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Posts Tagged ‘restaurants’

rubys

Ruby's Bar's rendering for their new store on the Boardwalk. Photo via AmusingtheZillion.com

The rides, games and fun food at Coney Island’s Boardwalk amusement parks–Deno’s Wonder Wheel Park, Luna Park and Scream Zone– will of course be back in 2012. There will also be new–and possibly a few old made new–restaurants, shops and amusements. At Friday’s AIA panel on “Planning the Future of Coney Island’s Amusement District,” an audience of architects and Coney Island regulars got a sneak peek at what the Boardwalk might look like in 2012 and beyond.

Luna Park’s plans for Go Karts and a Sky Coaster on Stillwell Avenue West were unveiled along with the Boardwalk businesses renderings for new stores in 2012. We can also look forward to the B & B Carousell, set to spin in the new Steeplechase Plaza in 2013, and the New York Aquarium’s Ocean Wonders shark exhibit, expected to open in 2015.

“The skyline is growing in Coney Island and we’re very excited to see what happens next,” said Nate Bliss, president of the Coney Island Development Corporation. The panel discussion about new architectural projects was hosted by AIA NY’s Architectural Tourism Committee.

speed zone

Speed Zone will be on Parcel C, on the west side of Stillwell Ave at the Boardwalk. Photo via AmusingtheZillion.com

Valerio Ferrari, president of Zamperla USA and their park division, Central Amusement International (CAI), which runs Luna Park, showed the Boardwalk businesses’ renderings for their new stores. Among the businesses are Boardwalk favorites Ruby’s Bar and Paul’s Daughter, whose return is not yet 100 per cent certain because they are still in lease negotiations with CAI. (Update: December 9, 2011…Ruby’s, Paul’s Daughter and Lola Star have signed 8-year leases!) Ferrari also showed his company’s plans for “Parcel C,” the third City-owned parcel that is part of the amusement operator’s 10-year lease. Speed Zone, as it called in the rendering presented by Zamperla, will be across the avenue from Scream Zone. (Update: Zamperla has since shelved the idea of creating a separate park called “Speed Zone.” The two new rides will instead operate as part of Scream Zone.)

A Sky Coaster is a high thrill ride combining elements of skydiving and hang-gliding in which riders are winched to the top of a 100 to 300 foot tall launch tower and then swing through the sky as they drop towards the ground. Each “flight” lasts about five minutes. Manufactured by SkyCoaster Inc., the ride is a popular attraction at over 75 parks around the world. Here’s their official video.

As ATZ reported last month, CAI filed plans to bring Go Karts and a water ride to Stillwell Avenue West. Go Karts were a popular attraction in Coney Island until Thor Equities bought the property leased by Batting Range and Go Kart City in 2006 and evicted them. Though the water ride was not mentioned at Friday’s presentation, we previously reported the Coney Island Rumor Mill is saying the Reverchon flume will be moved from Luna Park to free up space for new rides in the park. (Update: The water ride will stay put in Luna Park this season.)

According to CAI’s contract with the City, the amusement operator is required to do an annual review of each of their rides for popularity and present the City with an updated ride selection and layout for the coming season by December 31st. “This will assist Tenant in keeping the leased Premises innovative and fresh,” the contract says. CAI’s original plan for Parcel C in the contract was for two Go Kart tracks, so the current plan is a more diverse mix of amusements.

beach shop

Beach Shop's rendering for their new store on the Boardwalk. The location is the former Coney Island Souvenir Shop. Photo via AmusingtheZillion.com

Coney Island Beach Shop, which sells T-shirts, beach gear and souvenirs year-round at their original location on Stillwell Avenue behind Nathan’s, opened a new shop in Stillwell Terminal this summer. In 2012, the Haddad family, Haim and his daughter Maya, is expected to open their third location on the Boardwalk. Called Brooklyn Beach Shop, the store will occupy the former Coney Island Souvenir Shop. It’s a prime location situated between the entrance to Scream Zone and Ruby’s Bar. All of the stores on the Boardwalk were required to design elaborate lighted signage. The rendering for Beach Shop’s dazzling marquee shows a Steeplechase Funny Face and a classic bare bulb sign spelling out their name.

nathans

Nathan's rendering for their new store on the Boardwalk. The location is the former Gyro Corner Clam Bar at W 12th St. Photo via AmusingtheZillion.com

Nathan’s Famous will open a huge new restaurant at the corner of West 12th on the Boardwalk at Gyro Corner Clam Bar’s former location. Their satellite restaurant at the corner of Stillwell on the Boardwalk will close. As ATZ reported earlier this month, Randazzo’s Clam Bar of Sheepshead Bay is eyeing Cha Cha’s location. The Randazzo family-owned and operated restaurant began in 1908 and is a perennial “Best” among New York City seafood restaurants. Nathan’s began as a nickel hot dog stand in Coney Island in 1916 and is of course named after Nathan Handwerker, who co-founded the restaurant with his wife Ida.

UPDATE December 12, 2011Tom’s Restaurant, a popular family-owned Prospect Heights eatery founded in 1936, edged out Randazzo’s for the space formerly occupied by Cha Cha’s and Nathan’s. Tom’s of Coney Island expects to open in April 2012 this summer.

Lola Star Boutique: Design for Lighted Sign. Photo courtesy Lola Star

Lola Star Boutique is expected to stay in its skinny and chic little shop on the Boardwalk. That’s good news because Lola Star owner Dianna Carlin got evicted twice by Joe Sitt and was able to return to her original Boardwalk location only after the City bought the property and offered her the space. Carlin is an entrepreneurial spirit whose successful projects include the Dreamland Roller Rink, a shop in Stillwell Terminal and a pop-up shop in SoHo. We missed getting a good photo of her rendering at the AIA, so we asked Lola to send us a jpeg of the lighted sign for the shop. “The new version is even MORE spectacular!,” says Carlin. “It’s a Lola Star pinup on Rollerskates rotating on a gigantic disco ball.”

