The Immigrants Behind Coney Island’s Iconic Businesses

Old and new: A walking tour of Coney Island on April 21 will educate people about businesses that were started by immigrants, including Nathan’s Famous Frankfurters. (Photo from the Coney Island History Project via Brooklyn Paper)

A Coney Island walking tour on April 21 will introduce participants to famous local businesses started by immigrants, reports Adam Lucent in Brooklyn Paper. The tour, called “Immigrant Heritage Tour of Coney Island,” will be offered in both English and Mandarin.

The tours are sponsored by the Coney Island History Project, and will kick off from its location near the Boardwalk, traveling to some of Coney Island’s most iconic landmarks. The list includes Nathan’s Famous, founded by Polish immigrant Nathan Handwerker in 1916; the B&B Carousell, constructed by Russian and German immigrants in 1906; and Deno’s Wonder Wheel Amusement Park, built around the original Wonder Wheel by Greek immigrant Denos D. Vourderis in the 1980s.

One of the tour leaders, Tricia Vita, noted that “The immigrants are from different countries now. But they’re really continuing the tradition.”

Go to Brooklyn Paper to see what many do not realize about the historic businesses, according to Vita, and how the tour also seeks to help today’s immigrant-run businesses in the area.

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