Coney boardwalk lures Brooklyn favorite, Tom’s Restaurant

December 12, 2011 11:44AM

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From left: Coney Island boardwalk and Tom’s Restaurant in Prospect Heights, Brooklyn

Tom’s Restaurant, the Prospect Heights, Brooklyn favorite has signed a lease for space on the Coney Island boardwalk with Zamperla USA, the Italian outfit in charge of re-vamping the boardwalk, the New York Daily News reported.

In a reversal, Zamperla is not just courting Brooklyn staples such as Tom’s, but asking long-time Coney Island mainstays Ruby’s Bar and Paul’s Daughter, who it had previously worked to evict, to stay put. Previously, the Coney Island operator had planned to cede control over boardwalk leasing to a Miami Beach hotel and restaurant group, which drew criticism from local businesses and residents. Tom’s, the Lola Star boutique, and the Coney Island Beach Shop all signed eight-year leases with Zamperla this past Friday, the News said.

“We are learning a little bit. After a year and a half, we understand how important Coney Island is to the Brooklyn community,” Zamperla President Valerio Ferrari told the News. “We are trying to keep Brooklyn in Coney Island.”

Tom’s owner Jimmy Kokotas said his Coney Island outpost will be open by May and he hopes to eventually keep it open year-round. He assured the News that Tom’s popular free coffee and cookies policy will apply at the new restaurant as well. Tom’s Prospect Heights location is at 782 Washington Avenue.

Nathan’s, the legendary hot dog purveyor of Coney Island, known for its annual hot dog eating contest, also signed a new eight-year lease for a larger space, the News said. [NYDN]