I wrote about 40-year-old Coney Island snackbar Gregory & Paul's back in the summer of 2007 when we feared it would be vanishing. It lasted through last summer. Recently, as many know, the rocket that topped it was removed and carted away. I hoped it would live a while longer without the rocket. Now Gothamist reports that the snackbar has been torn apart and auctioned off piece by piece.
*Correction: A commenter wrote in to explain the auction was only for the Surf Avenue location of Gregory & Paul's. The boardwalk location, described here, is still in negotiation with Thor. Let's hope it survives this winter's Rape and Pillage of Coney.
*Update: The rocket may be staying in Coney, and not going to Pakistan after all.
The place is a beauty, topped with a hamburger-loving couple that once bookended the rocket. Its interior is covered with vintage signage and paintings done by local artist George Wallace, who was profiled in the New York Times, covered by Gowanus Lounge. Mr. Wallace painted Gregory & Paul's signage for more than 15 years. Said owner Paul Georgoulakos, "There are no other sign painters...Wallace is the only one left. He's not just a painter. He's an artist. And the whole island knows him."
As Gregory & Paul's vanishes, and all the little storefronts and snackbars like it, the artwork of Mr. Wallace will vanish with them.
I always look forward to hitting up Gregory & Paul's for a corn dog and fries. I wonder if that will happen again. Why take the rocket if the snackbar isn't marked for death? Next time I go to Coney, if I ever dare go back to the ruined remains of what was Coney, it will be as if the sea suddenly rose up and washed it all away.