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Posts Tagged ‘Ruby’s Bar’

Luna Park Lights at Jones Walk

Luna Park Lights at Jones Walk, Coney Island. April 2, 3014. Photo © Tricia Vita

This weekend, Deno’s Kiddie Park and Ruby’s Bar on the Coney Island Boardwalk will open for the 2014 season, to be followed by next week’s official Palm Sunday Opener for the Wonder Wheel, Cyclone and the rest of the amusements. The park and concession owners are busy getting ready, but by the time we went for a stroll on Wednesday evening around 8 pm, almost everyone had gone home for the night. Surf Avenue and the Boardwalk were lit up but eerily deserted.

Wonder Wheel and A Wish

Wonder Wheel and A Wish on the Bowery, Coney Island. April 2, 3014. Photo © Tricia Vita

Wednesday was our first glimpse of the Wonder Wheel’s cars back up on the wheel. The freshly painted cars were rolled out of winter storage and put up on Tuesday. We missed it this year, but the annual ritual is the first sign of spring in Coney Island. Being there to see the red, blue and white cars go up, the Swinging ones first and then the Stationary, is like seeing crocuses bloom before your eyes.

Jones Walk Bowery Coney Island

Jones Walk at the Bowery, Coney Island. April 2, 3014. Photo © Tricia Vita

This mural at the corner of Jones Walk and the Bowery is one of the few remaining works of Steve Powers and Creative Time’s Dreamland Artist Club. It’s still holding its own. John “Crash” Matos painted the rolldown gate of the Snack Bar in 2005, but the work of Ronnie Cutrone, which was just above it, was stripped and taken away a couple of years ago, as were the rest of the signs on Jones Walk.

Miss Coney Island

The Dancing Doll ‘Miss Coney Island,’ West 12th St. April 2, 3014. Photo © Tricia Vita

On West 12th Street, the feet of the dancing doll “Miss Coney Island” and her dancing cats were peeking out from beneath the partially open metal shutter. Miss Coney as well as the window featuring the miniature rides of “Coney Island Always” will be open this weekend. They’re located on West 12th Street next to the Coney Island History Project and a few steps from the entrance to Wonder Wheel Park. Still 25¢ to Fall in LOVE!

Clown Game on West 12th Street

Clown Game on West 12th Street, Coney Island. April 2, 3014. Photo © Tricia Vita

Next door, Feed the Clown and the other independently owned games were brightly lit and the only place open on the block, though not yet open for business. The joints were being flashed for Opening Day. A group of marionette prizes danced in frenzied unison. Their strings were being manipulated by an unseen force. Merry-go-round music played. We made a movie (Stay tuned.) Did you ever notice that clowns look even creepier covered in plastic tarps?

Catch 1 Ball Win This Prize

Catch 1 Ball Win This Prize, West 12th Street, Coney Island. April 2, 3014. Photo © Tricia Vita

At Ruby’s Bar on the Boardwalk, the newly refinished floor was glowing. A solitary worker, who was about to leave for the night, opened the door so we could get a photo. Coney Island’s oldest bar and its famous jukebox opens on Saturday for the season. Cheers!

Newly Refinished Floor at Ruby's Bar

Newly Refinished Floor at Ruby’s Bar, Coney Island Boardwalk. April 2, 3014. Photo © Tricia Vita

On Wednesday, the Parachute Jump was lit blue for Autism Awareness Day. There was a ceremony at 6:30 in the evening, but by the time we got there no one was on the Boardwalk. Slivers of light glimmered beneath the metal shutter of Place to Beach Bar. Workers opened the side door, ready to call it a night. A crescent moon was suspended in the sky over the Jump.

Parachute Jump and Place to Beach Bar

Parachute Jump and Place to Beach Bar, Coney Island Boardwalk. April 2, 3014. Photo © Tricia Vita

Currently, the Parachute Jump is lit nightly from 4:30pm until midnight or later. The landmarked tower’s 8,000 LEDS are illuminated year-round like the Empire State Building and the Eiffel Tower. The light show changes according to the day and the season. It was specially programmed with a “Happy Holidays” message and Christmas-y colors by Luna Park. In celebration of the Seattle Seahawks Super Bowl win, the Jump was lit in sea green and blue light, and it was green on St Patrick’s Day.

Parachute Jump Lit Blue for Autism Awareness

Parachute Jump Lit Blue for Autism Awareness Day. April 2, 3014. Photo © Tricia Vita

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February 28, 2014: Photo Album: Wonder Wheel Park Preps for Coney Island’s Opening Day

December 23, 2013: Coney’s Parachute Jump & Wonder Wheel Lit for Christmas

November 28, 2013: Photo Album: Parachute Jump Lights Way to Year-Round Coney Island

September 13, 2013: Coney Island Always: Visiting the Big CI Year-Round

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Sweet Potato Fries

Sweet Potato Fries and Beer at Ruby’s Bar, Coney Island Boardwalk. August 24, 2013. Photo © Tricia Vita

Did you know that Ruby’s Bar & Grill, the legendary watering hole on the Boardwalk, has sweet potato fries on the menu? Neither did we until a few weeks ago. Now it’s our fave after-work snack. Delicious with an ice cold beer at the bar made of vintage Boardwalk wood. Ruby’s remains open through the fall and part of the winter. Check their Facebook page for current hours of operation.

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October 3, 2012: Photo of the Day: The Weekday View from Ruby’s Bar

May 22, 2012: Photo Album: Welcome Back, Paul’s Daughter & Ruby’s Bar!

