Advertisements
Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘gift shop’

Brooklyn Rock

Brooklyn Rock, 3015 Stillwell Avenue, in Coney Island. January 25, 2015. Photo © Tricia Vita

“The French have never left,” says Brooklyn Rock brand manager Seth Braunstein when ATZ asks where the year-round tourists who visit his Coney Island shop are coming from. Located across Stillwell Avenue from Nathan’s Famous, which is also open daily regardless of the season or the weather, this one-of-a-kind shop is one of the few places in Coney to buy a souvenir tee in February.

What makes Brooklyn Rock’s tees out of the ordinary, says Braunstein, is that each one of the shirts is hand-dyed in unique colors and hand-printed from hand-drawn designs by artists Chris Smith and Yukiko Wada, the couple who founded the business in 2002. “We start with white American Apparel tees made in the U.S. out of cotton grown in the U.S,” he says. In the afternoon sunlight, the colors are especially vibrant and conjure up summery dreams on a wintry day.

Brooklyn Rock

Paintings of the Elephant Hotel and the Parachute Jump by Yukiko Wada, hand-screened Tees by Wada and husband Chris Smith. January 25, 2015. Photo © Tricia Vita

Coney Island’s landmark Cyclone, Wonder Wheel and Parachute Jump feature prominently in the designs along with the magical place names CONEY and BROOKLYN. Among the signature sayings printed on Brooklyn Rock’s tees are “Brooklyn, Entertaining Manhattan since 1646” and “Keep Brooklyn Offensive.”

Famous faces on their tees include Brooklyn-born comedian and Seinfeld writer Larry David, whose people once bought one for him, Braunstein says with pride. “Tonight, one of our people will be sitting in the third row wearing the Larry David tee at the preview performance of his Broadway show.”

Brooklyn Rock’s tees, hoodies, hats, totes, knapsacks, aprons and other hand-printed items range in price from $15-$60.

One specialty at Brooklyn Rock that you may not expect to find in Coney Island is their book rack, which is stocked with gently read copies of classics by Ayn Rand to Kurt Vonnegut. The used books come from their friends at Williamsburg’s Book Thug Nation and Bushwick’s Human Relations, whom they’ve known since their days as fellow street vendors. Books are priced at $5 and $8.

Hand-Printed Tee at Brooklyn Rock

Sleeveless Hand-printed Coney Tee at Brooklyn Rock in Coney Island. January 25, 2015. Photo © Tricia Vita

Before opening their Coney Island store in May 2013, the Brooklyn Rock team wholesaled to children’s shops and Coney Island USA’s gift shop. They set up shop in a street kiosk on Bedford Avenue, a shipping container at the now defunct DeKalb Market, and a store across from Barclays Center, where foot traffic turned out to be slow.

Their Coney Island store is in Thor Equities’ retail building at Surf and Stillwell, where current tenants include It’Sugar, Rainbow Shops, Surf & Stillwell Brooklyn Apparel Co., the Brooklyn Nets Shop, a couple of mini-arcades and the soon-to open Wahlburgers franchise. Only It’Sugar and Brooklyn Rock remain open year round. How did this Bushwick-born Mom and Pop get their foot in the door?

Brooklyn Rock

Hand-printed shirt at Brooklyn Rock on Stillwell Avenue, Coney Island. November 24, 2014. Photo © Tricia Vita

Brooklyn Rock’s lucky break came when Braunstein saw a news article about space for lease in Thor’s then-vacant new building and sent them a proposal. Thor Equities had sent out a press release that said: “Thor To Add Local Flavor To Coney Island By Leasing Major Surf Avenue Parcels To Local Brooklyn Merchants At Reduced Rents For 2013.”

We remember it well. For ATZ, the biggest surprise of the release was what Thor CEO Joe Sitt had to say about chains vs local businesses: “Coney Island’s popularity has reached record proportions, but we can never forget what got us here – local, ahead-of-their-time business owners who brought flair, hipness and edge to the People’s Playground,” Sitt said. “While it is wonderful that national chains are now coming to Coney, providing needed jobs and year-round revenue to the community, we must always remember the history of this iconic neighborhood.”

Hear, hear!

Brooklyn Rock, 3015 Stillwell Avenue, between Surf Ave and the Bowery, Coney Island, 11224. Winter hours are 12 noon till 7pm.

UPDATE: This store has closed! Read “Thor’s Coney Island: Brooklyn Mom & Pop Out But Not Down” (February 25, 2015) for details.

