FOUNDED IN 1920
Nicholas Pappas founded Nick’s in 1920. Before coming to Fall River, Pappas worked for a Coney Island hot dog vendor in Philadelphia. After several years he decided to start his own restaurant. The vendor agreed to let Pappas use the recipe so long as he stayed out of Philadelphia. To this day, the restaurant makes its “secret sauce” with this original recipe that was developed some time toward the end of the 19th century.
THE REGION’S LONGEST-RUNNING HOT DOG OUTLET
Nick’s Original Coney Island Hot Dogs is the oldest continuous Coney Island hot dog outlet in the region. Many well-known people have eaten at Nick’s over the years—the likes of whom include the Marx Brothers, the Three Stooges, Spanky and his gang, Lucille Ball, and Jackie Gleason—who likely sat in the antique school chairs, which have been a part of Nick’s since it opened in 1920.
A FAVORITE AMONG LOCALS AND OUTSIDERS
Residents of Fall River have many fond memories of Nick’s. The older ones remember Pappas lining up a dozen dogs on his hairy left arm and topping them with mustard, his famous Coney Island sauce, and onions with rhythmic precision. In the 1950s Nick’s acquired the nickname, “Dirty Nick’s,” because many revelers—called “wolf gangs” by some—would pile into Nick’s during the wee hours of Friday and Saturday nights and wolf down a dozen dogs to dilute the intoxicants within. Some teasingly referred to the Nick’s experience as the “hair of the dog.”
Not much has changed at Nick’s since the roaring ‘20s—and that’s just the way the customers want it. Fred Beaudry, Nick’s current owner, does not serve up the dogs on his hairy arm. Today trays are used. But the 100-year-old school chairs are the same . . . and so is the famous Coney Island sauce. Despite the competition of many fast-food restaurants that have come to Fall River over the years, Nick’s Original Coney Island hot dogscontinues to be one of the region’s most popular eat-in or take-out foods. To date, Nick’s has sold more than 10 million Coney dogs to its loyal patrons—a group that includes people from every U.S. state and beyond.
ENJOY NICK’S AT HOME
Now, thanks to Internet, everyone can enjoy the flavor Nick’s Original Coney Island Hot Dog Sauce® at home. “That’s one change,” says Beaudry, “that Nick’s customers everywhere will appreciate.”