Wally Roberts

The King of Jones Walk

Wally Roberts has been operating amusements in Coney Island since the 1940’s. He rented space in the Feltman’s Building for storage and for a candy shop that sold salt water taffy, popcorn, and jelly apples. He remembers Feltman’s hotdogs, the first hot dog and predecessor to the Nathan’s hot dog (Nathan Handwerker learned his trade as an employee at Feltman’s). Roberts even leased the space where this interview was recorded, used from 2007-2010 by the Coney Island History Project, located under the Cyclone Roller Coaster on Surf Avenue.  Roberts and his partner Doc operated everything from the beloved Shoot Out the Star game to a jewelry stand where customers could get their purchases engraved. He only owned one ride, the Space Orbit, in Astroland.

Roberts bought the Bass family’s famous Grashorn Building. He also owned The Royal Flush (public bathrooms), but had to close them when customers began stealing the plumbing works. Roberts still owns water race games and ice cream machines in Coney Island despite being “old enough to know better.”

Wally Roberts passed away in July 2014.