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Posts Tagged ‘storm damage’

Ruby's Bar

Post-Sandy: Ruby’s Bar Same As It Ever Was. Coney Island Boardwalk. November 17, 2012. Photo © Tricia Vita

Cleanup and recovery efforts, including the replacement of waterlogged sheetrock and restoration of damaged electrical systems, continue at flood-devastated businesses throughout Coney Island. More than three weeks after the storm, relatively few stores have managed to reopen for business. During the peak of Hurricane Sandy, Surf Avenue as well as Mermaid and Neptune Avenues and adjacent streets were submerged in five feet of water that came from the bay, the creek and overflowing sewers with the rising tide.

surf and stillwell

High Water Mark on Thor Equities Property, Shuttered Nathan’s. November 17, 2012. Photo © Tricia Vita

Today, the good news was that Key Food, the only supermarket in Coney’s West End, opened for the first time since Hurricane Sandy with temporary generators providing power, according to a press release by the Alliance for Coney Island. Day by day, more stores will reopen and this post, which focuses on the businesses in and around the amusement area, will quickly (we hope) become out-of-date. Today’s other piece of good news was the Mayor’s announcement of a $5.5 million grant program to supplement $15 million in emergency loans offered to the City’s small businesses impacted by Sandy.

Tom's Coney Island

SBA Rep At Tom’s Coney Island: Informational Meeting for Assistance to Merchants Affected by the Storm. November 5, 2012. Photo © Tricia Vita

On the Boardwalk, Ruby’s Bar, Lola Star Boutique and Brooklyn Beach Shop opened for Small Business Saturday, though their building has no power. A few days ago they found out the distribution panel in the basement was destroyed and requires an electrician to repair and certify it before Con Edison will flick the switch. The situation is the same for many throughout Coney Island. No one on the Boardwalk is complaining about the delay because they say many people have it a lot worse. But the business owners would like locals and tourists to know their shops are now open on weekends. “We close at sundown, when we can’t see anything,” said Maya Haddad of Brooklyn Beach Shop. “Thanks to the Square app, we’re able to process credit cards in my cell.”

Lola Star Boutique

Coney Island Forever T’s at Lola Star Boutique on the Boardwalk. November 17, 2012. Photo © Tricia Vita

Next door, Ruby’s Bar powered their jukebox and refrigerator by running extension cords to Tom’s Restaurant, which has electric and is open daily till at least 5pm. At Lola Star Boutique, where “Coney Island Forever” T-shirts were being sold to raise funds for Coney Island’s rebuilding efforts, extension cords replaced the gas-powered generator of last weekend. “In the true spirit of the spunky Coney Island business owner, my shop will be open for holiday shopping although we still don’t have electricity,” Lola Star owner Dianna Carlin wrote in her online diary. “There’s no better place on Earth to celebrate Small Business Saturday than Coney Island.”

Paul's Daughter

Paul’s Daughter, Coney Island Boardwalk. November 17, 2012. Photo © Tricia Vita

Paul’s Daughter, undamaged except for the Burger Girl statue toppling over and losing her Burger to Sandy, was open through Sunday but is now closed for the season. Closed due to damage from the flooding are the Coney Island amusement area’s three nonprofit attractions: New York Aquarium, Coney Island USA and the Coney Island History Project. All are busy cleaning up and raising funds to rebuild and reopen in the spring. As we reported yesterday, the Aquarium’s annual holiday toy drive has been relocated to Tom’s Restaurant on the Boardwalk, which has also become the de facto gathering spot for meetings on local business recovery.

Williams Candy Coney Island

Coney Island After Sandy: Williams Candy On Surf Ave Reopened on Nov 12. November 17, 2012. Photo © Tricia Vita

The contrast between the Boardwalk stores, which escaped flood damage, and the rest of Coney Island could not be more stark. On Surf Avenue in the amusement area, one of the first shops to reopen was Williams Candy, which is open daily year-round. Their scrumptious and photogenic marshmallow treats and candy apples were on display as usual in the window. But the scene had a surreal air because everything else on the block was shuttered or being cleaned up. Next door, the original Nathan’s remains closed due to damage to electrical and plumbing. A manager said it is not expected to open until April. But you can still get a hamburger at Tom’s and a hot dog at Ruby’s!

