Advertisements
Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Lola Star’

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

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

Polar Bear Plunge

Coney Island Polar Bear Plunge. January 1, 2012. Photo © Bruce Handy/Pablo 57 via flickr

On New Year’s Day 2012 in Coney Island, a record number of people, nearly three times as many as last year, did the Polar Bear Plunge. Dennis Thomas, president of the Coney Island Polar Bear Club told ATZ that the number of “I Did It” certificates given out to registered swimmers soared. “We went through almost 3,000,” said Thomas, who noted that the unofficial number of plungers is always higher because “some register, others don’t.” On New Year’s Day 2011, the official tally of registered swimmers was about 1,200 and the Bears gave out 1,000 certificates before they ran out.

Sunny skies and temps in the 50s also drew the largest crowd of spectators in the club’s history. “I think the weather made it better and more enjoyable,” Thomas said of the event, which is an annual fundraiser for Camp Sunshine, a retreat for children with life threatening diseases. According to the chart at Freezin for a Reason, more than $37,000 has been received in donations. Thomas said pledges are still coming in and the Coney Island Polar Bears expect to meet their goal of raising $50,000. (If you missed the event, it’s not too late to mail a check.)

Coney Island Polar Bear Plunge. January 1, 2012. Photo © Bruce Handy/Coney Island Photo Diary via flickr

“We had a DJ on Stillwell to provide entertainment and there were hundreds of people dancing,” Thomas said. Some of the costumed plungers were familiar from previous years’ swims or reminiscent of the Mermaid Parade. There was the Metrocard Man, Big Babies in Diapers, a group of jailbirds, a pirate couple in their pirate ship, and a gaggle of superheroes, as well as penguins, ducks, and of course polar bears! Some carried hand-made signs that read Occupy Peace, Occupy the Ocean, Free Polar Hugs and Polar Bears from Bronx.

Coney Island Polar Bear Plunge. January 1, 2012. Photo © Bruce Handy/Pablo 57 via flickr

The only stores open on the Boardwalk were Ruby’s, which was jam-packed with New Year’s Day revelers celebrating the beloved bar’s new eight-year lease, and the Lola Star Boutique next door. Shop owner and designer Dianna Carlin said it was the “Best New Year’s Day party ever!” It was the first time her shop was open on New Year’s and when she arrived bright and early at 10:30am, much to her surprise the Boardwalk was already packed. Lola Star Boutique offered the first Coney Collectible of 2012– a limited edition magnet–for free to Polar Bear Plungers as well as to customers who spent $20 at the shop. Nearly all 150 of the magnets were given out. “You can’t buy it. You can only earn it. I’m going to make it an annual souvenir, only available on New Year’s Day.”

On the Boardwalk in front of Ruby's Bar and Lola Star Boutique, January 1, 2012. Photo © Bruce Handy/Pablo 57 via flickr

Coney Island resident and photographer Bruce Handy, whose photos are featured in this post, echoes others when he said, “I have never seen a huge, gigantic crowd as on Sunday.” He estimated there were about 5,000 people on the beach and boardwalk, 2,000 polar bears plunging. “The plunge frontage was from Stillwell Avenue almost to Steeplechase Pier, way longer than usual. The warm weather brought many people out, who in past years had thought about plunging into the frigid sea.”

Polar Bear Plunge

Coney Island Polar Bear Plunge. January 1, 2012. Photo © Bruce Handy/Pablo 57 via flickr

What are the reasons for the event’s growing popularity? Thomas told us in “By the Numbers: Coney Island New Year’s Day Polar Bear Swim 2010” (ATZ, Jan. 8, 2010)…

Part of it is just word of mouth. People went last year, told their friends who said, yeah I want to do that next year. Part of it is that Coney Island has been in the press so much lately that it is going through its own revival regardless of the development plans. Crowds out there are getting bigger for all events the past 2 years.

Part of it is our club seems to have a larger media presence than in the past and things like our website make us much easier to find than say, 10 years ago. And somehow we are less portrayed as those idiots on the beach that cause network newscasters to chuckle and shake their heads after a 10 second clip before the weather report. The New Year’s Swim is basically free and open to the public, that might be a draw in the current economy as well. I think it’s all these things that explains the larger crowds.

