After decades standing empty on the Coney Island boardwalk, the refurbished former Childs Restaurant opens its doors again.
Since its construction in 1923, the seaside building has been home to a food chain, a sweet factory and a roller rink – although had been vacant and languishing since the 1980s.
The New York Times described it as ‘one of the last gasps of elegance for Coney Island’, and architect critic F S Laurence found its decoration of terracotta marine life ‘so lifelike that they might easily have floated in with the tide’.
Renamed Kitchen 21, the building is now open to the public again after years of restoration – overseen by architect Ewing Cole, to the tune of $60 million. In its new guise it will host five different restaurants and bars, while a section has been converted to a backstage area for the nearby Ford Amphitheater.
The renovation is part of an ongoing effort to redevelop Coney Island, led by the New York City Economic Development Corp, with a further 150,000 sq ft of rides and attractions also planned for other nearby vacant lots.