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Press Release

NYCEDC, iStar, Legends Hospitality Announce Restoration of Historic Childs Building at Coney Island Boardwalk

May 16 2017

New Kitchen 21 brings five-concepts under one roof to historic building adjacent to Ford Amphitheater on Coney Island Boardwalk

Kitchen 21 and Ford Amphitheater have created over 300 new jobs in Coney Island

De Blasio administration is investing over $180 million in infrastructure to activate affordable housing, open space, good jobs for Coney Island community

BROOKLYN, NY—New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC), iStar, Live Nation, and Legends Hospitality, today cut the ribbon on the restored Childs Building to mark the opening of Kitchen 21, a five-concept restaurant adjacent to the new Ford Amphitheater at Coney Island Boardwalk that will bring new dining options to both residents and visitors.

NYCEDC brokered the deal for the Ford Amphitheater at Coney Island Boardwalk and the adaptive reuse of the adjacent Childs Building, a historic Coney Island landmark, with iStar and nonprofit Coney Island USA in 2014. This public-private partnership included $60 million in investment from the offices of the Brooklyn Borough President, the New York City Council, and the Mayor, to support the renovation of the Childs Building—which had long been vacant—in addition to property acquisition, development of the 5,000-seat amphitheater, and the creation of 40,000 square feet of open space.

The opening of Kitchen 21 has created 138 new jobs, nearly 75% of which have gone to Brooklyn residents. The Ford Amphitheater and adjacent Kitchen 21 have created 300 living wage jobs in Coney Island. Through the City’s HireNYC program, both Kitchen 21 and the Ford Amphitheater have targeted local residents for available positions.

“Coney Island is booming,” said New York City Economic Development Corporation President James Patchett. “Unprecedented investment is creating opportunities for residents and driving the neighborhood forward as one of the country’s landmark destinations. Kitchen 21 in the historic Childs Building will bring incredible dining experiences and another reason to visit the thriving amusement district.”

The new Kitchen 21, operated by Legends Hospitality, will bring a new a full-service restaurant to the Coney Island Boardwalk with five different settings and concepts in the renovated Childs Building:

  • Boardwalk & Vine: a rooftop wine bar featuring proprietary Vintage 21 wines, local and esoteric selections, and limited menu.
  • Test Kitchen: an outlet for culinarians to develop and experiment with new dishes and food concepts.
  • The Café: a quick service and grab-and-go café, featuring sandwiches and salads.
  • Community Clam Bar: a restaurant and bar specializing in fresh seafood, shareable dishes, and great beverages.
  • Parachute Bar: a gastropub with 32 beers on tap and over a dozen more cans and bottles.

Originally constructed in 1923, the Childs Building served as home to Childs Restaurant until the 1950s, when the space was converted to a candy manufacturing facility. After the candy factory closed, the building subsequently fell into disrepair and became a vacant eyesore on Coney Island’s iconic boardwalk.

Last summer, Mayor Bill de Blasio, NYCEDC, iStar, Live Nation, and Legends Hospitality opened the Ford Amphitheater, New York City’s first open-air concert venue. In its first season, the Amphitheater hosted almost 50 shows, including the Beach Boys, Sting, and Erykah Badu, among others. The development is also environmentally sustainable and is designed to become LEED Silver certified. Ford Amphitheater at Coney Island Boardwalk is operated by Live Nation, which has secured a summer entertainment lineup that includes more than 40 concerts, as well as a variety of family shows, sports, comedy and multicultural events.

"The restoration and reactivation of the historic Childs Building is a much-welcomed addition to the year-round entertainment destination that Coney Island is becoming," said Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams. "My administration has made it a priority to ensure 365-day-a-year economic activity leads to widespread prosperity for the People’s Playground as well as the surrounding community. Winter, spring, summer, or fall, Coney Island has it all!”

"Kitchen 21 is an exciting and innovative new addition to Coney Island's growing roster of culinary delights,” said Council Member Mark Treyger. “This foodie paradise promises to be a hit with visitors and, with employment opportunities for local residents, members of the community, as well."

"Congratulations to another business that sees the potential in what Coney Island's future has to bring. I am confident that we are seeing another puzzle piece in the bright future of this community," said State Senator Diane Savino.

"I'm thrilled to celebrate the opening of Kitchen 21 in Coney Island," said Assembly Member Pamela Harris. “In addition to boosting the economy and creating jobs, Kitchen 21 offers new and exciting dining options to both residents and visitors. Its location, next to the Ford Amphitheater at Coney Island Boardwalk, provides an ideal venue to also experience state-of- the-art music and entertainment. I look forward to frequenting this wonderful, newly renovated establishment throughout the year."

“It's great to have Kitchen 21 to be part of our community,” said Community Board 13 District Manager Eddie Mark. “The new restaurant will add to the experience for the concert goers and the local neighborhood. Their food selection gives people a chance to sit down and eat or grab a drink at the bar. Their rooftop dining and bar gives the community another place to view the beach. We wish Kitchen 21 many successes and welcome to the neighborhood.”

"We are ecstatic about the opening of Kitchen 21 on the historic Riegelmann Boardwalk,” said Executive Director of the Alliance for Coney Island Alexandra Silversmith. “This addition, alongside the Ford Amphitheater, brings a new element of cuisine for any type of foodie to Coney Island. Bringing back to life the landmarked Child's Restaurant is an experience visitors should not miss.”

“Bringing new exciting dining to entertainment at the international landmark of Coney Island is a great responsibility that we are honored to have. After months of ideating, we can’t wait to bring each Kitchen 21 concept to life and enhance the overall experience at Ford Amphitheater at Coney Island,” said CT Nice, vice president at Legends Hospitality Group. “Our successful work with Craveable and our combined experience building a range of successful brands, from quick service to fine dining, made Craveable the perfect choice for this project.”

“After successful synergies at Newark, NJ’s Prudential Center, we’re thrilled to be working together again to offer new and unique destinations for locals and visitors alike,” said Craveable Hospitality Group President and CEO Stephen Goglia. “With five exceptional dining concepts at Ford Amphitheater at Coney Island Boardwalk showcasing varying menus from quick bites to more formal seated meals, we welcome guests to choose the experience best suited to their needs.”

The de Blasio administration has committed over $180 million toward infrastructure investments in Coney Island to activate more than 4,000 units of housing, open space, and new jobs. As part of the City’s ongoing efforts to drive economic development in Coney Island, NYCEDC and NYC Parks recently released a Request for Proposals (RFP) for the development of five parcels totaling 150,000 square feet alongside of the Thunderbolt, Wonder Wheel and other iconic Coney amusements.

In 2009, a 19-block rezoning created a 27-acre amusement & entertainment district in Coney Island, along with plans to develop new amusements and thousands of housing units, both affordable and market-rate. Full implementation of the plan is expected to generate up to 6,000 permanent jobs, 25,000 construction jobs, and $14 billion in economic activity.

About NYCEDC
New York City Economic Development Corporation creates shared prosperity across New York City’s five boroughs by strengthening neighborhoods and creating good jobs. NYCEDC works with and for communities to provide them with the resources they need to thrive, and we invest in projects that increase sustainability, support job growth, develop talent, and spark innovation to strengthen the City’s competitive advantage. To learn more about our work and initiatives, please visit us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.