After this year’s record attendance, Thomas says “It’s getting so big, we’re pushed to the limits.” He and his team begin working on the event in November, when their winter swimming season starts. “We really need to enlist more help. The logistics are getting to be enormous and it imposes a lot more costs on us.” In past years, sponsorships from Planet Green and Vaseline Skin Care helped out.

Coney Island Polar Bear Plunge. January 1, 2012. Photo © Bruce Handy/Coney Island Photo Diary via flickr

Share

Related posts on ATZ…

December 25, 2013: Just Do It! January 1st Coney Island Polar Bear Plunge

January 1, 2013: Videos of the Day: Coney Island Polar Bear New Year’s Day Plunge 2013

December 18, 2011: Playing Santa at the Coney Island Polar Bear Plunge

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

Read Full Post »

Lola Star

Dianna Carlin aka Lola Star with Shimmer in Lola Star Boutique, Coney Island Boardwalk, April 2, 2011. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

Congratulations to Dianna Carlin, the first of the Boardwalk veterans to announce that she has a done deal with Zamperla’s Central Amusements International, which holds the lease on the City-owned property. Last night, the owner of the Lola Star Boutique on Coney Island’s Boardwalk tweeted, “So, I have some really incredible news…after much negotiating…Tonight I signed my lease to rent my boardwalk shop for the next 8 years!!” The boutique was one of only two Boardwalk businesses invited back by CAI last November, but lease negotiations went on for months.

Carlin is an entrepreneurial spirit whose successful projects include the Dreamland Roller Rink, a shop in Stillwell Terminal, a pop-up shop in SoHo and the new Star Pet Boutique. This afternoon, she announced a “2 TEES FOR $30 SALE” at her Boardwalk Shop this weekend “in celebration of the fact that we will be radiating our hot pink aura of fabulousness in Coney for the next 8 years!” The shop will be open Saturday and Sunday from 12 noon-5pm.

Hopefully more good news is on the way today or in the next few days. Will Boardwalk favorites Ruby’s Bar and Paul’s Daughter sign the leases which they were offered after a Miami restaurateur and Sodexo retreated from deals to take over their spaces? Negotiations have been going on since October over various clauses in the leases, leading to intense speculation about whether or not the beloved Mom and Pops will be back. As one of Ruby’s Facebook fans put it: “Arrgh! The suspense is killing me!”

UPDATE December 12, 2011…Zamperla’s Boardwalk line-up for 2012 is now set. As we posted on Friday, Paul’s Daughter signed an 8-year lease, as did Ruby’s Bar. Tom’s of Prospect Heights will open a second restaurant on the Coney Island Boardwalk, at the corner of Stillwell where Nathan’s and Cha Cha’s were located. See “Coney Island 2012: What’s New on the Boardwalk” (ATZ, November 15, 2011) for details and renderings of the new stores, including Nathan’s, Ruby’s, Paul’s Daughter and Lola Star as well as the new Sky Coaster and other rides.

Mannequins at Lola Star Boutique, Coney Island Boardwalk. April 4, 2010. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

Share

Related posts on ATZ...

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

October 17, 2009: Coney Island-Blog-O-Rama: Fave Blog Finds #1

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

Read Full Post »

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

Share

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

Read Full Post »

ATZ is happy to see Coney Island’s small businesses alive and kicking in the first year of Coney Island’s predicted rebirth. The good news is that all of the familiar mom-and-pop shops, bars and eateries on Coney Island’s Boardwalk are back in business for the 2010 season. The big difference is real estate speculator Joe Sitt is no longer their landlord and unlike previous years, they didn’t suffer a rent hike.

Coney Island Souvenir Shop on the Boardwalk. Photo © Tricia Vita//me-myself-i via flickr

Rolling Sign: Souvenir Shop on the Boardwalk in Coney Island. Photo © Tricia Vita//me-myself-i via flickr

When the City of New York bought 6.9 acres of Coney Island property from Thor Equities in November, existing tenants on the Boardwalk were offered a one-year lease at last year’s rate, including one tenant who’d famously gotten the boot from Thor: The Lola Star Boutique. We’re thrilled that Lola aka entrepreneur Dianna Carlin is back in her original location next to Ruby’s after a one-year absence. Carlin, the founder of Save Coney Island, had not been offered a lease in 2009 by Thor because of her outspokenness on Coney Island development issues.

