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Posts Tagged ‘Gregory & Paul’s’

After we posted the new vid shot in Deno’s Wonder Wheel Park by the UK’s #1 boy band The Wanted, a reader sent us a link to this blast from the past from another boy band filmed in Coney Island. “I came across a pop video from the ’90s that you might enjoy. The song is pure cheese, but it might be the last music video ever filmed at Astroland,” said the reader.

We did enjoy it. The 1999 tune “Summer Girls” by LFO (Lyte Funkie Ones) takes us back to happier days on the Boardwalk, when the Astroland Rocket was perched atop Gregory & Paul’s roof and provided the backdrop for LFO’s teenage exuberance. This top 10 hit of the summer sold over 1.5 million copies in the U.S.

The lyrics are nonsensical fun: “New Kids On The Block, had a bunch of hits/Chinese food makes me sick/And I think it’s fly when girls stop by for the summer,for the summer/I like girls that wear Abercrombie and Fitch/I’d take her if I had one wish/But she’s been gone since that summer/Since that summer…”

As one commenter said on YouTube: “I heard that he was joking when he wrote these lyrics but somebody liked it and they just ran with it. As somebody who hated it when it first came out, I love it now. It’s different, it’s fresh.”

Where are they now?

In 2009, after a brief reunion, the pop/rap trio announced “LFO is Over” via YouTube. Sadly, the lead singer Rich Cronin, who wrote “Summer Girls,” died of leukemia in September 2010.

What happened to the Rocket?

After Astroland lost its lease in 2009, the Rocket was removed from G & P’s roof and donated to the City of New York by the Albert family. “The Rocket will become a permanent and iconic part of the 27 acre redeveloped amusement district in Coney Island,” according to the press release from the Coney Island Development Corporation. The Rocket is in storage at an NYCEDC facility in Staten Island.

The iconic signage of Gregory & Paul’s, which is featured in the vid, is another soon-to-vanish piece of Coney Island Americana. Now called Paul’s Daughter, the 41-year-old eatery is being evicted from the Boardwalk to make way for the new Coney Island. Its location is slated to be taken over by a concession run by corporate giant Sodexo, Luna Park’s partner for “On-Site Service Solutions.”

Enjoy the trip back in time to the real Coney Island!

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Thank you to Paul Georgoulakos and his family and staff for more than 40 years of service to Coney Island. Here’s our slide show from November 13th’s “Thank You Coney Island! We Love You” party along with additional images.

Writing about the closing of Paul’s Daughter, formerly known as Gregory & Paul’s, is so overwhelmingly sad that we keep postponing it. We keep hoping the Coney Island Rumor Mill has it right this time and the rumors that some or all of the evicted Boardwalk businesses will get one to three year leases from Luna Park turn out to be more than wishful thinking. The legal wrangling begins in court on Monday.

Paul Georgoulakos behind the counter on Paul's Daughter's last day. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

Paul Georgoulakos behind the counter on Paul's Daughter's last day. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

The evicted business owners and their attorney will be rallying on the Boardwalk on Monday at 2 pm. A politician is expected to show up. We can’t say the pol’s name, but considering the absolute silence from officials since November 1st’s Monday Morning Massacre, a politician’s support would be news. UPDATE... ATZ learned that the event previously described to us as a “rally” and which we were unable to attend was actually a meeting on the Boardwalk in front of the Grill House. In attendance were the business owners, their attorney and a politician, as well as the press and bystanders. The pol was State Senator Carl Kruger, who said “Coney Island should be evolution not revolution” and promised to fight for their cause. Watch News 12 Brooklyn at 5 pm for a report and check Rich Calder’s blog in the NY Post.

When Mayor Bloomberg visited Coney Island this season, we’re told that he posed for a photo with 81-year- old Paul Georgoulakos. If somebody would send us the photo, we’ll gladly post it with an appropriate caption: @MikeBloomberg: Please show respect for Coney Island’s elders & renew Boardwalk leases. In the meantime, call 311 or 212-NEW YORK outside of NYC and leave a comment for the Mayor.

The Best French Fries in Coney Island. Paul's Daughter on the Boardwalk. November 13, 2010. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

The Best French Fries in Coney Island. Paul's Daughter on the Boardwalk. November 13, 2010. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

Paul’s hand-cut french fries are the best in all of Coney Island–yes, better than Nathan’s! Our fondess for G & P’s fries is linked in our memory to Gregory’s appearance in the lede of our travel feature for Islands Magazine in 2000. Color photos of Coney’s characteristic “Shish-Kabob Hot Dog French Fries” signage were splashed across the pages along with pix of the Wonder Wheel and the Mermaid Parade. “Greetings from Coney Island!” was published in the Best Beaches Issue along with Thailand, Greece, Kauai, Puerto Rico and Bermuda! A sticker proudly proclaiming “Coney Island NYC” appeared on the cover of issues for sale in New York.

Here’s the beginning of the story…

Last summer in Coney Island, I discovered that a freshly-spun cotton candy from Gregory and Paul’s was my equivalent of Proust’s madeleine. I was waiting for my order of crinkle-cut, Coney Island-style french fries, when the sight of cotton candy being turned out by a deft hand caught my eye. One, two, three twirls round a paper cone — and it was done. But instead of handing the confection to the fellow who was putting the finished products into clear plastic bags, Gregory handed it to me.