Cha Cha's Coney Island

Coney Island After Sandy: Cleanup at Cha Cha’s Surf Avenue, November 17, 2012. Photo © Tricia Vita

Across the street, Cha Cha’s, which had already been emptied of wrecked furnishings, was being mopped by a man who shooed us away. In Stillwell Terminal, the newstand has reopened but Dunkin Donuts, Magic Gyro, Subway, and Bank of America remain closed. Also shuttered are the Stillwell Terminal outposts of Lola Star Boutique and Coney Island Beach Shop. The Beach Shop’s main store behind Nathan’s remains closed for cleanup as well. Pizza on the Run on both Stillwell Avenue and Mermaid Avenue, as well as Alex Deli Mexican Food on Mermaid have reopened. McDonald’s at Stillwell and Mermaid, which was open 24 hours, is closed and boarded up, and is not expected to reopen for two to three months.

McDonald's in Coney Island

Coney Island After Sandy: McDonald’s on Mermaid Avenue Is Closed and Boarded Up. November 17, 2012. Photo © Tricia Vita

On the south side of Surf Avenue, Popeye’s Chicken managed to reopen last week. The fast food restaurant relocated to the Popper Building in April and is on the same block as the devastated Eldorado Auto Skooters (“Coney Island’s Eldorado Wins Lease But Bumper Cars Soaked by Sandy,” ATZ, Nov. 13, 2012), Denny’s Ice Cream (“Coney Island Post-Sandy: Mini-Golf or Roller Rink to Replace Denny’s?,” ATZ, Nov 20, 2012) and Coney Island USA’s Freak Bar. Island Grocery remains shuttered. On the north side of Surf, the Karaoke bar has reopened along with the furniture stores. Grimaldi’s Pizzeria is rebuilding and expects to open by the end of the month. Totonno’s on Neptune Avenue is also rebuilding, though no reopening date has been announced. Wildwood Chicken along with Domino’s Pizza and the deli in the plaza on Neptune Avenue at West 12th are open. Today, Coney Island Gyro on Neptune Avenue announced they would be reopening on November 26: “Opening back up to feed the hungry public on Monday…can’t wait to see everybody’s face!!”

Gargiulo's

Coney Island After Sandy: Dumpster Pulling Up in Front of Gargiulo’s Restaurant, W 15th Street. November 17, 2012. Photo © Tricia Vita

When we passed by Gargiulo’s century-old Italian restaurant and catering hall on Saturday, a dumpster was being parked out front. Cars destroyed by Sandy were being towed in and out of the restaurant’s parking lot for insurance agents to inspect. More good news today: Gargiulo’s announced via twitter that they would reopen on December 1st…

UPDATES…

Coney Island’s amusement rides including Luna Park and Deno’s Wonder Wheel Park are closed for the winter and will reopen as usual on Palm Sunday, which is March 24, 2013. See comments section below for updates by readers. We will also post updates on stores and businesses here as time and space allow:

November 25, 2012:  Footprints Cafe, home of Rasta Pasta and one of our longtime fave dining spots in Coney, tweeted that they’ll reopen on December 31st. The first New Year’s Eve celebration that we know of on Surf Avenue! Update January 7, 2013: Reopening has been delayed for a couple of weeks.

December 1, 2012: Remas Gourmet deli and Hot Food in the old Terminal Hotel building at the corner of Stillwell and Mermaid Avenues has reopened. Also….

December 18, 2012: In “Restoring Our Church of Pizza: The Rebuilding and Repairing of Totonno’s After Hurricane Sandy,” food blog Serious Eats reports that Totonno’s Pizzeria hopes to re-open by mid-January. Check out the photos and in-depth story on the family’s efforts by Chris Crowley here.

December 20, 2012: Peggy O’Neill’s on Surf Avenue reopened today. On New Year’s Day, their annual party after the Polar Bear Swim starts at 1pm with entertainment by Cardone and Adam RealMan from 3pm.

December 30, 2012: On New Year’s Eve, good news from Cha Cha’s of Coney Island…

January 7, 2013: Subway Sandwich Shop in Stillwell Terminal has reopened.

February 6, 2013: Cha Cha’s on Surf Avenue in Coney Island “Officially Closed”

February 15, 2013: Williams Candy Moves Next Door During Post-Sandy Renovation

February 27, 2013: Dunkin Donuts in Stillwell Terminal to reopen in March.

