A wienerful age: 80

By Times Staff
Published June 14, 2006

Hundreds of hot dog eaters descended on the unpretentious Coney Island Grill in downtown St. Petersburg for its 80th anniversary celebration Saturday. Nostalgia drew them, as did chili dogs and soft drinks for a nickel apiece. That was the price of a frank in 1926, when a Greek native named Pete Barlas opened Coney Island at 250 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. St. N. On Saturday, a chili dog eating contest separated the men from the boys. One of eight contestants, Josh Jarsonbeck, top left, shows his form. Below left, Michael Aerts, on the left, Gabriel White and Jason Hinton chow down. Aerts scarfed down 10 dogs to win. Below, Rhonda and Robert Dreslin introduce Brandon, 3, to the taste of a chili dog.