Gowanus Lounge: Serving Brooklyn

Nathan’s Calls BS on Talk of Demolition

January 20th, 2009 · 4 Comments

[Photo for GL courtesy Deborah Matack]

Back to Brooklyn, from history being made in Washington. We got an email from the Chair of Nathan’s famous, in effect, calling BS on stories that its flagship stores at Surf and Stillwell Avenue could be history. The zoning for the site (allowing a bigger building) has been part of the plan since November 2007. Here’s the statement emailed to GL Nathan’s Famous chair Eric Gatoff:

“Nathan’s Famous supports all efforts to revitalize Coney Island. We remain committed to Coney Island in the long-term and we fully intend to maintain our historic flagship restaurant at 1310 Surf Avenue, which has been the heart of the company since it was established in 1916.

“As to the latest report issued by the City, we believe the information relating to Nathan’s Famous is being misinterpreted and that there is no intention to replace or demolish our flagship location. In fact, the Coney Island Development Corporation’s own drawings of its intended redevelopment continue to show Nathan’s Famous in the same location on which it has stood for 93 years, on the corner of Surf and Stillwell Avenues, at the front door to the “People’s Playground.”

“In the near-term, we will work with all involved to ensure that visitors to Coney Island experience the same magic this summer as they always have. Coney Island is open for business, it will continue to be open for business, and Nathan’s Famous will be there for its customers as it has been since 1916.”

This is not the first time Nathan’s has said they aren’t going anywhere.

Tags: coney island

4 responses so far ↓

  • 1 these nuts // Jan 20, 2009 at 2:33 pm

    SPELLCHECK ppuuulllease???

    GL Natan’s Famoun chair

  • 2 Anonymous // Jan 20, 2009 at 7:54 pm

    LOVE DM’s photo!!

  • 3 Anonymous // Jan 20, 2009 at 7:55 pm

    That Nathan’s has landmark protection, no?

  • 4 anonymouse // Jan 21, 2009 at 8:24 am

    No, Nathan’s is not a city landmark! It has no protection whatsoever. It is privately owned, by the Handwerker family and is leased to the Nathan’s Corp.

    The real danger to Nathan’s is clear to anyone who actually bothers to read the full text of the city’s own warning in their report:: “In the absence of NYCL designation for this resource located on a development site, and as the site is privately owned, there are no procedures in place that would ensure pre-construction design review or preventative measures to minimize effects of construction and potential demolition. Therefore, the potential development identified on the site containing Nathan’s Famous would result in direct significant adverse impacts to this S/NR-eligible resource through demolition or potential alteration.”

    By “upzoning” lots in Coney Island where historic structures unprotected by landmark designation like Nathan’s stand, the city is making them into “projected” or “potential” development sites. The city is doing nothing to encourage preservation. The rezoning is actually encouraging the structures’ alteration or destruction. Other structures that may be threatened by the proposed zoning: Henderson’s, Grashorn Building (Coney’s oldest structure), Bank of Coney Island on 12 St, Shore Hotel, Popper Building, Shore Theater, and south blockfront of Surf Avenue between 12th Street and Stillwell.