He gives a nice history of the place, a little hole in the wall that (until the "Total Restoration" of the Original Coney Island near Mickey's Diner is complete) is the best place to go downtown if you want a Coney Island hot dog. Apparently the economics of the hot dog is changing, probably due to the smoking ban, global warming, floods, lurking bird flu, and communists. Kimball writes:
My lunch hours held up, because I've got something unique. [The Coneys.] But the ban kicked the [crap] out of my after-work crowd," Pappas said.
To make matters worse, Kappas said his liquor license fee went up by $2,000 this year.
"Too many communists running things," he said.
And now, the price of wheat has caused an increase in the cost of buns. "They went up a month ago, and they're going up again," he said.
That's raising havoc with his price point.
Right now, a regular Coney goes for $3.25; with cheese, $3.75.
"You get two with cheese, and a pop, and it's still under $10. Get two regulars and a beer, still under $10. But once you escalate over that $10 mark, I got to think it ain't working."
Kimball also mentions how the current owner of the Gopher Bar had at one time, right after the smoking ban took effect, posted "handwritten screeds" in his window, whose language was "inappropriate" . . . signs which have since been removed.
Seeing as I happen to have taken photos of these screeds when they were up, I thought I'd share them with the world . . .
[The inappropriate sign trifecta (or quadrafecta, including the 'coney island' neon hovering just out of the frame).]