AN iconic piece of New York fast food history could be coming to central Bournemouth.

Restaurant chain Nathan’s Famous, which specialises in hot dogs, plans to move into the former Heroes karaoke bar unit in Jaycee House, near the Lansdowne roundabout.

According to a planning statement by RBA Restaurant UK Ltd this would be its first UK outlet.

“The chain has a lot of history, including connections with singing waiters such as Eddie Cantor and Jimmy Durante in the early 20th century,” the statement says. “The original Nathan’s Famous hot dog stand of 1916 has opened every day and still operates daily in Coney Island.”

That original stall was founded by Polish immigrant Nathan Handwerker, and launched with a Fourth of July hot dog eating contest which survives to this day.

Handwerker had only arrived in the US in 1912, and after a stint as a delivery boy he took on a job as a 'roll-slicer' for Coney Island entrepreneur Charles Feltman, who is sometimes credited as the inventor of the street stand hot dog.

The ambitious Handwerker, encouraged by then-singing waiters Cantor and Durante, undercut his former employer by charging only a nickel for his dogs, half the price of the "swanky" Feltman's German Gardens in Surf Avenue.

Handwerker's early publicity stunts included paying students to dress as doctors and eat his hot dogs, suggesting their higher quality in an era of sometimes suspect meat.

Before long the business was famous, popular with celebrities and serving hundreds of thousands of hot dogs.

In 1936, Nathan's hot dogs were served to King George VI and Queen Elizabeth at a lunch with President Roosevelt.

The chain, which has rights to the ‘Arthur Treacher Fish & Chips’ brand, is seeking change of use permission to operate a takeaway service from the venue at 284-286 Old Christchurch Road.

Its statement says: "The vibrancy and the popularity of the area has encouraged the American restaurant chain Nathan’s Famous to venture an expansion into the UK."

It now has restaurants all over the world, including 1,500 in the US and branches in 17 other countries including Russia, Afghanistan, Turkey, Egypt, Israel and Kuwait.