By Christy Strawser

TAYLOR (CBS Detroit) They still answer the phone with a simple “Isis Coney Island,” and the clang of breakfast dishes and hum of happy customers sounds just the same as it always has, but there’s something new at this downriver eatery.

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Isis Coney Island has quietly become Freedom Coney Island.

They haven’t changed the sign yet on the facade — though the new Freedom Coney Island sign has been ordered. All the tables are still emblazoned with the restaurant’s former name, which raised eyebrows after the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) made international headlines with acts of devastation.

The name Isis had to go, said owner Liz Nicollaj, a Kosovo native who took over the longtime family-owned establishment this summer.

Along with the name, the menu is different, too: The Isis omelette has become the freedom omelette.

“Freedom Coney Island, it just sounded right and it looks really good on the menus,” Nicollaj said.

The change didn’t come easy. Painting, changing the tables, menus and signage, on a mom and pop downriver diner was “very expensive,” Nicollaj said.

But she was getting pushback from some in the community, who, she earlier told WWJ were “You know, just saying nasty things….inappropriate stuff,” she said. “And they just say, you know, ‘You need to change the name. That name is a terrorist name.’”

She felt like customers would be more comfortable with the name Freedom, so they went full steam ahead, especially after the former Isis suffered a downswing, with many noting the parking lot seemed to empty out after news stories about the name. A base of loyal, longtime customers stuck around.

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“Not everybody knows yet because we haven’t put up the signs yet, we’re waiting for the sign. But those who know, they really like it,” Nicollaj said. Now all the decor will be freedom-related.

Nicollaj added: “We have the best customers here, they were sad that we have to go through this.”

Previously, the restaurant had a Egyptian theme to go with the name Isis, which honored an Egyptian goddess.

“I love it here, there’s no other place id rather be than here,” Nikollaj said.






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