The rendering for Paul’s Daughter, a Boardwalk icon founded in 1962 as Gregory & Paul’s, shows the spruced up Burger statues on the roof and what appears to be new hand-painted signage along the bottom. Like Ruby’s, Paul’s Daughter is still in lease negotiations with Zamperla. The restaurant is the subject of Sunday’s post “The End of Paul’s Daughter As We Know It–Will They Return?” (ATZ, November 12, 2011).

UPDATE December 9, 2011…We’re thrilled to report that this afternoon, Tina Georgoulakos of Paul’s Daughter signed an 8-year lease for her family’s restaurant on the Coney Island Boardwalk! “Paul’s Daughter Signs 8-Year Lease for Coney Island Boardwalk” ATZ, December 9, 2011. All of the above-mentioned stores, including locally-owned businesses Ruby’s Bar and Lola Star Boutique, have now signed leases for their Boardwalk locations. Happily, the Coney Island Boardwalk will not be gentrified and corporatized after all!

pauls

Architectural rendering for the new Paul's Daughter shown at November 11 Coney Island Panel at AIA. Photo via Amusing the Zillion

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May 29, 2012: Photo Album: Coney Island Lights & Signs of the Times

March 14, 2012: Coney Entrepreneurs to Open 1st Ever Nathan’s Gift Shop

March 9, 2012: The 10 People Who Will Decide the Fate of Coney Island Boardwalk

October 20, 2011: Reversal of Fortune on the Coney Island Boardwalk

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Randazzo's

Randazzo's Clam Bar, a Sheepshead Bay Landmark. Photo © Charles Denson. All Rights Reserved

Last week, the buzz in Coney Island was that the folks from Randazzo’s Clam Bar, a landmark in Sheepshead Bay, were seen eyeing Cha Cha’s location on the Boardwalk. Coincidentally, “randazzosclambk” joined twitter and began following ATZ. The twitter page proclaims: “Randazzo’s is king of clams and lobster, shrimp and calamari, too!!! But it is most certainly all about grandma Helen Randazzo’s HOT or MEDIUM sauce!!!” Our appetite was piqued.

ATZ phoned Randazzo’s to ask if the rumor was true that they have plans to open a restaurant on the Coney Island Boardwalk. “It’s a possibility. We’re trying to,” said Joey Randazzo, son of Paul Randazzo, who is the star of the “Art of Opening a Clam” video on the New York Times website. Their family-owned and operated restaurant began in 1908 and is a perennial “Best” among New York City seafood restaurants. “We’re still trying to work out negotiations,” Joey Randazzo told ATZ. “There’s a committee that evaluates you. You have to be approved.”

Hmmm, well, we approve of their menu and their South Brooklyn cred. Randazzo’s has the potential to be a destination restaurant in Coney Island. We wish them the best of luck negotiating with Valerio Ferrari’s Vision for the Boardwalk Committee. As Ruby’s fan Bogframe writes on the Coney Island Message Board, “every time Valerio Ferrari says ‘vision,’ something valuable dies.” Last year at this time, Ferrari, CEO of Zamperla USA and Luna Park, told ATZ that the evicted Boardwalk Mom & Pops “didn’t have the vision that we have for the Boardwalk.” An investment of $1.4 million was being made by Sodexo in a new restaurant at the corner of Surf and 10th Street, formerly occupied by Gregory & Paul’s. He said that a Boardwalk restaurant/bar hoping to get a lease renewal would have had to make a million dollar investment as well.

ATZ asked Joey Randazzo if they were contemplating a $1 million investment at Cha Cha’s location. He said it could be half a million or a million, they’re not sure yet. As for the “randazzosclambk” twitter account, it stopped tweeting almost as soon as it started and Joey Randazzo says it’s not theirs.

The opportunity for Randazzo’s and others who are eyeing the Boardwalk opened up after a Miami restaurateur pulled out of a $5 million dollar deal to open four upscale eateries on the Boardwalk between Stillwell Avenue and West 12th Street. Unlike Ruby’s Bar and Paul’s Daughter, Cha Cha’s was not offered a new lease by Zamperla USA, which has a ten-year deal to develop the City-owned Boardwalk property purchased from Thor Equities in 2009.

Cha Cha’s last call was on Sunday and some of their restaurant equipment, furnishings and memorabilia was auctioned on Tuesday. Club owner John “Cha Cha” Ciarcia, an actor in The Sopranos who also owns a restaurant in Little Italy, has been looking at other locations in Coney Island, including Surf Avenue and the Bowery. As the saying goes in Coney Island, once you’ve got sand in your shoes, you can’t get it out.

UPDATE December 12, 2011Tom’s Restaurant, a popular family-owned Prospect Heights eatery founded in 1936, edged out Randazzo’s for the space formerly occupied by Cha Cha’s and Nathan’s. Tom’s of Coney Island expects to open in April 2012. For a sneak peek at the Boardwalk line-up for 2012, see “Coney Island 2012: What’s New on the Boardwalk” (ATZ, Nov. 15, 2011).

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Related posts on ATZ…

August 29, 2012: Coney Island Has a New Lighthouse: It’s a Beach Bar

August 14, 2012: Opening Soon? Zipline, Tom’s Coney Island, Place to Beach Bar

June 23, 2012: Opening Today: Coney Island Grimaldi’s Pizzeria

October 20, 2011: Reversal of Fortune on the Coney Island Boardwalk

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