February 28, 2013: Coney Island Shooting Gallery from 1940s Makes Comeback

March 4, 2013: Nathan’s on Coney Island Boardwalk to Open Mid-March, Surf Ave by May

March 5, 2013: Coney Island’s Mermaid Avenue Four Months After Sandy

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March 17, 2013: Photo Album: Coney Island Getting Ready for Opening Day

December 10, 2012: Coney Island Nonprofits Begin to Raise Funds After Sandy

December 7, 2012: Photo Album: Signs of the Times in Post-Sandy Coney Island

November 9, 2012: Update on Coney Island’s Amusement Area After Sandy

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Spook-A-Rama

Power-Washed Spook-A-Rama Cars and Murals Drying Out at Deno’s Wonder Wheel Park. Coney Island. November 5, 2012. Photo © Tricia Vita via flickr

Coney Island’s oldest dark ride, which dates back to the 1950s and is part of Deno’s Wonder Wheel Park, was severely damaged due to flooding during Superstorm Sandy. Spook-A-Rama’s electrical, interior props and the floor inside the ride were destroyed but park owners Dennis and Steve Vourderis have vowed to rebuild the attraction. At last week’s IAAPA Attractions Expo in Orlando, they contracted with Scarefactory, Inc. to come in and lay out new props, according to Dennis Vourderis. The giant skeleton on Spook-A-Rama’s roof is a product of the design and fabrication studio, which specializes in creating haunted attractions and everything that goes into them.

Spook-A-Rama Skeleton

Giant Skeleton from Spook-A-Rama’s Roof Recuperating After Superstorm Sandy. November 17, 2012. Photo © Tricia Vita via flickr

Sadly, some of the destroyed props original to Spook-A-Rama and other historic Coney Island dark rides cannot be replaced. If it’s possible to save them, the old props will be put on static display (February 2013 Update: some of the rescued props will get new electronics!) The good news is that the legendary Cyclops, which came out of retirement two years ago to be inducted into the Coney Island History Project’s Hall of Fame, was unharmed. Another old-timer at the Wonder Wheel, the 1920’s fortunetelling machine Grandma’s Predictions, suffered water damage, but is being restored by an expert in antique arcade machines. Grandma’s “boyfriend” Zoltar was not so lucky –the popular machine which debuted at the park in 2011 will be replaced by a brand-new one.

zoltar

Zoltar Destroyed by Sandy, Deno’s Wonder Wheel Park. Coney Island. November 5, 2012. Photo © Tricia Vita via flickr

Also destroyed in the flood waters and being replaced is the Scarface-themed shooting gallery next to Spook-A-Rama. The new shooting gallery will be themed with some of the same spooky characters that visitors will see inside the refurbished dark ride. While the Wonder Wheel side of the park and the area beneath the kiddie park were inundated with 5 to 7 feet of flood waters, the 92-year-old landmark Wonder Wheel and the rides and games in Deno’s Kiddie Park on the Boardwalk escaped serious damage though a lot of work remains to be done. The park will re-open with its 25th Annual Blessing of the Rides Ceremony on Palm Sunday, which is Coney Island’s opening day and falls on March 24, 2013. (Update: On opening day, rides on the Wonder Wheel will be free of charge for one and all.)

Spook-A-Rama's Cyclops

Spook-A-Rama’s Cyclops Survived the Super Storm. Deno’s Wonder Wheel Park. Coney Island. November 17, 2012. Photo © Tricia Vita via flickr

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November 20, 2012: Coney Island Post-Sandy: Mini-Golf or Roller Rink to Replace Denny’s?

November 13, 2012: Coney Island’s Eldorado Wins Lease But Bumper Cars Soaked by Sandy

November 9, 2012: Update on Coney Island’s Amusement Area After Sandy

October 30, 2012: Photo Album: Hurricane Sandy’s Aftermath in Coney Island

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Coney Island Post-Dandy

Coney Island Post-Sandy: Interior Demolition of Storm-Ravaged Denny’s Ice Cream, Surf Avenue. November 17, 2012. Photo © Tricia Vita via flickr

One of the first casualties of Sandy in Coney Island’s amusement area could be replaced with mini-golf or a roller rink. Which do you prefer? Over the weekend, while storm-ravaged Denny’s Ice Cream on Surf Avenue was being gutted by volunteers, Coney Island USA founder Dick Zigun asked his followers on twitter: “Miniature Golf or Roller Rink to replace Denny’s Ice Cream? Opinions so far polling 50/50 & no one supports Paint Ball or Spin Art…hmm…”

Last week, word on the street was that the beloved ice cream shop established in 1978 and now owned by CIUSA would become a paintball game emporium a la Shoot the Freak. Replacing the ruined ice cream machines would be too costly for the arts organization, whose Freak Bar and theater next door was also damaged by the storm.

