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Posts Tagged ‘Coney Island 2012’

Nathan's Sign

Mockup of Sign for Nathan's Gift Shop on the Boardwalk. © Maya Haddad/Nathan's Coney Island Gift Shop. All Rights Reserved

Nathan’s Famous has been in business in Coney Island since 1916, when Nathan and Ida Handwerker made a success out of selling a frankfurter in a bun for a nickel. This season, the world-renowned eatery will have its first-ever brick-and-mortar gift shop thanks to a licensing agreement with Maya Haddad and her father Haim, the entrepreneurial co-owners of Coney Island Beach Shop and the soon-to-debut Brooklyn Beach Shop.

Set to open on March 31 April 5, Nathan’s Coney Island Gift Shop is a separate 500-square-foot space inside Nathan’s newly relocated Boardwalk outpost currently under construction at West 12th Street. “We’re manufacturing our own apparel,” Maya told ATZ. “We have 18 different graphic designs printed on T-shirts, sweatshirts and baseball caps. There’s also custom socks that make your feet look like hot dogs!” The hang tags are even shaped like one of Nathan’s Famous neon signs.

Nathan's Coney Island

Nathan's Graphics for T-Shirts © Maya Haddad/Nathan's Coney Island Gift Shop. All Rights Reserved

“The cool thing is we made it all private label,” says Maya, a graduate of Baruch College with a degree in business who left her job as a buyer at Macy’s to help grow her family’s business. Haim Haddad has owned his own store in Coney Island since 1996, operating Mermaid Horizons at Mermaid and Stillwell Avenues until the construction of Stillwell Terminal disrupted foot traffic and put him out of business. In 2002, he opened Coney Island Beach Shop on Stillwell Avenue behind Nathan’s. Last year, the Haddads opened the second Coney Island Beach Shop inside Stillwell Terminal. A large Boardwalk store called Brooklyn Beach Shop is slated to open this season next to Scream Zone’s entrance.

The opportunity to open Nathan’s Coney Island Gift Shop presented itself when the restaurant got the new location on the Boardwalk. “We had a great relationship with them for a decade and they always wanted to offer Nathan’s merchandise,” explains Maya. “We were going to do a licensing agreement with them anyway.”

Nathan’s already has an online store selling apparel and merchandise like tote bags and golf balls printed with the Nathan’s Famous logo. Some of these items will be available in the brick-and-mortar shop. At the same time, the items offered for sale in the Boardwalk store will be sold online.

“We met with the president of Nathan’s and the marketing manager to utilize resources like old photos they’ve collected over the years,” says Maya. “One of them is being used on a T-shirt. The others are for postcards and magnets.” The souvenir items, which are currently being manufactured in the U.S., will take longer to arrive in the shop.

The gift shop interior is painted “American Cheese” yellow, a color that’s two shades lighter than Nathan’s iconic yellow, says Maya. “We’re putting up a flat screen TV that’s going to have images of Nathan’s and Coney Island.” She’s also looking forward to displaying a prized souvenir T-shirt that was autographed by the championship eaters in last year’s hot dog eating contest. Says Maya, “I can’t wait till the Fourth of July!” After the grand opening, Nathan’s Famous Coney Island Gift Shop will be open daily.

nathans

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

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Related posts on ATZ…

March 11, 2012: Photo Album: Under Construction in Coney Island 2012

December 4, 2011: Brass Ring Dept: Coney Island “Carousell” RFP Up for Grabs

November 15, 2011: Coney Island 2012: What’s New on the Boardwalk

October 17, 2011: Popeyes Chicken Returning to Coney Island’s Surf Avenue

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Nathan's Coney Island

Nathan's under construction on the Coney Island Boardwalk. March 10, 2012. Photo © Bruce Handy/Coney Island Photo Diary via flickr

These photos taken on Saturday by photographer Bruce Handy show the first signs of new construction as Coney Island begins to awaken from winter hibernation. Coney’s 62 amusement rides and diverse attractions are ready to open with the usual fanfare on Palm Sunday, which is April 1st. The renovation of the Boardwalk stores is still underway and by the looks of the construction, most store owners won’t be ready till May. Construction hasn’t started yet on Zamperla’s new Speed Zone, featuring go karts and a Sky Coaster, but it is not slated to open till Memorial Day.

Nathan's Coney Island

Nathan's Famous under construction on the Boardwalk. March 10, 2012. Photo © Bruce Handy/Coney Island Photo Diary via flickr

At the corner of West 12th Street, Nathan’s Famous new Boardwalk outpost is quickly taking shape and is likely to be the first of the new stores to finish construction. At the moment a coat of yellow paint covers the side of the red storefront formerly occupied by Gyro Corner Clam Bar. The “Hey Joey!” mural by gents of desire is already history. Like the Nathan’s satellite previously at the corner of the Boardwalk and Stillwell, this store will have a walk-up counter and no indoor seating. In the slide show below, you can see photos of the construction at Ruby’s Bar and Paul’s Daughter, the BK Festival lot, Thor Equities new plywood-encased building at Surf and Stillwell and the still-closed Henderson Walk.

Steeplechase Plaza under construction on the Boardwalk. March 10, 2012. Photo © Bruce Handy/Coney Island Photo Diary via flickr

The photo above shows construction progress at Steeplechase Plaza, which broke ground in November. When completed in 2013, the oceanfront plaza on the site of the former Steeplechase Park will be home to the B & B — short for Bishoff and Brienstein — Coney Island’s last antique wooden carousel. Purchased by the City for $1.8 million in 2005, the ride will be installed in a glass pavilion with large-scale neon lettering spelling B & B CAROUSELL with a double L, of course.

Between the Parachute Jump and the carousel there will be a public plaza at grade with the Boardwalk. Additional features include a tree-shaded area with seating and a walkway beneath the Parachute Jump structure which will allow visitors to enjoy a spectacular view of the landmark. Construction of the 2.2 acre plaza is expected to cost approximately $29.5 million, according to the City.

Popeye's Chicken

Popeye's Chicken under construction on Surf Avenue. March 10, 2012. Photo © Bruce Handy/Coney Island Photo Diary via flickr

This new store will be the home of Popeyes Chicken. The popular fast-food restaurant is coming back to the south side of Coney Island’s Surf Avenue after more than a year’s absence. The location is the first floor of the Popper Building at 1220 Surf Avenue, just a few doors down from the restaurant’s previous spot. Popeyes owner had been in business year-round at this location in Coney Island for 27 years when he lost his lease in the now-demolished Henderson Building at the corner of Surf and Stillwell. Prior to Popeye’s, he operated Kennedy Fried Chicken. Ironically, the generic-looking new building that Thor Equities put up on the Henderson site remains vacant and was recently encased in plywood.

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Related posts on ATZ…

February 27, 2012: Thor’s Coney Island: New Surf Ave Building Encased in Plywood

December 4, 2011: Brass Ring Dept: Coney Island “Carousell” RFP Up for Grabs

November 15, 2011: Coney Island 2012: What’s New on the Boardwalk

October 17, 2011: Popeyes Chicken Returning to Coney Island’s Surf Avenue

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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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Related posts on ATZ…

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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