The long delayed opening of the Coney Island IHOP has been further delayed. The store is now tentatively set to open in January, according to broker Joe Vitacco, Jr..
“It’s 100 percent finished, they’re just waiting for the certificate of occupancy,” Joe told us on the phone, further elaborating that the owner is, “hiring right now. Corporate is coming in and they’re doing training in December. Hopefully they’ll be opening in January.”
Indeed, pictures on the location’s Facebook page show a fully furnished, carpeted, and lit space ready for customers.
Posts on the page also show hiring progress: there was apparently a hiring event on Tuesday, November 22, and onsite interviews were held yesterday, and will be continued on Wednesday the 30th from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
IHOP joined a slew of national chains signing leases around the amusement district last year, and was initially slated to open its doors at 1019 Surf Avenue, near West 8th Street, in the summer of 2015.
Business franchisee Bryan McKenzie will be running the joint, and explained to us back in March that the delay in opening had been caused by “unexpected obstacles” including hooking up new gas lines. At the time, he expected the restaurant to open by this past summer. Clearly that date has come and gone.
McKenzie, who owns another IHOP at the Palisades Center Mall in West Nyack, New York, told us he’s excited to open a franchise in his home borough of Brooklyn. He said he spent a lot of time hanging around the People’s Playground in his youth and is thrilled to bring a new business to the amusement district.
“They’ve sunk half a million dollars into this, he’s very proud of what he has there,” Joe said of McKenzie and his IHOP.
When we called IHOP’s corporate headquarters to double check, they confirmed the Coney Island IHOP had been taken off their list of restaurants opening within the next 60 days.