Dick’s new proposals signaled the start of a social media battle between #TeamRollerRink and #TeamMiniGolf. Just so you know, ATZ has added “Artist-Designed Mini-Golf Enthusiast” to our resume. We see the attraction as a quirky new successor to the mini-golf that used to be part of Batting Range and Go Kart City on Stillwell Avenue. There’s no reason it can’t also be a Black Light Mini-Golf with freaky interactive holes and a booth selling Denny’s signature banana pistachio soft serve and other fave snacks. #TeamMiniGolf had this to say….

The nonprofit arts organization bought Dennis Corines’ ice cream shop and building next door to Coney Island USA’s headquarters last March for $1.3 million. At the time, Zigun told ATZ: “Since we own an ice cream parlor and have no money to renovate, Denny’s might or might not continue next year. Even once we renovate the building will maintain a 500-square-foot storefront taking up most of Surf Avenue frontage that will always serve light food to street plus lobby inside.”

“Some day we can transfer air rights from the landmark Childs Building, match the two-story front of Childs then do a setback with an additional five to seven story tower on top of the base,” Zigun noted. The renderings that he showed last year at a Coney Island presentation at the AIA included a whimsical homage to the Elephant Hotel, which in the meantime would make a dandy hole for Mini Golf. Unless of course #TeamRollerRink wins this one…

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November 21, 2012: Coney Island Post-Sandy: Flooded Spook-A-Rama to Get New Stunts

November 13, 2012: Coney Island’s Eldorado Wins Lease But Bumper Cars Soaked by Sandy

November 9, 2012: Update on Coney Island’s Amusement Area After Sandy

October 30, 2012: Photo Album: Hurricane Sandy’s Aftermath in Coney Island

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Eldorado Ticket Window with High Water Mark from Sandy, Coney Island. November 5, 2012. Photo © me-myself-i/Tricia Vita via flickr

The good news is Eldorado Auto Skooter and Arcade operator Gordon Lee, who bought the equipment from the Fitlin family last year, won a one-year lease from building owner Thor Equities. The bad news is no sooner was the lease signed than Hurricane Sandy barreled through, flooding both the ride and the arcade. The waterlogged arcade machines are believed to be ruined, but will the famed bumper cars ride again? “I can’t make that decision until I have more information,” Gordon told ATZ. He’s hoping that someone with expertise in restoring bumper car rides will come forward to help. “These cars have always been very pampered. They’ve always been indoors. I’m totally lost here. Every car was submerged under water. Salt water is very corrosive to metal.”

After Sandy: Hosing Down the Eldorado Bumper Car Motors, Coney island. November 11, 2012. Photo © me-myself-i/Tricia Vita via flickr

On Sunday, the Eldorado’s crew was still cleaning up. Louis was clad in a hazmat suit while Thomas wore a face mask. Some equipment had already been sent out to be tested by a mechanic. Also damaged in the flood was the ride’s polished floor, the awesome sound system and new merchandise emblazoned with the Eldorado’s “Bump Your Ass Off” slogan. Gordon had put a lot of time and money into upgrading the Eldorado at the beginning of the 2012 season. “I’ve done a lot,” he said. “It’s aggravating to have to start over.” When we saw Gordon at a meeting for business owners at Tom’s Restaurant last week, the first thing we asked was if he was going to rebuild. He said that he had a difficult decision ahead of him and made it clear that reinvesting was a big gamble. “What would you do if you had only a one-year lease?”

Our answer was that if was too costly to invest in new bumper cars for one year, we’d stay and build something simple. How about a roller rink, a movie house, or a Dunk the Clown game? Gordon agreed it was an option. Yesterday we checked in to see what he was thinking. “Right now I’m looking for information to try and rebuild the bumper cars. I’m taking it hour by hour,” said Gordon. He was taking his inspiration from Dennis Vourderis of Deno’s Wonder Wheel Park, who said that’s how they were handling the cleanup at their park. Not day by day, but hour by hour. Says Gordon: “Every hour I’ve got something to do.”

