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Nathan's Famous Hot Dogs Is Back, Now With Wine And Clams

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) - Instead of a ribbon-cutting, there was a ceremonial cutting of the hot dog links at Nathan's Famous hot dogs on Coney Island Thursday, as the establishment celebrated its return to operation after superstom Sandy, and it was just in time for the Memorial Day weekend.

"And so I say, let the summer begin," said CEO Wayne Norbitz.

It took about seven months and millions of dollars in renovations to get it back in shape.

"It was just devastation to us and I opened the doors and I looked inside and there was this huge ice machine floating in the kitchen," Norbitz told WCBS 880's Marla Diamond.

The kitchen is now brand new, but has the subway tiles and wainscoting of the original stand from 103 years ago.

Nathan's Famous Hot Dogs Is Back, Now With Wine And Clams

John Thomas of Bay Ridge grew up on and loves Nathan's.

"And to have them back here is great," he said.

"I think it's a staple for the neighborhood, the community, and just to be back and see the familiar faces and have crowded streets again, especially after sandy, it means a lot," Frank Pedralia of nearby Bath Beach said.

He brought his daughter, Francesca. Frank had a hot dog with mustard and sauerkraut.

"Right crunch, nice and hot," he said.

2-year-old Veronica Thomas Nathan's Coney Island Hot Dog
2-year-old Veronica Thomas of Brooklyn clutches a hot dog at Nathan's on Coney Island - May 23, 2013 (credit: Marla Diamond / WCBS 880)

While the draw will always be the hot dogs, Nathan's has re-opened the clam bar that was shuttered in the 1950s.

Plus, you can now get wine with your hot dog.

Though Thursday was the day of celebration, it reportedly opened at 7 p.m. Tuesday.

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