Nathan’s Famous Will Hold Hot Dog Contest Qualifier on March 23

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Why are these men wincing? Photo: Michael Nagle/Getty Images

Phew! While the Sandy-battered Nathan's Famous location on the corner of Surf and Stillwell Avenues in Coney Island will not reopen until Memorial Day, its boardwalk satellite will be back in business on March 18, and that's where the fast-food restaurant will triumphantly hold the qualifier for its annual hot-dog-eating contest less than a week later, on March 23, the Brooklyn Paper reports. The preliminary event usually happens in Vegas, near the fake Brooklyn Bridge arches at the New York, New York hotel in Las Vegas, but not this year. Next year, maybe, too: “There’s a certain emotional comfort to it, when you start off here and end it here," says George Shea, president of Major League Eating. "I could see us doing it again.” [Amusing the Zillion, Brooklyn Paper, Earlier]