This music video was shot at the Eldorado Auto Skooters in September 2012 by The DoD3.com, an amusement ride enthusiast from New Jersey. “Man, they just don’t run bumper cars like that anymore!” he wrote in his trip report. “It was three bucks to re-ride but I passed; I had thoroughly bumped my ass off.”

UPDATE March 11, 2013:

Great news from Gordon Lee of the Eldorado. The bumper cars, which were completely refurbished over the past few months, are expected to open by Palm Sunday or Easter Sunday!

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November 9, 2012: Update on Coney Island’s Amusement Area After Sandy

March 30, 2012: 60 Years of Family History in Coney Island End with Sale of Eldorado

October 13, 2010: Rest in Peace: Scott Fitlin, Coney Island’s Eldorado Man

March 14, 2010: Eldorado Auto Skooter: Coney Island’s Disco Palace of Bumper Cars

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Coney Island After Sandy

Spook-A-Rama Cars Drying out at Deno’s Wonder Wheel Park, Coney Island. November 5, 2012. Photo © me-myself-i/Tricia Vita via flickr

There were signs of hope today in Coney Island’s amusement area post-Sandy: the Cyclone cars went for a test run and Deno’s Wonder Wheel was jump started and went for a little whirl. “Wheel sounds good,” said Deno’s Wonder Wheel Park co-owner Dennis Vourderis, adding that the Wheel will still need extensive repairs or replacement of motor controller. Also damaged by Sandy were the Spook-A-Rama dark ride and the arcades on the Wonder Wheel side of the park, which was flooded and had to be pumped out. The Cyclops, a beloved folk art figure that came out of retirement last year, was unharmed and surveyed the cleanup effort with his big green eye.

Spook-A-Rama Cyclops

Coney Island’s Cyclops Survived Sandy, Deno’s Wonder Wheel Park. November 5, 2012. Photo © me-myself-i/Tricia Vita via flickr

The Boardwalk eateries Tom’s Coney Island, Ruby’s Bar and Paul’s Daughter were miraculously untouched by the storm surge and will be open this weekend. Tom’s, located on the Boardwalk at Stillwell, is the meeting place for a volunteer cleanup of Coney Island that begins at 9am on Saturday and Sunday. Last weekend’s crew shoveled sand from the boardwalk but some streets remain deep in sand.

While Tom’s and Paul’s have power, the other stores including Ruby’s, Nathan’s, Lola star and Brooklyn Beach Shop, suffered damage to the electrical panel in the basement and do not have power yet. Ruby’s Bar, which is open for the first time since the hurricane, will be collecting donations of clothing, coats, blankets and other items for the Coney Island relief effort. Paul’s Daughter is donating all proceeds from weekend sales to the Coney Island History Project, whose free exhibit center was wrecked by the storm, and to Occupy Sandy’s relief effort in Coney Island. “I want to be open because it’s going to be 60 degrees,” said Paul’s daughter Tina Georgoulakos. “I want to do what I can to help out those who have lost so much.”

Storm Cleanup in Coney Island

Sanitation picks up storm damaged contents of Lola Star Boutique’s Stillwell Avenue store. Coney Island. November 5, 2012. Photo © me-myself-i/Tricia Vita via flickr

During the peak of the storm, Surf Avenue as well as Mermaid and Neptune Avenues were submerged in water that came from the bay, Coney Island Creek, and overflowing sewers during the rising tide. Since every store was flooded by five feet of water, business owners were throwing out their ruined products and fixtures. It was heartbreaking to see the contents of the Lola Star Boutique on the sidewalk in front of Stillwell Terminal being picked up by the Department of Sanitation. Please note that Lola Star’s main location on the Boardwalk did not suffer any hurricane damage and remains open for business. Boutique owner Dianna Carlin has already created a “Coney Island Forever” T-shirt, tote bag, mug and other products. Profits from the design will be donated to Coney Island relief.

