Labor Day Weekend Is Just The Beginning For Tom's Restaurant At Coney Island
While many Coney Island visitors consider Labor Day the end of the season, one boardwalk restaurant yet to open is hoping that is just the beginning. Borough reporter Jeanine Ramirez filed the following report.
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Tom's Restaurant will use the kitchen equipment in its Coney Island location for the first time come Labor Day weekend.
"We've got individual hot dog grill, hamburgers, fryers. This part of the kitchen is strictly for the fast food boardwalk service," said Jimmy Kokotas, the owner of Tom's Restaurant.
The new Tom's Restaurant, an institution in Prospect Heights since 1936, will finally offer boardwalk service on Coney Island, but the diner will also be the first full-service, sit-down restaurant on the boardwalk in decades.
NY1 first reported on Tom's move to open up a second location in the borough back in December. The restaurant was hoping to be up and running earlier in the season but there were construction delays and bigger plans for the site.
"We incurred some problems we didn't expect, the flooring the joists needed to be re-supported because we're hoping to have rooftop seating in the future," said Kokotas.
The rooftop will seat about 100 people, and 160 customers will be able to sit downstairs, according to Kokotas. The menu will basically be the same as the original Tom's, with breakfast all day plus more seafood dishes.
What the Tom's location in Coney Island has that the other does not is a liquor license.
"You'll be able to add a little vodka or gin to your lime rickey and or lemonade and see the adult experience in it," said Kokotas.
The decor at the Coney Island location will also be different, with more of a beach theme with floors resembling the boardwalk. The counter is getting its finishing touches. The air conditioning and heating system needs to be installed and the tables and chairs are expected to be set up in about a week.
Kokotas said his season will last until January 1 for the annual Polar Bear swim, close for several winter months and reopen on April 1, but he says he prefers to stay open year-round.
"If we can do it, we will do it because it's easier for us also to operate for 12 months but for now we're planning to stay open until the end of the year," he said.
But first, Kokotas is looking forward to a grand opening.