On Sunday Zito’s Sandwich Shoppe tweeted to their followers that they were “working on a Coney Island Luna Park collaboration-more to come-looking to be part of the New Coney Island.” When we phoned to get the scoop, co-owner Marcello Bucca confirmed it was true but declined to say more until the lease is signed. ATZ is delighted by the possibility of having an Italian-American sandwich shop in Coney Island’s amusement area. During the summer, tourists often ask where they can buy the delicious sandwich we’re eating. We have to say, uh, you can’t. We brought it from home.
Zito’s menu features 13 different sandwiches including chicken parm, eggplant parm, pork bracciole, and for all of you vegetarians–meatless with grilled portobello, roasted peppers, broccoli rabe and homemade artichoke spread. Meats are from Salumeria Beillese of Hell’s Kitchen and Applegate Farms Organic Meats. All sandwiches are made on bread from Bensonhurst’s Il Fornaretto Bakery, one of Brooklyn’s best for Italian bread. Bucca and co-owner Enzo Conigliaro are Bensonhurst natives influenced by an old country philosophy and the slow food movement, according to an article posted in the Park Slope Patch when the sandwich shop opened last August.
As for their Coney Island location, our best guess is that Zito’s is eyeing one or more of the soon-to-be-rehabbed stands on the east side of Jones Walk, which Zamperla is leasing from the City. While the majority of the booths are expected to be game concessions run by Zamperla, the rest were being offered a few weeks ago to select food vendors. The Walk would be the most likely spot for a sandwich shop since French food giant Sodexo has an exclusive contract to provide food service within Zamperla’s Luna Park.
In November, the City’s Economic Development Corporation issued an RFP (Request for Proposals) for the booths on the east side of Jones Walk, a 1,650 square foot space that was purchased along with a larger parcel in 2008. The RFP required renovating or completely rebuilding the existing booths, some of which are in poor condition. The leases of longtime tenants in City-owned booths on the Walk, including water race games and other games of skill, windows featuring the mechanical doll “Miss Coney Island” and animated toy rides, and a Pina Colada stand were not renewed. The majority of tenants were able to relocate to other City-owned or private property in Coney Island.
UPDATE April 27, 2012:
Amusing the Zillion (@AmusingZillion) April 27, 2012
UPDATE July 2, 2012:
Zito’s Marcello Bucca tells ATZ that Zito’s will not be opening in Coney Island this season: “Word on the street is correct,” he said. “They were not ready for us.” He said that Zamperla received financing at the end of June, later than they expected, thus delaying construction. The rehabbed Jones Walk stalls were originally slated to open on Memorial Day. Asked if Zito’s Sandwich Shoppe planned to open a location in Coney Island next season, Marcello said he hoped so, because so many people have been calling to ask about the new Coney Island location. “Ideally we’ll see what opens up. Right now it’s a no-go for this year.”
“Coney Island Update: New Arcade, No-Go for Zito’s, Tom’s Construction Saga,” ATZ, July 2, 2012
Related posts on ATZ…
April 16, 2012: Art of the Day: Fresh Corn on the Cob at Ruby’s Bar & Grill
April 7, 2012: Cheers! First Drink at Relocated Cha Cha’s of Coney Island
December 8, 2011: Paul’s Daughter Signs 8-Year Lease for Coney Island Boardwalk
December 7, 2011: Jones Walk’s “Miss Coney Island” Shimmies Over to 12th St