Lola Star Boutique Returns! Photo © Tricia Vita//me-myself-i via flickr

Lola Star Boutique Returns! Photo © Tricia Vita//me-myself-i via flickr

Lola Star’s Dreamland Roller Rink, located in the Childs Building on the Boardwalk and leased from Taconic Investment Partners, will reopen next month. (Update 5/16: The roller rink will NOT return to Coney!) Other returning Boardwalk businesses scheduled to open in the coming weeks: Pio Pio Rico–“The House of the Best Peruvian Rotisserie Chicken”— located in the former Astroland arcade, Beer Island, and Nathan’s Famous Boardwalk location.

Best French Fries Sold Here: Paul's Daughter on Coney Island Boardwalk. Photo © Tricia Vita//me-myself-i via flickr

The Best French Fries Sold Here! Paul's Daughter on Coney Island Boardwalk. Photo © Tricia Vita//me-myself-i via flickr

Paul’s Daughter, Gyro Corner, Ruby’s Bar & Grill, Cha Cha’s, Steve’s Grill House, Rosa’s Tacos & Juice Bar and the Coney Island Souvenir Shop next to Ruby’s are already open daily. Weather permitting, of course. The Lola Star Boutique and Shoot the Freak are currently open weekends. Also open daily in Coney Island: Nathan’s Famous original location at Surf and Stillwell, Williams Candy, Coney Island Beach Shop and the WCS New York Aquarium.

JT & Cha Cha Welcome You to Coney Island 2010. Photo © Tricia Vita//me-myself-i via flickr

JT & Cha Cha Welcome You to Coney Island 2010. Photo © Tricia Vita//me-myself-i via flickr

On Wednesday, a painter was touching up the sign at Steve’s Grill House. ATZ observed many people out and about on the Boardwalk. We chatted with several British tourists who’d been stranded in New York by the volcanic ash cloud. It was a sunny, breezy afternoon until rain sent everyone scurrying for cover and the Coney Island Souvenir Shop wheeled in their sign.

Touching Up the Sign at Steve's Grill House on the Boardwalk. Photo © Tricia Vita//me-myself-i via flickr

Touching Up the Sign at Steve's Grill House on the Boardwalk. Photo © Tricia Vita//me-myself-i via flickr

Coney Island Souvenir Shop owner Tom Suh died in a car accident in March and is much missed by his Coney Island friends and family. On Easter Sunday, we offered our condolences to Mrs. Suh, who is recovering from the accident, and son Rob, who is carrying on the family business.

Mrs. Suh in her family's souvenir shop on the Boardwalk. Photo © Tricia Vita//me-myself-i via flickr

Mrs. Suh in her family's souvenir shop on the Boardwalk. Photo © Tricia Vita//me-myself-i via flickr

Last Friday, it was decidedly chilly in Coney Island, yet a photo shoot with a bikini-clad model was in progress on the Beach. We ducked into Ruby’s Bar and Grill, where it’s cozy and Beato was manning the grill. Did you know that Coney Island Boardwalk’s oldest bar and grill is among the Travel Channel’s “Top 21 sexiest beach bars”? Ruby’s has a brand-new website at www.rubysconeyisland.com or follow their Facebook fan page for news of upcoming events.

At Ruby's on Friday Afternoon: Beato Minds the Store. Photo © Tricia Vita//me-myself-i via flickr

At Ruby's on Friday Afternoon: Beato Minds the Store. Photo © Tricia Vita//me-myself-i via flickr

Ruby’s namesake–Ruby Jacobs–bought the bar in 1975. That’s his portrait with the Parachute Jump amid the vintage photos on the oft-photographed wall. After Ruby’s death in 2000, West 12th Street was named Ruby Jacobs Way in his honor. His daughters and son-in-law continue to run the family-owned business. Cheers to Coney Island’s 2010 season!

Wall of Photos at Ruby's Bar in Coney Island. Photo © Tricia Vita//me-myself-i via flickr

Wall of Photos at Ruby's Bar in Coney Island. Photo © Tricia Vita//me-myself-i via flickr

Share

Related posts on ATZ…

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

March 12, 2010: Photo of the Day: Williams Candy in Coney Island

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

Read Full Post »

« Newer Posts

%d bloggers like this: