It’s been more than 60 years since Childs Restaurant left its historic home on the Coney Island boardwalk, but on Sunday the landmarked building will reopen as a massive new food and beverage concept called Kitchen 21 (h/t Eater). The formerly vacant and deteriorating space was redeveloped through a $60 million joint investment among the NYC Economic Development Corporation, Legends Hospitality (who run the dining programs at One World Trade Center and Yankee Stadium), and Cravable Hospitality Group (of David Burke Kitchen). It will hold five separate restaurants, all peddling “summer-friendly fare”: casual take-out spot Coney Island Café; beer and seafood spot Community Clam Bar; gastropub Parachute Bar; rooftop wine bar Boardwalk & Vine; and a more formal restaurant called Test Kitchen.
The building was designed in 1923 in a “resort style with Spanish Revival influence,” best known for the terra cotta ornamentation on its facade that depicts nautical motifs like Poseidon, ships, and sea creatures. It served as Childs, which was a national chain known for serving affordable and fresh American food, until 1952. It then served as a candy factory until the 1980s and later as a roller rink. It’s located next to the Ford Amphitheater, which will hopefully draw in a crowd to the new EwingCole-designed space.
The rehabilitation of the Childs space is part of NYCEDC’s larger push to redevelop and expand Coney Island’s amusement area in the coming years to support new businesses, employment, and affordable housing. The initiative was first set off by a 2009 rezoning under Mayor Bloomberg, but just this past February, the city put out an RFP for 150,00 square feet of “new rides, games and other attractions to be located on five vacant, city-owned parcels bound by Surf Avenue and the Coney Island Boardwalk,” as 6sqft reported.
- Coney Island to add 150,000 square feet of new rides and attractions by 2018
- 50 Years Ago, Donald Trump’s Father Demolished Coney Island’s Beloved Steeplechase Park
- Plans filed for a 21-story Coney Island ‘Dreams’ project on the boardwalk
Renderings via NYCEDC
Neighborhoods : Coney Island