The Alliance for Coney Island, successor to the Coney Island Development Corp, launched this morning with a 9am meeting at Tom’s and a website featuring the hashtag #ConeyRecovers. “Repairing our community is our primary goal and with the long-term, concerted effort on the part of local leaders and the continued generosity of Coney Island fans around the world, we will continue the Coney Island renaissance,” said Dennis Vourderis, Chairman of the Alliance for Coney Island, in a press release posted on the site.

On Monday ATZ managed to get to Coney Island’s amusement area for the first time since the storm, but problems with internet connectivity and other post-hurricane issues have kept us from uploading more photos or blogging. As soon as the DSL is back, we’ll upload the rest of the photos to flickr and post the set here…

UPDATE March 7, 2013:

Coney Island’s traditional Palm Sunday Opener comes early this year – March 24th! The rides at Deno’s Wonder Wheel Park, Luna Park and Scream Zone, 12th Street Amusements and the Eldorado will go for their first spin of 2013. The Cyclone opens at 12 noon with the first 100 fans on line riding for free. At Deno’s Wonder Wheel Park, the annual Blessing of the Rides ceremony starts at 11 am on the Boardwalk.

This year, to celebrate Coney’s comeback from Sandy, rides on the landmark Wonder Wheel are free for everyone on Opening Day. The Coney Island History Project’s free exhibit center will be open, along with its neighbors “Coney Island Always,” a window showcasing a miniature animated amusement park, and “Miss Coney Island” the dancing doll. It’s also the first official day of the season for the Boardwalk shops and eateries and the games on the Bowery.

Nathan’s on the Boardwalk will open on March 18 while the target date for reopening their main location on Surf Avenue is Memorial Day Weekend. Also expected to open on that weekend are Coney Island USA’s Circus Sideshow, The B&B Carousell at Steeplechase Plaza, and Big Mark’s Action Park. The New York Aquarium has announced it will partly reopen in the spring.

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November 24, 2012: Coney Island Post-Sandy: A Few Stores Reopen, Most Delayed by Damage

November 13, 2012: Coney Island’s Eldorado Wins Lease But Bumper Cars Soaked by Sandy

November 10, 2012: A Coney Island Girl’s Story: 13 Days With No Power

October 30, 2012: Photo Album: Hurricane Sandy’s Aftermath in Coney Island

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Hurricane Sandy Aftermath in Coney Island

Surf Avenue: Flood Line on Coney Island Mural. October 30, 2012. Photo © Jim McDonnell

Jim McDonnell, whose beautiful photos and videos of Coney Island’s amusement area are frequently featured on ATZ, took this heartbreaking set of pix on Tuesday morning, the day after Hurricane Sandy struck. As you can see in the above photo of fellow photographer Bruce Handy at Surf and Stillwell Avenues, the flood line is at about 5 feet. During the peak of the storm, Surf Avenue as well as Mermaid and Neptune Avenues and adjacent streets were submerged in water that came from the bay, Coney Island Creek, overflowing sewers and the rising tide. In an image seen on the Coney Island webcam on October 29 at 7:53pm, the amusement parks appeared to be surrounded by a moat.

Hurricane Sandy Aftermath in Coney Island

Surf Avenue, Coney Island: Interior of Grimaldi’s Pizzeria. October 30, 2012. Photo © Jim McDonnell

Looking down from his apartment window high above the Aquarium, Bruce texted ATZ on Monday night at 9pm: “Coney completely flooded. Cars floating. Car on fire.” On Tuesday morning a tour of the area began to reveal the damage. Sad to see Grimaldi’s metal gate gave way to Sandy and the interior of the popular new pizzeria wrecked by the wind and flood waters. We dined there just a few days ago and it is one of our faves! The cobwebs in the above photo, which were part of the Halloween decor, look genuinely eerie. Eldorado Auto Skooter, Game World Arcade, Coney Island USA, Denny’s Ice Cream, Popeye’s, the Coney Island History Project and the game booths on both West 12th Street and the Bowery were flooded with 4 to 5 feet of water and left with interior damage yet to be assessed. November 1st Update: Also flooded in Coney’s amusement area were Nathan’s, the stores in Stillwell Terminal, the Wonder Wheel side of Deno’s Wonder Wheel Park and the Aquarium. In fact all of the buildings on Surf, Mermaid and Neptune Avenues from one end of Coney Island to the other were inundated by the flood waters.

