In 2009, Jimmy Prince closed Major Meats, his butcher shop at 1516 Mermaid Avenue, after more than 50 years. The hand-painted signage on the gate and the wall of the building next door stayed on. “Major has been proud to serve the Coney Island Community with the best Prime Meats since 1932. We are now looking forward to the 21 century,” says the lettering amid charmingly naive depictions of the Cyclone, Parachute Jump, Wonder Wheel and Astrotower. In the mural, Major Market is right next door to Nathan’s, which is actually at Surf and Stillwell, and has its own blimp in the sky!
Out of nostalgia and respect for “The Prince of Mermaid Avenue,” who is now 81, and beloved in the neighborhood, the signage on the wall and the gate were never painted over. Whenever Jimmy is around Coney–he has a part-time job at a butcher shop in Marine Park– he can’t go 15 minutes without a former customer coming over and giving him a hug.
Since the now faded and peeling signs appeared in stories about vacant stores in Coney Island one year after Sandy, ATZ wanted to highlight their history. “Keep Coney Island the Playground of the World. Keep Coney Island Clean,” says the message on the gate. Sandy didn’t do in the signs, though the storm did destroy the new deli that was there.
Golden Krust Caribbean Bakery and Grill has leased the store, according to broker Joe Vitacco. The building is owned by the Russo brothers of Gargiulo’s, who have completely renovated the space for the new tenant. Golden Krust is relocating from 1621 Mermaid Avenue.
Related posts on ATZ…
October 28, 2013: Photo Album: Banksy Brings His Robot to Coney Island
January 31, 2012: Remnant of Under Boardwalk Bar Found in Coney Island
January 16, 2012: Photo of the Day: Signs of Coney’s Club Atlantis Resurface
October 27, 2011: Ghost Lettering & End of Season Color in Old Coney Island