Famed Detroit restaurant will honor Houdini in a very Detroit way
Sunday, October 24th marks the 95th anniversary of Harry Houdini’s last performance.
Just days before he was waiting to perform in Montreal at the Princess Theater. A man came backstage and questioned his ability to take blows to the stomach unharmed. Before he could so much as tighten his abdomen, the man struck him repeatedly until Houdini asked him to stop.
Houdini performed that evening but remained in constant pain over the course of the next few days. By the time he found a doctor, he was suffering from a 102 degree fever and diagnosed with acute appendicitis. An ailment said to be hidden by the pain of the punches.
The show must go on…
Despite the doctor’s recommendation of emergency surgery, Houdini traveled to Detroit to perform his next show. By the time he arrived at the Garrick Theater on October 24th, 1926 he was in excruciating pain and had a fever of 104 degrees. It’s reported that Houdini passed out on stage during his performance, but after being awoken, continued on. After the show he was rushed to Detroit’s Grace Hospital.
One week later, on Halloween, Harry Houdini died of peritonitis and a ruptured appendix in Room 401 of Detroit’s Grace Hospital. He was just 52-years-old. His last words were said to be, “I’m tired of fighting… I do not want to fight anymore.”
A Detroit Tradition
243 feet away from the Garrick Theater was a restaurant that was opened in 1917 by Greek immigrant, Gust Keros. That restaurant, American Coney Island, still stands today.
Whether Houdini had eaten there or not during his trip to Detroit is unknown. What is known, is that the current owners, Grace Keros and Christos Sotiropoulos want to honor the man and his last show in their own special way.
On Sunday, October 24th, coney fans far and wide can stop in to American Coney Island from 11:00 am to 5:00 pm and enjoy a party celebrating Harry Houdini.
There will be circus performers, magicians, illusionists and musicians but the icing on the cake will be their special menu item. For those six hours only, the “Houdini Weenie” will be available for purchase.
A normal coney dog features a hotdog covered in chili, onions and mustard. The Houdini Weenie changes it up by offering a layer of ground beef under the hotdog and french fries, with cheese tucked in the sides. All of that is topped with the restaurant’s famous chili.
The Houdini Weenie will cost $5.50 and any proceeds will be donated to the Autism Alliance of Michigan.