Well, I don't think anybody who saw that picture I put up in December of the Thor Equities people putting up the For Lease sign on the Nathan's on the Boardwalk thought that that could be the end of Nathan's.
But just in case anyone was wondering - yes, the original Nathan's lives on!
And they were doing a fine business, even here in the depth of January!
Plenty of hot dogs for all.
I Haz A Hot Dog!
Srsly, though - I'd just assumed that whatever was going to happen with Coney Island, there'd be at least a few vestiges of what's there now left & that Nathan's was a solid enough business, and even more basically, enough of a fundamental part of any tourist's mental checklist of things that are really New Yorky, that Nathan's would be one of those survivors.
I got a little swamped & out of the local news loop in December, though, so I missed the short flap in the papers about Nathan's maybe being slated for shutdown. Instead, I saw the CEO's refutation of that rumour on the NYTimes' CityRoom blog.
You get a really good sense of how people feel about the whole Coney Island facelift thing in the comments, too.
No need to look much farther than Times Square & Soho to see what people are afraid of - those areas used to have character (ok, in the case of the former, that character was "nasty, sleazy, skanky & louche"). Now, there's not much there that you wouldn't find in your basic suburban mall.
A clean-up isn't always a bad thing. I think that with Times Square, most people would agree that the Mall of the Mouse is a big improvement over the bad old days.
But it would be so nice to see something a little more original out in Coney Island than another Red Lobster with extra neon...