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Posts Tagged ‘Paul’s Daughter’

Coney Island After Sandy

Spook-A-Rama Cars Drying out at Deno’s Wonder Wheel Park, Coney Island. November 5, 2012. Photo © me-myself-i/Tricia Vita via flickr

There were signs of hope today in Coney Island’s amusement area post-Sandy: the Cyclone cars went for a test run and Deno’s Wonder Wheel was jump started and went for a little whirl. “Wheel sounds good,” said Deno’s Wonder Wheel Park co-owner Dennis Vourderis, adding that the Wheel will still need extensive repairs or replacement of motor controller. Also damaged by Sandy were the Spook-A-Rama dark ride and the arcades on the Wonder Wheel side of the park, which was flooded and had to be pumped out. The Cyclops, a beloved folk art figure that came out of retirement last year, was unharmed and surveyed the cleanup effort with his big green eye.

Spook-A-Rama Cyclops

Coney Island’s Cyclops Survived Sandy, Deno’s Wonder Wheel Park. November 5, 2012. Photo © me-myself-i/Tricia Vita via flickr

The Boardwalk eateries Tom’s Coney Island, Ruby’s Bar and Paul’s Daughter were miraculously untouched by the storm surge and will be open this weekend. Tom’s, located on the Boardwalk at Stillwell, is the meeting place for a volunteer cleanup of Coney Island that begins at 9am on Saturday and Sunday. Last weekend’s crew shoveled sand from the boardwalk but some streets remain deep in sand.

While Tom’s and Paul’s have power, the other stores including Ruby’s, Nathan’s, Lola star and Brooklyn Beach Shop, suffered damage to the electrical panel in the basement and do not have power yet. Ruby’s Bar, which is open for the first time since the hurricane, will be collecting donations of clothing, coats, blankets and other items for the Coney Island relief effort. Paul’s Daughter is donating all proceeds from weekend sales to the Coney Island History Project, whose free exhibit center was wrecked by the storm, and to Occupy Sandy’s relief effort in Coney Island. “I want to be open because it’s going to be 60 degrees,” said Paul’s daughter Tina Georgoulakos. “I want to do what I can to help out those who have lost so much.”

Storm Cleanup in Coney Island

Sanitation picks up storm damaged contents of Lola Star Boutique’s Stillwell Avenue store. Coney Island. November 5, 2012. Photo © me-myself-i/Tricia Vita via flickr

During the peak of the storm, Surf Avenue as well as Mermaid and Neptune Avenues were submerged in water that came from the bay, Coney Island Creek, and overflowing sewers during the rising tide. Since every store was flooded by five feet of water, business owners were throwing out their ruined products and fixtures. It was heartbreaking to see the contents of the Lola Star Boutique on the sidewalk in front of Stillwell Terminal being picked up by the Department of Sanitation. Please note that Lola Star’s main location on the Boardwalk did not suffer any hurricane damage and remains open for business. Boutique owner Dianna Carlin has already created a “Coney Island Forever” T-shirt, tote bag, mug and other products. Profits from the design will be donated to Coney Island relief.

The Alliance for Coney Island, successor to the Coney Island Development Corp, launched this morning with a 9am meeting at Tom’s and a website featuring the hashtag #ConeyRecovers. “Repairing our community is our primary goal and with the long-term, concerted effort on the part of local leaders and the continued generosity of Coney Island fans around the world, we will continue the Coney Island renaissance,” said Dennis Vourderis, Chairman of the Alliance for Coney Island, in a press release posted on the site.

On Monday ATZ managed to get to Coney Island’s amusement area for the first time since the storm, but problems with internet connectivity and other post-hurricane issues have kept us from uploading more photos or blogging. As soon as the DSL is back, we’ll upload the rest of the photos to flickr and post the set here…

UPDATE March 7, 2013:

Coney Island’s traditional Palm Sunday Opener comes early this year – March 24th! The rides at Deno’s Wonder Wheel Park, Luna Park and Scream Zone, 12th Street Amusements and the Eldorado will go for their first spin of 2013. The Cyclone opens at 12 noon with the first 100 fans on line riding for free. At Deno’s Wonder Wheel Park, the annual Blessing of the Rides ceremony starts at 11 am on the Boardwalk.

This year, to celebrate Coney’s comeback from Sandy, rides on the landmark Wonder Wheel are free for everyone on Opening Day. The Coney Island History Project’s free exhibit center will be open, along with its neighbors “Coney Island Always,” a window showcasing a miniature animated amusement park, and “Miss Coney Island” the dancing doll. It’s also the first official day of the season for the Boardwalk shops and eateries and the games on the Bowery.

Nathan’s on the Boardwalk will open on March 18 while the target date for reopening their main location on Surf Avenue is Memorial Day Weekend. Also expected to open on that weekend are Coney Island USA’s Circus Sideshow, The B&B Carousell at Steeplechase Plaza, and Big Mark’s Action Park. The New York Aquarium has announced it will partly reopen in the spring.

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Related posts on ATZ…

November 24, 2012: Coney Island Post-Sandy: A Few Stores Reopen, Most Delayed by Damage

November 13, 2012: Coney Island’s Eldorado Wins Lease But Bumper Cars Soaked by Sandy

November 10, 2012: A Coney Island Girl’s Story: 13 Days With No Power

October 30, 2012: Photo Album: Hurricane Sandy’s Aftermath in Coney Island

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Burger Girl

Burger Girl at Paul’s Daughter, Coney Island. November 13, 2010. Photo © me-myself-i/Tricia Vita via flickr

Have you seen Mama Burger? It seems that she was swept off the roof of Paul’s Daughter on the Coney Island Boardwalk by Hurricane Sandy. We’re not sure of her exact size but she’s smaller than Papa Burger who anchors the other end of the roof. He is 10 feet tall, 6 feet wide, and weighs 250 pounds. The Burger figures known as the A & W Root Beer Family were first made in the 1963 and are catalogued on Debra Jane Seltzer’s website roadsidearchitecture.com.

On Tuesday, Mama’s burger was spotted at West 15th Street by a photographer but Mama herself remains a missing person. Tina Georgoulakos, owner of Paul’s Daughter, wrote in an email to ATZ: “She must have blown away, We don’t know where she is. After all these years!!” If you find her please contact Paul’s Daughter at 917-607-4960 or via Facebook.

UPDATE November 12, 2012

GOOD NEWS: Mama Burger was found but her burger, last seen on 15th Street, is still missing. Update from Paul’s Daughter: “Just wanted to let you know that we found Mama Burger!! I posted about it on FB but wanted to let you know as well. She was on the roof, Burger-less and Beer-less but ok. We tried to find the Burger on 15th street (where someone posted a picture of it) but we couldn’t find it. At least we have her. Now we just have to get all of the sand out of the store.”

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

May 22, 2012: Photo Album: Welcome Back, Paul’s Daughter & Ruby’s Bar!

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

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

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Hey! Get It, Get It! at Paul’s Daughter, Coney Island Boardwalk. July 7, 2012. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

“Hey! Get it Get it!” is back at Paul’s Daughter in Coney Island. Snappy new signage with the familiar lettering and motto is hawking their delicious clams and calamari. What’s more, the Georgoulakos family’s recently renovated eatery on the Boardwalk — established as Gregory and Paul’s in 1962 — celebrates its 50th anniversary this year.

“We have been so busy playing catch up that we haven’t celebrated,” Tina Georgoulakos told ATZ, adding that right now they are concentrating on getting the Paul’s Daughter sign installed on the upper part of the facade. “It’s a funny coincidence that I have been Paul’s daughter for fifty years and he opened his first store on the Boardwalk and West 8th fifty years ago. Hopefully in August when things slow down a little, we will celebrate.” ATZ recommends that you go directly to Paul’s Daughter for a plate of clams and a beer and be among the first to wish them a Happy Anniversary!

Paul Georgoulakos

Paul Georgoulakos, 83, the Boardwalk’s Oldest Operator. June 28, 2012. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

The timeline on Paul’s Daughter’s Facebook Page begins six decades ago in 1951, when 21-year-old Paul Georgoulakos started his first Coney Island business—a milk stand at Stillwell Terminal—with a $500 loan from his aunt. A store on West 12th Street and the Bowery soon followed. Gregory & Paul’s got started in 1962, when Paul partnered with Gregory Bitetzakis and took over the old Howard Johnson’s on West 8th Street and the Boardwalk. The partners survived their first eviction in 1968: “Rockefeller buys the property their store is on and donates it to the Aquarium, putting them (and seven other stores) out of business,” notes the timeline.

Paul's Daughter Coney Island

Clams on the Half-shell at Paul’s Daughter, Coney Island Boardwalk. July 7, 2012. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

The current location on the Boardwalk at West 10th Street opened in 1970 and was leased from Astroland Park. The famed Astroland Rocket was perched on the roof of the store until the park closed in 2008. When Gregory, who operated the G & P’s on West 10th Street opposite the Cyclone retired in 2009, Paul’s Boardwalk store remained open, leasing from new landlord Thor Equities and changing its name to Paul’s Daughter.

Last year, it looked like the veteran Mom-and-Pop would close forever just short of its 50th anniversary when Paul’s was evicted along with seven others. Zamperla, which opened Luna Park, had assumed management of the Boardwalk property now owned by the City and planned a glitzy redo by French food giant Sodexo and a Miami Beach restaurateur. In a surprising about-face, the amusement operator later offered eight-year leases to two of the businesses–Paul’s Daughter and Ruby’s Bar– with the stipulation that they invest hundreds of thousands of dollars in gut rehabs of their stores.

Paul's Daughter Coney Island

The New Bar at Paul’s Daughter, Coney Island Boardwalk. June 28, 2012. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

How does the new Paul’s Daughter look? As we wrote in May, our first impression was that both Paul’s and Ruby’s stores looked refreshed and ready to compete for customers in the new Coney Island while paying tribute to the spirit of the past and continuing to embody the personalities of their owners. Check out our flickr slide show of the New Paul’s Daughter, but keep in mind the photos document a work-in-progress and some of the changes that you will notice this summer were required by the landlord or city regulations.

When Paul’s Daughter officially reopened on the weekend before Memorial Day 2012, we were happy to see the beloved signs for “Mr. Shrimp” and “Chiefito and Chiefita — the Nice N Sweet/Fluffy Cotton Candy Kids” and “Clams” returned to the new facade. The A & W Mama and Papa Burger remain on the roof and the vintage signs were restored and brought back to the lower facade. Additional signage was needed due to building renovations and adjustments to the menu.

Paul's Daughter

Vintage Signs at Paul’s Daughter, Coney Island Boardwalk. July 14, 2012. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

The building’s square corners were rounded to resemble the way it looked when it was built shortly after the Boardwalk was moved in 1939. A photo on the Coney Island History Project website shows “the new fireproof, streamlined, Art Moderne-style building that replaced the ornate wooden Feltman’s Boardwalk restaurant.”

The new signage was painted by Brooklyn artist and School of Visual Arts instructor Stephen Gaffney, whose work as a muralist is on view in City parks and schools. Having previously restored G & P’s hand-painted signs when the restaurant’s name was changed to Paul’s Daughter, Gaffney was able to recapture the spirit of the old signs in his new work.

Paul's Daughter, Coney Island

Papa Burger and New Signs at Paul’s Daughter, Coney Island Boardwalk. July 7, 2012. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

Half of the storefront is now a stand-up bar made with wood salvaged from the roof joists of the former Club Atlantis/Cha Cha’s, which is undergoing a gut rehab by Tom’s Restaurant of Prospect Heights. Photos of Paul and his family and the stores that he operated over the past sixty years fill the wall behind the open-air bar and the interior of the pillars. In the photo below, the large poster shows Paul in 1954, leaning on the glass case at his store on West 12th Street and the Bowery, where Chinese egg rolls and hot knishes were a popular item. Soda was ten cents!

Stephen Gaffney

Artist Stephen Gaffney behind the counter at Paul’s Daughter. July 14, 2012. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

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May 22, 2012: Photo Album: Welcome Back, Paul’s Daughter & Ruby’s Bar!

May 19, 2012: Paul’s Daughter & Ruby’s Bar Reopen on Saturday, Restored Signs to Return!

December 8, 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?

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