Tom’s Restaurant, which “soft-opened” in late September on the Coney Island Boardwalk, miraculously escaped damage from Hurricane Sandy and is one of the few restaurants open in the neighborhood. This morning, owner Jimmy Kokotas welcomed Mayor Bloomberg and Coney Island City Councilman Domenic Recchia for a breakfast meeting with the Alliance for Coney Island and Community Board 13. Coney Island photographer Bruce Handy was there and shared his set of photos via flickr. Seen in the photo below to the right of the Mayor are Dennis Vourderis, Deno’s Wonder Wheel Park; Jimmy Kokotas, Tom’s Coney Island; Jon Dohlin, New York Aquarium and Judi Orlando, Astella Development. Nicole Robinson-Etienne, New York Aquarium and Valerio Ferrari and Alberto Zamperla, Luna Park, have their backs to the camera. The Mayor’s Office later tweeted: “Today the Mayor met with Coney Island small business owners to talk about rebuilding…”
In the days after the storm, the newly formed Alliance launched the #ConeyRecovers initiative which has brought in hundreds of volunteers and dozens of partners to help with relief efforts in the community. Tom’s has been a hub of activity, serving as a command center for volunteers and a host for breakfast meetings about storm relief for local business owners. While the Boardwalk businesses were untouched by the storm and a few have managed to reopen, Ruby’s Bar does not have electricity and Paul’s Daughter and Lola Star Boutique lack meeting space. Though Tom’s opened near the end of the amusement park season, the restaurant is expected to initially remain open at least nine months of the year. If Tom’s hadn’t been here, the meetings of the past few weeks would have had to be held in another neighborhood since most of the other restaurants, from the original Nathan’s and Gargiulo’s to Dunkin Donuts and McDonald’s, remain closed due to flood damage.
Related posts on ATZ…
November 9, 2012: Update on Coney Island’s Amusement Area After Sandy
October 31, 2012: Photo Album: Hurricane Sandy’s Aftermath in Coney Island
October 29, 2012: Photos of the Day: Hurricane Sandy Approaches Coney Island