Hand-printed Tees and Hats at Brooklyn Rock

Hand-printed Tees, Totes and Hats at Brooklyn Rock. January 25, 2015. Photo © Tricia Vita

Related posts on ATZ…

January 29, 2015: Coney Island 2015: Subway Cafe, Sushi Lounge, IHOP, Checkers, Johnny Rockets

January 22, 2015: Coney Island Rumor Mill: No Rides But Games, Food & Merch Coming to Thor’s Lot

November 28, 2014: ATZ Previews Coney Island’s Small Business Saturday

February 13, 2013: Thor’s Coney Island: Candy Retailer It’Sugar to Open Surf Ave Store

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

Eldorado Bumper Cars

Eldorado Bumper Cars, Surf Avenue, Coney Island. September 5, 2012. Photo © Tricia Vita

Bump and dance! Coney Island’s amusement parks closed for the season at the end of October, but this weekend–November 2nd and 3rd– you can still go for a ride at the Eldorado Bumper Cars, play games in the arcade, bust balloons at the stands on the Bowery, and dance with Miss Coney Island.

Gordon Lee, who operates the independently owned disco palace of bumper cars on Surf Avenue, says he will keep it open Saturday and Sunday from 12 noon till whenever–usually 8 or 9pm.

Miss Coney Island

Miss Coney Island, 25 Cents a Dance. October 20, 2013. Photo © Tricia Vita

On West 12th Street near the Boardwalk, the windows featuring the dancing doll “Miss Coney Island” and the miniature animated rides of “Coney Island Always” will be open from 2pm, along with Skin the Wire, Roll-A-Coaster and other whimsical games. “Don’t Postpone Joy,” says a sign on the door. It’s still costs only 25 cents a dance or to set the mechanical rides awhirl.

Treasure boxes

Next Door to Miss Coney Island: ‘Limoge Inspired’ Treasure Boxes for Sale. October 20, 2013. Photo © Tricia Vita

You can start your Christmas shopping too. The stand next door to Miss Coney Island has been transformed into a gift shop with glass pendants ($5.00 each) and “Limoge inspired” treasure boxes galore ($8.00 each). ATZ bought a mermaid-shaped treasure box but there are plenty more. Each box holds tiny secret treasures like the three little ducklings seen below.

See “Coney Island Always: Visiting the Big CI Year-Round” for info on what’s doing in Coney’s amusement area in November.

Tiny ducks

Tiny ducks inside the duck-shaped treasure box. October 20, 2013. Photo © Tricia Vita

Share

Related posts on ATZ…

September 2, 2013: Photo of the Day: Skin the Wire and Feed the Clown

March 21, 2013: Photo of the Day: Miss Coney Island Meets Miss Coney Island

April 27, 2012: The Dancing Doll “Miss Coney Island” Speaks

March 27, 2012: Video of the Day: Eldorado Auto Skooter at Coney Island (2011)

Read Full Post »

Lola Star Boutique

New signage set to debut on the Boardwalk: Lola Star Boutique. Photo © Lola Star

When we stopped by Lola Star’s Boardwalk Gift Shop on Friday, rainbow-colored floor tile was being laid and a humongous “Dollar Sale” was in the works. The fashionably skinny boutique was the only store on the Boardwalk open for business since the others are still being renovated.

The new look for the Boardwalk includes lighted signage replacing the quirky hand-lettered signs of recent decades. Both the old and the new Lola Star Gift Shop signs were designed by the shop’s eponymous owner aka Dianna Carlin. On the new sign, the ‘Lola Star’ is pink neon, the 3D clouds are outlined with dancing circus lights, and the face and star illuminated in brilliant color, she says. The sign will be installed in the next few weeks. According to Carlin, this sign is merely Phase 1. “In Phase 2 there is going to be a gigantic disco ball rotating on the roof with a 3D Lola Star on Roller skates standing on the disco ball!”

The Lola Star Boutique is also undergoing an expansion into the back room formerly used for storage. The “Dollar Sale” of toys and treasures from the boutique’s inventory continues Thursday through Sunday from 12 – 6 pm. “The most popular item in our dollar sale thus far are our action figures! Jesus, Mozart, Marie Antoinette, Van Gogh and more… usually $10 now on sale for only $1,” says Carlin. “We’ve also been selling lots of grow toys for $1. Grow a mermaid, boyfriend, sugar daddy, desperate housewife and more!”

Share

Related posts on ATZ...

