Tuesday, August 16, 2016
The revived Feltman's of Coney Island brand will have its first full-time restaurant space starting tomorrow when owner Michael Quinn opens in the William Barnacle Tavern at Theatre 80, 80 St. Mark's Place.
This is the latest step for Quinn, a Brooklyn native and Coney Island historian, to bring Feltman's back. Last summer, Quinn launched several Feltman's pop-up shops, first at Ditmas Park bar Sycamore then later at Augers Well on St. Mark's Place as well as at the Parkside Lounge on East Houston.
Feltman's is named after Charles Feltman, purportedly the inventor of the hot dog as well as the restaurant that was located in Coney Island from 1870-1954. (Read more about Feltman at the Coney Island History Project here.)
Quinn thinks that he has found a good match with Theatre 80 operator Lorcan Otway.
"Lorcan and I are both native New Yorkers and historians who believe in the preservation of NY history and small businesses. It's not often in this hostile environment that you find a landlord who believes in what you are doing and actually wants you there," Quinn said. "We found out that some of the performers who played at Theatre 80 a century ago got their start as singing waiters at Feltman's in Coney Island like Eddie Cantor."
At Theatre 80, Feltman's takes over for the recently departed Crêpes Canaveral.
Quinn, who works on the project with his brother Joseph, also started selling the packaged hot dogs in several NYC retail outlets yesterday.
And there are still plans for opening a Feltman's restaurant in Coney Island ... though it won't be anywhere near as gargantuan as the original block-long endeavor, billed as the world's largest restaurant in the 1920s.
At Theatre 80 between First Avenue and Second Avenue, the Feltman's hours are for now Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday from 1 p.m. to 11 p.m.; and 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday.
Said Quinn: "Lorcan told me that he loves that fact that Feltman's is going from what was the largest restaurant in the world at Coney Island to the smallest kitchen on St. Mark's Place."