Arcade Coneys has been a fixture in downtown Canton, but it likely won't be much longer. Canton Councilman Greg Hawk, whose family has owned Arcade Coneys for at least 22 years, confirmed the eatery with a famed coney recipe currently is closed. Arcade Coneys is the second downtown Canton eatery in as many months to close in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic. Angry Avocado closed before it.
Hawk's daughter was running Arcade Coneys. Canton's Special Improvement District has taken over the restaurant, but mostly to run Canton's Hall of Fame City outdoor ice skating rink. Skate rentals have taken place out of Arcade Coneys for years and will continue this winter as well.
"The ice rink will be open for sure," Hawk said. "The SID, along with the city, will operate the ice rink and get it opened up. I will volunteer my time and make sure it works out for the best for them."
Hawk has been a Ward 1 councilman since 2002. He is a fixture at Arcade Coneys. The shop serves the coney sauce that originated from Dick's Sandwich Shop in the old Arcade Market. Locals swear by the sauce, which has a unique, sweet-tasting sauce.
The SID will open Arcade Coneys for concession once the ice rink opens. Speaking of the ice rink, the ice will be laid just as soon as the weather cooperates. Those laying the ice need a cold, dry day to get the ice down, and the paint mixture with the ice. Decals are laid upon it as well.
The Arcade Coney building is an interesting arrangement. The city of Canton owns the building, but Stark County owns the land it sits on. Years ago, when Dick Watkins was Canton's mayor, the city struck a deal for a long-term lease with the county to build the restaurant. Originally, the county wanted to build a smaller jail on the property, but the underground garage structure made that plan difficult, if not impossible. There are two parking structures under the land, which is adjacent to the Stark County Courthouse. There is a secured garage where prisoners are transported for court appearances, and then there is a parking garage for judges as well.
When the rink opens, you'll see Hawk out there, again.
"It makes me smile to watch people having that much fun out there."
What will happen with the structure once spring arrives and the ice melts away? That's a question the SID board will have to decide, along with the city, when the time is right.
Meanwhile, you can keep tabs on the ice skating rink's schedule here.