“How did you know I wanted one?” I was incredulous.

“I could see it in your face,” the canny showman explained.

He was right. Though it never would have occurred to me to eat cotton candy as an appetizer to french fries, that’s exactly what I did at Coney Island that day. And blissfully. The moment the magical stuff began to melt on my tongue, I was transported back to the little New England carnivals of the 1950s and ’60s, when I was a carny kid who had the run of the midway, and “floss,” as we called it—along with french fries, hot dogs, popcorn and snowcones — was everyday fare.

Cotton Candy, Saltwater Taffy and Hand-painted Signs at Paul's Daughter. November 6, 2010. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

Cotton Candy, Saltwater Taffy and Hand-painted Signs at Paul's Daughter. November 6, 2010. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

When the magazine came out in December 2000, Coney was on the cusp of a renaissance. Now it’s come to this: out with the old-timers and the quintessential Coney Island eateries and every little bit of authenticity. Why can’t old and new co-exist in the new Coney Island?

Last French Fry.  Paul's Daughter 'Thank You Coney Island" Party. November 13, 2010. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

Last French Fry. Paul's Daughter 'Thank You Coney Island" Party. November 13, 2010. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

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Related posts on ATZ…

December 9, 2011: Paul’s Daughter Signs 8-Year Lease for Coney Island Boardwalk

November 13, 2011: The End of Paul’s Daughter As We Know It–Will They Return?

October 13, 2011: Photo of the Day: Coney Island Americana Looking for New Beach

November 1, 2010: Out With the Old in Coney Island: Only 2 of 11 Boardwalk Businesses Invited Back

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Connoisseurs of hypocrisy should enjoy this one: On Tuesday, the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) tweeted “Support your small local business,” yet refuses to support or say a word to the press about the nine small local businesses booted off City-owned property in Coney Island. The NYCEDC leased the Boardwalk property to Central Amusement International, the New Jersey-based operator of Coney Island’s new Luna Park.

It appears that City officials are trying to distance themselves from responsibility for the eviction of Mom and Pops by referring all requests for comment to CAI. In an op-ed in this week’s Courier News, Valerio Ferrari, president of Central Amusement International promised a “multi-million dollar program that will bring back the world-class mix of entertainment, dining and nightlife that was once a hallmark of the famed Boardwalk.” Last week, Ferrari told us that Luna Park is investing $1.4 million in a new restaurant at the corner of Surf and 10th Street, formerly occupied by Gregory & Paul’s. A Boardwalk restaurant/bar hoping to get a lease renewal would have had to make a million dollar investment as well, Ferrari said.

Also on Tuesday, Paul’s Daughter, the Boardwalk restaurant formerly known as Gregory & Paul’s, posted an invite to a party on Saturday afternoon at 12:30. “It’s on the house!” Come out and enjoy the best french fries in all of Coney Island (yes, better than Nathan’s!) and photograph their iconic signage, perhaps for the very last time (we hope not). Watch for our photo album and reminiscences of the 40-year-old Boardwalk establishment coming tomorrow! Paul’s is one of the nine businesses being forced out by the redevelopment.

Paul's Daughter, formerly Gregory & Paul's, on the Coney Island Boardwalk. June 27, 2009. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

Paul's Daughter, formerly Gregory & Paul's, on the Coney Island Boardwalk. June 27, 2009. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

ATZ learned that the businesses, which had been given only two weeks to vacate the premises, were granted a four-day reprieve, presumably to give them a little more time to pack up decades worth of memorabilia and get out. Or perhaps the extension has something to do with legal action taken by eight of the business owners reported in today’s New York Post. Yesterday the businesses received letters extending the original November 15th deadline to vacate till November 19th.

Meanwhile, we’re still waiting for the NYCEDC or its president Seth Pinsky to reply to our tweets: Waiting for @sethpinsky @NYCEDC to “figure out where it makes sense for the various tenants to remain as we build out the amusement park” and Let’s see if @NYCEDC will at least relocate the mom & pop businesses booted off City-owned land in Coney.

This Friday, November 12, will be the one-year anniversary of the city’s press conference on the land buy where Shoot the Freak’s Anthony Berlingieri posed the question directly to Mayor Bloomberg: “Is there a place for us?” NYCEDC President Seth Pinsky gave a diplomatic reply: “Our intention is for the foreseeable future to keep all the tenants in place, certainly through next summer [2010]. And we’re going to be looking to work with each of you to figure out where it makes sense for the various tenants to remain as we build out the amusement park.”

Hey Seth, come to the party at Paul’s Daughter on Saturday, November 13, at 12:30 pm, and support local small business in Coney Island!

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Related posts on ATZ…

July 17, 2012: 50 Years on Coney Island Boardwalk for Paul & His Daughter

November 13, 2011: The End of Paul’s Daughter As We Know It–Will They Return?

October 13, 2011: October 13, 2011: Photo of the Day: Coney Island Americana Looking for New Beach

November 1, 2010: Out With the Old in Coney Island: Only 2 of 11 Boardwalk Businesses Invited Back

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