Hurricane Sandy Aftermath in Coney Island

Surf Avenue, Coney Island: Shore Theater. October 30, 2012. Photo © Jim McDonnell

The sign on the Shore Theater, a New York City landmark which is vacant and for sale, was twisted and appeared to be hanging by a thread. The street was blocked off with caution tape in case it fell. Coney’s landmark rides–the Cyclone, Wonder Wheel and Parachute Jump–stood their ground against Sandy, but Steeplechase Pier was damaged by Hurricane Sandy.

Hurricane Sandy Aftermath in Coney Island

Steeplechase Pier, Coney Island. October 30, 2012. Photo © Jim McDonnell

While the sand was piled up two feet high on the Boardwalk, the sandbagged stores–including Ruby’s, Lola Star and Brooklyn Beach Shop–suffered blessedly little or no damage. On Monday night at 7pm, Jimmy Kokotas of Tom’s Coney Island came to check on his store. This morning he told ATZ that he managed to get out just in time before the flood waters starting rising on Surf Avenue.

Maya Haddad of Brooklyn Beach Shop said she was very grateful that the Parks Department put up sand walls to protect the boardwalk businesses. She was able to get into her shop on Tuesday and was happy to find no water damage from the storm surge. “It didn’t look like any water got in,” Maya said. On Stillwell Avenue it was another story: “Coney Island Beach Shop was flooded 4 feet high. Most merchandise and fixtures destroyed. Wasn’t able to get into the shop in the train station either. I will assume the merchandise there was most likely also damaged.” November 21 Update: While the Boardwalk businesses escaped structural damage, with the exception of Tom’s and Paul’s Daughter, all have electrical issues due to flooded basements and do not yet have power. The two parks have partial power or are using generators. The entire neighborhood is suffering from the same situation. Many have to redo the electrical wiring before they can get power restored.

Hurricane Sandy Aftermath in Coney Island

Coney Island Boardwalk: Ruby’s Bar and Lola Star Boutique. October 30, 2012. Photo © Jim McDonnell

A beloved icon is gone though. “So sad, it looks like Mama Burger is missing,” said Tina Georgoulakos, owner of Paul’s Daughter, in an email to ATZ. “She must have blown away, We don’t know where she is. After all these years!!” Papa Burger, the other half of the A & W root beer duo, withstood Sandy and anchors the other end of the building. “One of the gates blew open during the storm so the store is filled with sand but its way better than what happened on Surf,” Tina added. November 1st: GOOD NEWS Update from Paul’s Daughter: “Just wanted to let you know that we found Mama Burger!! I posted about it on FB but wanted to let you know as well. She was on the roof, Burger-less and Beer-less but ok. We tried to find the Burger on 15th street (where someone posted a picture of it) but we couldn’t find it. At least we have her. Now we just have to get all of the sand out of the store.”

Hurricane Sandy Aftermath in Coney Island

Coney Island Boardwalk: Mama Burger Blown Off Roof of Paul’s Daughter. October 30, 2012. Photo © Jim McDonnell

Deno’s Wonder Wheel, built in 1920, has withstood many a storm including this historic hurricane. On Monday morning, co-owner Steve Vourderis put extra cables on the Wheel to further secure the landmark from Hurricane Sandy’s high winds.

Hurricane Sandy Aftermath in Coney Island

Coney Island Boardwalk: Deno’s Wonder Wheel Park. October 30, 2012. Photo © Jim McDonnell

Luna Park, which took down its Halloween mazes and prepped for Sandy on Sunday, thankfully appeared to have no visible damage to the rides. A steel fence at the new Scream Zone annex was bent, but the 85-year-old Cyclone roller coaster withstood the storm. However, waterlogged equipment and cleanup is a concern for all of the parks, arcades and other businesses in Coney Island’s amusement area.

Hurricane Sandy Aftermath in Coney Island

Coney Island Boardwalk: Scream Zone Fence. October 30, 2012. Photo © Jim McDonnell

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Related posts on ATZ…

November 24, 2012: Coney Island Post-Sandy: A Few Stores Reopen, Most Delayed by Damage

November 21, 2012: Coney Island Post-Sandy: Flooded Spook-A-Rama to Get New Stunts

November 20, 2012: Coney Island Post-Sandy: Mini-Golf or Roller Rink to Replace Denny’s?

November 9, 2012: Update on Coney Island’s Amusement Area After Sandy

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