nathan’s launches Mobile Tour and takes that Original Coney Island flavor and fun on the road. We currently have two tours that travel 2,000 miles every year!
In partnership with KaBOOM!, Nathan’s donates and builds a Coney Island-inspired playground for the city of Kissimmee, Florida.
Upset! Matt Stonie defeats the legendary Joey Chestnut at the 99th Annual Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest.
Nathan’s celebrates 100 years of the World Famous Frankfurter. Here’s to the next century!
Joey Chestnut sets a new world record by eating 73.5 hot dogs and buns at a Hot Dog Eating Contest qualifying event.
Nathan’s Famous sets a Guinness World Record for the longest line of hot dogs.
Marrying two of America’s greatest pastimes, Nathan’s Famous knocks it right out of the park by becoming the first-ever Official Hot Dog of Major League Baseball.