The Coney Island Boardwalk diner — the one in Colorado, we mean — could finally move to the place where it truly belongs.
The 1950s-style roadside attraction, and pride of the small Rocky Mountain town of Bailey, is up for sale for a cool $499,000, and the owner says that Coney Island — the one in Brooklyn, we mean — is the perfect fit for his 43-foot, 18-ton wiener- shaped eatery.
“I would love to see it in Coney Island,” said Ron Aigner, who said he was compelled to sell after run-ins with local authorities. “I can’t see why Colorado deserves it anymore.”
Aigner said he’s already received two offers — but would wait to hear from interested parties Back East before settling on a deal.
“The first person with cash in their hand gets it,” he said.
Coney legends are champing at the bit.
“It’s very simple: this belongs back in Coney Island, even though it has never been here before,” declared George Shea, the chairman of Major League Eating, the governing body of all stomach-centric sports and the sponsor of the annual Nathan’s hot dog-eating contest. “This is its home. As a community, we owe it to ourselves to bring it to Brooklyn.”
And area historians are keen on the idea, too.
“Vernacular architecture is a perfect fit for Coney Island,” said Charles Denson, executive director of the Coney Island History Project, a museum.
And there’s certainly precedent. Coney Island was once home to an elephant-shaped hotel, a giant orange-shaped juice stand, and the Inexhaustible Cow, a life-sized wooden cow that dispensed milk from its bronzed udders.
“A giant hot dog would be a great fit for the Boardwalk, although a giant potato knish might be fun, too,” Denson said.
But Coloradoans may put up a fight — even though the diner was at one time in its storied history considered an “eyesore” according to Aigner’s former business partner Diane Wiescamp.
“We Coloradans should rally to save one of our greatest culinary landmarks, a most delicious morsel of pop roadside art. … Don’t let the Coney Island die,” Thomas Noel, a professor at the University of Colorado told the blog, Amusing the Zillion.
The diner, featured on a PBS documentary about hot dogs, was built in 1966 and originally located in Denver. Aigner bought and restored the 10-seat restaurant in 2006, and said it is well worth the asking price.
“It’s one of the last vestiges of 1950s roadside art,” Aigner said. It’s an antique that can produce a lot of profit.”
One caveat: if the joint is moved, its unique menu will have to come with it.
That means the elk jalapeno bratwurst — a top seller — must come along for the ride.
“If someone wants to move it, the Western traditions would have to follow,” Aigner insisted.
©2011 Community News Group
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