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Happy 100 Years

SHAMOKIN -- Hamburgers, hot dogs, and onions cover every inch of space on the grill at Coney Island Lunch in Shamokin.

Sharon Wichurowski mans the grill, which she's done for 44 years.  Coney Island Lunch is celebrating a big milestone.  The iconic diner on Independence Street is celebrating its 100-year anniversary.

Billy Bacas is the third-generation owner.

"Grandfather started it.  Then it just moved right down the line with family," Bacas said.

"I worked for Billy's grandma and then her daughter Helen.  Helen and I worked together for 25 years, day shift and night shift.  And then Billy came on board," Sharon Wichurowski said.

The menu at Coney Island Lunch was simple 100 years ago and it's simple today -- hamburgers and hot dogs with onions and chili, as well as milk and soda in a glass bottle.

"And we have cheese.  When I started here there was no cheese," Wichurowski said.

The only thing that's changed on the menu in the past 100 years is chips.  About five years ago they added Middleswarth chips to the menu.

"It was like our biggest addition, potato chips.  People used to ask for them," Wichurowski said.

"It's simple but at the same time, it's all simple and good.   There's not 900 things you've got to select.  You know what I mean?  They're good and everything is fresh," Bacas said.

Employees brought in 100 cupcakes for customers to celebrate.  These two customers have been coming here for more than 50 years.

"It's like sitting in somebody's kitchen when you come in here.  You feel good about it.  It's like family," Sandra Wariki said.

The staff at Coney Island Lunch hopes they stay open for another 100 years.

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