When we stopped by Paul’s Daughter last Monday, “The Chief” called out “light, no sugar” to a helper and offered us coffee and cookies. Paul Georgoulakos, 82, is the oldest operator on the Coney Island Boardwalk and beloved by all except the Bloomberg administration, which purchased the property occupied by his restaurant from Thor Equities, and Zamperla’s Luna Park, which leases it from the City. As Paul’s daughter Tina told ATZ earlier this year: “I wanted so much to be a part of the New Coney Island but they didn’t even offer me a tiny little spot on the Boardwalk.”
The Boardwalk restaurant formerly known as Gregory & Paul’s, a masterpiece of vernacular signage established in 1962, is being kicked out to make way for a soulless cafeteria run by Sodexo. The French multinational is the world’s largest food services management company and the world’s 21st largest corporation. In Coney Island, Sodexo also operates the new Cyclone Cafe on Surf Avenue, though you won’t find their name on the marquee. Apparently Luna Park’s “partner for one-site service solutions” likes to keep a low profile in the People’s Playground.
The City’s revitalization plan calls for year-round restaurants in Coney Island’s amusement zone. On Monday, Paul’s Daughter as well as Ruby’s Bar, Gyro Corner and the Suh family’s souvenir shop, whose days on the Boardwalk are also coming to an end, were open as usual. Sodexo’s Cyclone Cafe was shut tight as a drum.
With 27 days left until seven Mom & Pops are kicked off the Coney Island Boardwalk, ATZ will be saying goodbye to old friends with a favorite photo a day. The seven businesses must vacate the premises by November 4th. The one-year reprieve is over. If you have a photo, new or old, that you’d like to contribute, please post a link below or send to hello[AT]triciavita[dot}com
Related posts on ATZ…
October 20, 2011: Reversal of Fortune on the Coney Island Boardwalk
March 3, 2011: The Lowdown on Sodexo’s Sweet Deal in Coney Island
January 13, 2011: Paul’s Daughter Dishes on the Boardwalk Brawl
December 16, 2010: Blast from the Past: LFO’s Summer Girls Music Video