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Coney Island set to reopen Saturday

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Coney Island updates local Stillwater location on the strip. (DEVIN LAWRENCE WILBER/O'COLLY)

Editor's Note: A previous version of this story said the Coney Island remodel was estimated at $7 million. This has since been updated with the correct amount, about $300,000. 

After a four-month hiatus, Coney Island, a popular destination on The Strip, will make a return.

General manager Keiton Lawson said he expects a soft reopening for the 7 p.m. kickoff of the Oklahoma State football game against South Alabama on Saturday.   

“We are going ahead to open it as soon as possible,” Lawson said. “Hopefully, we would like to be opened by the second game coming up this Saturday.” 

Lawson said there are plans for a grand opening and VIP event. 

The revamped Coney Island will feature a double-sized dining room with a capacity of 100 seats. The building will have a new sign, kitchen equipment, lighting, sound system and expanded bathrooms. These improvements are intended to serve patrons who make a stop on busy game days.  

Lawson said the remodel has cost around $300,000 but that number isn’t final. There is a second phase planned following the grand opening, as Coney Island looks to expand its business.

“We will be adding phase two, which will be a full-service bar with seating with (a) garage door and TV, almost a sports bar type of thing,” Lawson said. “We will be also adding a catering facility and a deck that overlooks The Strip that you can rent out for 150 people and a satellite bar on top of that as well.”

Owner Craig Bonham partnered with Gary and Claudia Humphreys, who made the primary donation for the new video board at Boone Pickens Stadium, to buy the restaurant in March. Bonham made it clear the restaurant, which is having its 50th anniversary in 2019, needed to change its look. 

“We want to keep the Coney Island concept alive, but it definitely needs a revision and an upgrade,” Bonham said. “Obviously the facilities could not handle the amount of guests that try to come in, especially late at night. We can feed twice as many people in the space we have, and we can feed them three times faster.” 

The menu remains the same with one exception. Wings join the traditional Coney Island-style hot dogs and the fried onion burger on the list. Coney Island is the first venue on the The Strip to add wings on the menu.

Bonham said his vision of creating a more friendly environment for people to drop by during the day spurred the addition of wings to the menu.

“We added wings (because we are) trying to create another option beside Coney Island just year after year being a late-night place to go after drinking,” Bonham said. “We really want to create a place for people who want to come from lunch or from dinner to hang out.”