December 9, 2011: Lola Star Boutique Signs 8-Year Lease for Coney Island Boardwalk

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

January 2, 2010: Photo Album: Coney Island Boardwalk, New Year’s Day 2010

July 25, 2009: Coney Island’s Xanadu: Dreamland Roller Rink Celebrates First Birthday

Read Full Post »

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

Share

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

Read Full Post »

Marie Roberts murals at CIUSA

Marie Roberts murals for Hall of the Presidents, 2008 Creepshow at the Freakshow at Coney Island USA. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

Happy Birthday Woodrow Wilson and Calvin Coolidge! We’ve been saving this pic of the seldom seen Hall of the Presidents in the Coney Island USA Building for Presidents Day. CIUSA artist in residence Marie Roberts painted the murals in a back stairwell for the 2008 Creepshow at the Freakshow . The artwork still exists though it will be painted over next Halloween. The theme was Phantom of the Presidential Wax Museum. The mural is meant to be viewed under black light as seen in this superb photo from jamie nyc’s flickr set of the haunted freak show tour.

While the Hall of the Presidents is not in a public area of the building, you can celebrate Presidents Day Weekend in Coney Island by watching the Polar Bear Club Swim on Sunday at 1 pm. Join the Bears for brunch afterward at CIUSA’s Freak Bar. Bagels, cream cheese, coffee, espresso and cappuccino will be available for purchase at Sunday’s Polar Bear Brunch.

While America honors Presidents Day with sales galore, Coney Island USA continues its online gift shop sale of Mermaid Parade, Film Festival and Creepshow posters; Funny Face, Madame Twisto and Serpentina T-shirts; and Dreamland Bar & Grill tokens. Winter hours at the Coney Island Museum and Gift Shop are Saturday and Sunday, 12-5 pm.

Coney Island USA, 1208 Surf Ave, Coney Island. B,D, F, Q trains to Stillwell Ave.

Share

Related posts on ATZ…

February 7, 2010: Coney Island Valentine: Get a Sea Lion Kiss at New York Aquarium!

February 3, 2010: New in 2010: Coney Island Fun Phone Addition to CI Fun Guide

January 25, 2010: March 14-17: Coney Island Sideshow Banner Painting School with Marie Roberts

May 29, 2009: Coney Island Is Alive and Kicking in 2009 Photo of the Day: New Sideshow Banners on CIUSA Building

Read Full Post »

Newly Opened Gift Shop in Coney Islands Stillwell Terminal. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

Newly Opened Gift Shop in Coney Island's Stillwell Terminal. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

Just in time for the expected Mermaid Parade, Friday Night Fireworks and Coney Island Boom A Ring crowds, a gift shop and a newsstand have opened in the Stillwell Terminal. The new shops join Dunkin’ Donuts/Baskin Robbins and Bank of America in the reconstructed subway station, which opened in 2005. The gift shop proprietors also operate a souvenir stand on Stillwell Avenue and have a storeroom full of stock for the upcoming weekend.

Newly opened Newsstand at Stillwell Terminal in Coney Island. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

Newly opened Newsstand at Stillwell Terminal in Coney Island. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

Yet to open in the station are a Subway sandwich shop, the Lola Staar Boutique, and a branch of the Coney Island Beach Shop, whose main store is behind Nathan’s. The Coney Island Rumor Mill is sayin’ construction delays are due to leakage in the terminal when it rains as well as the fact that some tenants had to revise their architectural plans or change architects to comply with the MTA’s stringent review process.

Still Under Construction at Stillwell Terminal: The Subway in the subway station. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

Still Under Construction at Stillwell Terminal: The Subway in the subway station. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

The Brooklyn Paper reported last week that “MTA bureaucrats had trapped the Lola Staar boutique in their own black hole” for six months. An MTA spokesman told the paper that the department overseeing the plans was backlogged. On the day the article was published, the transit authority finally reviewed the architect’s plans and asked for changes. Stay tuned!

Lola Staar owner Dianna Carlin had hoped to open in the Stillwell Terminal this summer after being evicted from her Boardwalk store by Thor Equities. Instead Carlin has set up her boutique in the Dreamland Roller Rink on the Boardwalk at 21st Street. This weekend a selection of “vintage, rare Lola Staar tees from the glittering Boardwalk vaults” will be on sale for only $10. The Lola Staar Shop is open to the public on Fridays from 7-11 pm, Saturdays from 1 pm to 12 am, and Sundays from 1-7 pm.

Visit the Coney Island Fun Guide for links to Coney Island’s shops and restaurants, including some that are open year round.

Lola Staar Ts at new boutique in the Dreamland Roller Rink. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

Lola Staar T's at new boutique in the Dreamland Roller Rink. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: