Advertisements
Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Place to Beach’

Surf's Up on the Boardwalk?

Surf’s Up on Coney Island Boardwalk, March 24, 2013. Photo © Tricia Vita

Surfboard parked on the Coney Island Boardwalk? Not exactly, it’s one of the signs that was about to go up on Zamperla’s new Place to BEach Bar (the capital “E” is a pun). The surfboard signage and other finishing touches, including tables and a deck, were being put in place this week at the new bar and Mexican grill on the Boardwalk at Stillwell Avenue.

Adjacent to Scream Zone, the location was formerly Steve’s Grill House and Beer Island, whose owners were evicted after the 2011 season. Valerio Ferrari, CEO of Zamperla, famously told the New York Times that he wanted something more “refined, cleaner. A little more year-round, if it’s possible, with sit-down restaurants and sports bars.” It’s happening. Last year, the facades of the remaining Boardwalk businesses got a sleek redo and Tom’s proved that a Boardwalk restaurant can stay open through the winter.

PTB Bar

New PTB Bar AKA Place to BEach Bar, Coney Island Boardwalk. March 24, 2013. Photo © Tricia Vita

The new “Place to Be” was expected to open Easter weekend along with the Cyclone Cafe and food kiosks inside Luna Park. These venues will be operated by CAI Food LLC, the new food division of Zamperla’s Central Amusement International. An additional CAI restaurant will open in the B&B Carousel Pavilion at Steeplechase Plaza in May.

The opening of PTB Bar and the other CAI eateries marks the amusement park operator and ride manufacturer’s first foray into the food business in Coney Island. Until this season, food service giant Sodexo was Zamperla’s partner for “On Site Service Solutions.” The French multinational, the world’s 22nd largest employer, paid a rental fee to Zamperla. Sodexo kept such a low profile in Coney Island that the only sign we’ve ever seen with their name is the piece of paper at the bottom of this post. It was put up to direct trainees to their restaurant. Yet it was their staff who operated the Cyclone Cafe and the food kiosks since Luna Park opened in 2010.

Sodexo

Food display at Sodexo-operated Cyclone Cafe last summer, June 22, 2012. Photo © Tricia Vita

At the time, Ferrari told ATZ that Sodexo was investing $1.4 million in a new sit-down restaurant, which was expected to be year-round and feature waiter service. As it turned out, the Cyclone Cafe was open the same hours as the park and its food offerings were what you’d expect from a corporation with a completely centralized purchasing system, which requires clients to choose from a list of “Right Products.” Sodexo is known for its cafeterias and individually branded restaurants at schools, hospitals, military bases and prisons, but nationally branded subtenants are also brought in under franchising or licensing agreements for the appearance of variety.

Sodexo’s departure had long been rumored and is something to cheer about. According to the partnership agreement, after 3 years either party was free to terminate the lease, with CAI having to reimburse the remaining value of Sodexo’s initial investment, with interest. A Sodexo manager who was working on site with cleanup after Sandy confirmed to ATZ that her company was leaving Coney Island.

Sodexo This Way

Sodexo This Way: Sign directing trainees to Sodexo restaurant in Luna Park, Coney Island. April 12, 2011. Photo © Mr Jones via Amusing the Zillion

Share

Related Posts on ATZ…

March 17, 2013: Photo Album: Coney Island Getting Ready for Opening Day

March 11, 2013: Luna Park’s Pinwheels Go Up on Coney Island Boardwalk

August 29, 2012: Coney Island Has a New Lighthouse: It’s a Beach Bar

November 23, 2010: Meet Sodexo: Luna Park Coney Island’s Partner for “On-Site Service Solutions”

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

Nathan's Coney Island

First Food Shipment to Nathan’s in Coney Island since Sandy. March 13, 2013. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

Last week, ATZ spotted this huge semi parked on Coney Island’s West 12th Street adjacent to Nathan’s Boardwalk restaurant. It was the first food delivery to Nathan’s since Sandy struck nearly five months ago. On Monday, March 18th, you’ll finally be able to get a Nathan’s hot dog again in Coney Island when the Boardwalk location reopens. Everyone in Coney is busy, busy, busy getting ready for Opening Day – March 24th — which is now just 7 days away. The amount of activity far exceeds anything we’ve seen in past years because of the extra added work of recovering and rebuilding from Superstorm Sandy. Even though Palm Sunday, Coney’s traditional opening day, is early this year, the great majority of the rides, games and eateries are ready to open. More photos from the flickr set are here.

 Place to BEach

Zamperla’s New Place to BEach Bar & Grill, Coney Island. March 13, 2013. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

Under construction since last summer, Place to BEach Bar & Grill — the capital “E” is not a typo– is about to make its debut. The revamped structure’s most distinctive feature is a mini-lighthouse with a weathervane that says “Every Wind Leads to PTB Bar.” Last week was the first time we saw the Boardwalk spot with its shutters open. Workers at the site told ATZ they expect to be able to open for counter service on March 24th.

Located on the former site of Steve’s Grill House and Beer Island, the new addition to Coney’s skyline is adjacent to Scream Zone’s Skycoaster and Go Karts. It is operated by CAI Foods, LLC, the relatively new food division of Zamperla’s Central Amusements International. French food service giant Sodexo, which Luna Park had partnered with since 2010, is now said to be out of the picture in Coney Island. That’s something to cheer about. Word on the street is that PTB’s menu will be Tex-Mex. Neighboring businesses on the Boardwalk including Tom’s Coney Island and Brooklyn Beach Shop are already open daily and the rest plan to open on the weekend of March 23rd.

Zenobio

Scream Zone’s Zenobio Goes for Test Spin. March 13, 2013. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

Coney’s amusement area Mom & Pops affected by the storm are busy rebuilding too. Bowery eateries Plaza Mexico Dona Zita, Gyro Corner and Bernard’s and Williams Candy on Surf are remodeling. Jimmy Balloons, who operates the popular balloon dart game on the Bowery, is building a new booth on Jones Walk under the Wonder Wheel’s neon sign. The lease on his longtime location across the way was held by Manny Cohen of Coney Island Arcade, who was evicted after 22 years and is moving to Vegas with Target the Coney Island Cat.

Under Construction: Jimmy Balloons New Balloon Dart. March 13, 2013. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

Other veteran businesses that will not return this season are the 50-year-old McCullough’s Kiddie Park, at Bowery and W 12th Street, which could not come to lease terms with Thor Equities. Cha Cha’s of Surf Avenue announced after Sandy that it was closing forever. Denny’s Ice Cream, which was sold to Coney Island USA, was badly damaged by the storm and will be replaced with a 1940s shooting gallery from Wonder Wheel Park. The New York Aquarium, Coney Island USA, and Nathan’s on Surf Avenue are still rebuilding and expect to reopen by Memorial Day Weekend. The new Steeplechase Plaza with the restored B & B Carousell is slated to open that weekend as well.

Wonder Wheel Car

Wonder Wheel Car Being Rolled Out of Storage. March 13, 2013. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

The cars of the Wonder Wheel were rolled out of storage last week and put back up on the Wheel on Saturday afternoon. The annual ritual is considered the first sign of spring in Coney Island. The rides at Deno’s Wonder Wheel Park, Luna Park and Scream Zone, 12th Street Amusements (Update: they’re still working and expect to open on Easter) and the Eldorado Bumper Cars are being tested and inspected and will go for their first official spin of the year on March 24th. The Cyclone opens at 12 noon with the first 100 fans on line riding for free. Construction at Luna Park includes a new pinwheel gate on the Boardwalk and ticket booths and entrance at the Cyclone.

New Zoltar

New Zoltar Under Wraps at Wonder Wheel Park. March 13, 2013. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

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 rebuilt Spook-A-Rama dark ride is expected to make its debut along with a ghost-themed shooting gallery and a brand-new Zoltar. The Coney Island History Project’s free exhibit center under the Wheel 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.

Coney Island Beach

Post-Sandy Sand Dunes Bulldozed, Coney Island Beach. March 13, 2013. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

The temporary sand dunes in Coney Island’s amusement area were bulldozed and we have a beach again. During Sandy recovery, the Army Corps of Engineers established a “temporary storage site,” or TSS, at West 15th Street after moving an estimated 32,000 cubic yards of sand, the equivalent of roughly 12 Olympic-size swimming pools, out of Coney Island neighborhoods. The sand was eventually sifted and moved back to the beach, which officially reopens for swimming on Saturday, May 25. Repairs to Steeplechase Pier and sections of the Boardwalk are also underway.

Boardwalk Repairs

Boardwalk Repairs, Coney Island March 13, 2013. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

Share

Related Posts on ATZ…

March 15, 2013: Coney Island Cyclone Getting New Ticket Booths

March 13, 2013: Coney Island 2013: New Ghouls Mingle with Old in Rebuilt Spook-A-Rama

March 11, 2013: Luna Park’s Pinwheels Go Up on Coney Island Boardwalk

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

Read Full Post »

Lighthouse

Lighthouse at Place To Beach Bar, Coney Island. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

The Coney Island Lighthouse in the gated community of Sea Gate on the Island’s west end isn’t open to the public, but a cute new mini-lighthouse has popped up on the Boardwalk. It’s the beacon atop Zamperla’s PTB bar currently under construction on the Boardwalk at Stillwell Avenue. According to the inscription on the weathervane, “Every Wind Leads to PTB Bar.” Word on the street is that PTB – short for Place to Beach— will serve Tex-Mex food and open next year instead of sometime in the next few weeks. Will it be ready in time to ring in the New Year with the Polar Bear Swim? Who will be the lighthouse keeper?

Located on the former site of Steve’s Grill House and Beer Island, the new addition to Coney’s skyline is adjacent to Scream Zone’s Skycoaster and Go Karts. As we wrote in “Opening Soon? Zipline, Tom’s Coney Island, Place to Beach Bar” (ATZ, August 15, 2012), three Coney Island businesses originally scheduled to open this summer were hoping to get in what’s left of the season. The long-awaited Zipline is completed but still not open due to permitting issues. Tom’s and PTB are still “under construction.” After Labor Day, most of the amusement rides remain open weekends through the end of October. Nathan’s on Surf Avenue, the New York Aquarium and Coney Island Beach Shop are open daily year-round. Among the new or refurbished stores on the Boardwalk, Tom’s Coney Island, Ruby’s Bar and Brooklyn Beach Shop expect to stay open nine months of the year for now, ATZ has learned from the owners.

Coney Island Skyline

PTB Lighthouse Joins the Parachute Jump and Skycoaster on the Coney Island Skyline. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

Share

Related posts on ATZ…

August 22, 2012: Photo Album: Magic Gyro & Coney Island Gourmet Food

August 10, 2012: Steeplechase Plaza Under Construction in Coney Island

August 2, 2012: New Building Breaks Ground Next to Coney Island’s Stillwell Terminal

June 23, 2012: Opening Today: Coney Island Grimaldi’s Pizzeria

Read Full Post »

Tom's Coney Island

Tom’s Coney Island. August 14, 2012. Photo © Coney Island History Project

Summer’s almost over, but three Coney Island businesses still under construction– Tom’s Restaurant, Place to Beach Bar and the Zipline– are hoping to open soon and get in what’s left of the season. On Monday, Tom’s new blue-and-white sign and awnings went up on the facade. It’s official — the Boardwalk outpost of the Prospect Heights eatery will be called “Tom’s Coney Island.”

After Labor Day, Coney Island’s amusement parks are open weekends through the end of October. A few attractions and stores in the amusement area such as the New York Aquarium, Nathan’s on Surf Avenue and Coney Island Beach Shop are open daily year-round, but it remains to be seen how many of the new or rehabbed businesses will follow suit. When completed, Tom’s initially expects to remain open at least nine months of the year. One of the Coney Island Development Corporation’s goals is to develop year-round businesses to make Coney Island into “a year-round, world-class recreational oceanfront destination.”

Coney Island Zipline

Coney Island Zipline, View from West 15th Street. August 11, 2012. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

If you’re one of the adventurous souls who bought advance tix in June or July for the Coney Island Zipline, it’s been hurry up and wait some more. Last week, the crew was trained and the ride was tested, but the long-awaited zipline did not open over the weekend as expected. Coney Island Zipline manager James Wilcox told ATZ the zipline had been inspected and tested a thousand times, but the opening would be delayed till this week. Official sources tell ATZ that additional paperwork needs to be filed and the Zipline might open on Thursday or Friday.

Meanwhile, construction continued on the scaffolding platform as shown in the above photo. The BK Festival’s merchandise vendors have been put out of business by the ongoing work, but will be allowed to return to their tents once the adjacent zipline is open and the lot is no longer a construction site.

Tom's Coney Island

Tom’s Coney Island: Menu at Temporary Stand. August 11, 2012. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

On the Boardwalk at Stillwell Avenue, construction continues on Tom’s Coney Island and Zamperla’s Place To Beach Bar. Both were announced to open this summer but construction has been slow and their debut has been pushed back till the end of August or early September. Throughout the summer, Tom’s has been selling hot dogs, shrimp salad sandwiches and other beach food from a tent set up in front of the store. Once the place opens, we’re looking forward to sampling their signature pancakes and crab cakes.

Back in early July, ATZ wrote that by the looks of the gut rehab underway, it wouldn’t be ready till late July, if then. The former location of Nathan’s and Cha Cha’s Club Atlantis (as well as the original Club Atlantis) required by far the most work and investment of any of the rehabbed Boardwalk stores. Due to structural issues, the place had to be completely gutted and rebuilt, including the roof and some of the brickwork. Windows were installed in the west wall. A new roof deck for alfresco dining will have spectacular views of the beach and boardwalk.

Across the street, Zamperla’s PTB —Place to Beach — Bar is under construction next to Scream Zone’s Skycoaster and Go Karts. It’s the former site of Steve’s Grill House and Beer Island. When we passed by on Saturday, the roof appeared to be sprouting the beginnings of a lighthouse!

UPDATE September 12, 2012

Place To Beach

Under Construction: Place To Beach. August 11, 2012. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

Share

Related posts on ATZ…

September 23, 2012: Photo Album: First Brunch at Tom’s Coney Island by Bruce Handy

August 10, 2012: Steeplechase Plaza Under Construction in Coney Island

August 2, 2012: New Building Breaks Ground Next to Coney Island’s Stillwell Terminal

February 2, 2012: Thor’s Coney Island: Generic New Building at Surf & Stillwell

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: