Many fondly remember the family entertainment venues on Bagnell Dam Boulevard, and they hope for their return. One that debuted in 2017 is now known as Bagnell Dam Coney Island & Pizza.

Many fondly remember the family entertainment venues on Bagnell Dam Boulevard, and they hope for their return. One that debuted in 2017 is now known as Bagnell Dam Coney Island & Pizza. 

It all started when Kim and Gerry Miller bought an ice cream store, located at the top of the Lake Ozark Strip. After quickly outgrowing the space, they moved into a new place next door and have transformed it into a family-friendly venue serving Nathan’s hot dogs and more.

Decorated in bright, primary colors, the interior will light up children’s eyes. A jukebox playing music from the 1950s, reminiscent of old-fashioned soda fountains, may set toes tapping. Booths feature tabletop Connect Four and other vintage games. An oversized Tic Tac Toe game keeps little ones engaged while their parents place an order. In addition, children and adults can “make their mark” at Coney Island by autographing bathroom walls in chalk or with marker on the interior orange wall above restaurant booths.

Outside are colorful umbrellas over equally colorful Adirondack-style chairs and some benches. There families enjoy the sight of tourists and vendors along Bagnell Dam. Across the way is Big Chief, recently restored.

On Friday and Saturday nights, from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m., families take part in Lake Ozark Live’s dance parties. The Millers collaborate with Joe Page (owner of Summer USA) for these, often offering ice cream as a prize for one of several contests staged through the summer. On hand for each Dance Party are face painters, a stilt walker who ties balloon figures, dance teachers, a live DJ, and of course, Coney Island’s food.

Cookie dough and more!

In their first year of operation, the Millers and daughter Amber Fleetwood, on-site manager, heard many requests for funnel cakes and pizza. For the 2018 season, both are now a part of the Coney Island menu. Also new this year is the Lick the Spoon cookie dough bar, serving cookie dough in about a dozen different flavors. The cookie dough is safe to eat (unlike your mom’s egg-based batter) and is made in-house. Don’t miss out on the selection of Sugar Mama’s Cupcakes sold behind the counter. They taste just as good as they look and have been a big hit.

A Thinny Skinny pizza featuring a wafer-thin 9-inch crust sells for $5.99, a bargain in light of the fact that it’s handmade when ordered. That price delivers one topping, but more can be added for 50 cents each. One with pepperoni, Canadian bacon, hamburger, and mushrooms over melted cheese is delicious.

In addition to pizza, as the name for the restaurant suggests, Coney Island and Pizza sells broasted Nathan’s hot dogs under chili, cheese, onions, and mustard. Sliders, Frito chili pies, and chicken strips — all foods children order and eat — are other menu options. Adults may be drawn to another Coney Island specialty, the Fried Bologna sandwich, but they’ll need to open their jaws wide to take a bite of this thick, tasty treat. Fried bologna pieces layered between squares of America cheese softened by the hot meat build a thick sandwich. Fresh onion slices add a zesty note, and ruffled potato chips add crunch. Mayonnaise enriches creamy qualities while mustard adds tangy notes. The entire sandwich is a throwback to an earlier time and a true favorite at Coney Island.

Funnel cakes dusted with powdered sugar can also be ordered as a sundae. The cake hot from the griddle cools under a scoop of Central Dairy ice cream in the customer’s flavor of choice. A complimentary topping, whipped cream, and nuts complete the good-looking sundae. One made with a scoop of Strawberry Cheesecake ice cream and strawberry topping makes a fine summery treat.

Coney Island also makes Clown Cones, shakes, frappes, smoothies, and sundaes. Several freezer cases contain an array of flavors matching the customers’ favorites in chocolate, nutty blends, vanilla, and berries.

Dang! Butterscotch Root Beer is one option for a classic root beer float with scoops of vanilla ice cream under clouds of whipped cream and a butterscotch drizzle. Delivering the zest of root beer with light butterscotch flavors,Dang! brand is delicious by itself, too. In fact, Bagnell Dam Coney Island & Pizza has a lot of delicious sweet and savory choices to delight customers. It’s a destination for families, fun, and good food.

More info: Bagnell Dam Coney I land & Pizza (on Facebook) 1508 Bagnell Dam Boulevard, Lake Ozark Hours 11 a.m.-11 p.m. during the summer 573-723-5005