October 9, 2011: Photo of the Day: Ruby’s Old Tyme Bar by Kenny Lombardi

January 7, 2011: Photo of the Day: Greetings from Ruby’s Snow Mountain Resort!

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View of the Boardwalk

View of the Coney Island Boardwalk from Ruby’s Bar. September 28, 2012. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

When we dropped by Ruby’s Bar on Friday, the sun was shining and then there was a sudden shower. Pretty soon the sun was shining again. A group of friends from Chicago, Florida and North Carolina led by a Bushwick native who’d brought them to see his Coney Island popped in for drinks. They posed for a souvenir snapshot in front of Ruby’s wall of photos.

Melody, who opens Ruby’s around 10:30 am, says weekdays bring tourists from all over the world. Most of them ask why the rides aren’t open, but others are seeking rarer sights: “A group from Sweden came in the other day looking for the Elephant Hotel,” Melody said. They were more than a century too late to see the elephantine colossus, which burned down in 1896, but Coney Island is still worth a visit on an autumn day.

Coney Island’s beach and boardwalk and surviving landmarks– the Parachute Jump (Brooklyn’s Eiffel Tower), the Wonder Wheel, the Cyclone and the terra cotta palace that was Childs Restaurant–are always ready for their close-ups. After Labor Day, the rides and attractions at Coney’s amusement parks are on a weekend and holiday schedule. This week, the rides will spin for five days in a row, weather permitting. Deno’s Wonder Wheel Park, Luna Park, Scream Zone and the Cyclone will be open beginning on Wednesday for the start of the Sukkot holiday through Columbus Day.

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Ruby's Bar

First Glimpse of Ruby’s New Sign, Coney Island Boardwalk. June 13, 2012. Via AmusingtheZillion.com

Today the new signs for Ruby’s Bar — “A Coney Island Tradition since 1934″–went up on the facade of the beloved Boardwalk bar. A reader sent us this photo of five men installing the ruby red sign that spells RUBY’S. Cheers!

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Related posts on ATZ…

May 29, 2012: Photo Album: Coney Island Lights & Signs of the Times

May 22, 2012: Photo Album: Welcome Back, Paul’s Daughter & Ruby’s Bar!

May 19, 2012: Paul’s Daughter & Ruby’s Bar Reopen on Saturday, Restored Signs to Return!

April 20, 2012: Photo of the Day: Eldorado Auto Skooter Marquee

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Paul's Daughter Coney Island

Cheers to the Return of Paul’s Daughter! Coney Island Boardwalk, May 19, 2012. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

Saturday was a glad day for Coney Island. Tina Georgoulakos, owner of Paul’s Daughter, and her father Paul “The Chief” Georgoulakos, 83, the oldest operator on the Coney Island Boardwalk, finally opened their store for the season. Michael and Melody Sarrel, owners of the venerable dive bar Ruby’s, founded by Melody’s father Ruby Jacobs, officially reopened as well. In the photo that we took of Michael and Melody, they looked tired after working late and getting up early to greet runners from the Brooklyn Half Marathon. Tina Georgoulakos looked tired as well. We promise to take better photos of them next week!

Ruby’s Bar Will Get New Exterior Signage and Striped Awnings. May 19, 2012. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

For the first time in their history, both Ruby’s and Paul’s missed out on Coney Island’s Opening Day –Palm Sunday– as well as Easter Sunday, which is one of the busiest days of the season if the sun shines. They were in the midst of a grueling and expensive gut rehab of their Boardwalk stores. Words can’t express how happy we are to welcome back these feisty Mom & Pops, who fought eviction and in a turnabout won eight-year leases. Now that the days of “Last Call” protest parties and photos of the “The Last French Fry” are over, another chapter in the history of the Coney Island Boardwalk is about to begin.

Ruby's Coney Island

Original Handpainted signage at Ruby’s Bar, Coney Island Boardwalk, May 19, 2012. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

How do the new stores look? Check out our first day photo album, but keep in mind Ruby’s and Paul’s Daughter are still very much works in progress and some of the changes that you will notice this summer were required by Boardwalk landlord Zamperla or city regulations. Most of the signage, inside and out, and other decorative elements has yet to be done. We’d recommend holding off any critique of the Boardwalk redo until all of the stores are finished and the changes can be viewed in their entirety. That said, our first impression was Ruby’s and Paul’s stores looked refreshed and ready to compete for customers in the new Coney Island while paying tribute to the spirit of the past and continuing to embody the personalities of their owners.

Paul's Daughter Coney Island

A Work In Progress: The New Paul’s Daughter on the Coney Island Boardwalk. May 19, 2012. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

At Paul’s Daughter, the winsome fiberglass figures of Papa and Mama Burger still stand sentinel on the roof. They never left. Half of the storefront is now a stand-up bar made with wood salvaged from the roof joists of the former Club Atlantis/Cha Cha’s, which is undergoing a gut rehab by Tom’s Restaurant of Prospect Heights.

Today, the vernacular signage depicting Mr Shrimp, Chiefito and Chiefita (the Nice N Sweet/Fluffy Cotton Candy Kids), Shish Kebab (“Made with Love”) and other enticements was returned to its rightful place on the building’s lower facade. Some of the signs have been here since the restaurant’s earliest days and were restored and mounted on wood. A temporary banner with the name Paul’s Daughter as well as striped blue awnings were also installed today.

Paul's Daughter Coney Island

Bar at Paul’s Daughter Made from Recycled Wood from Club Atlantis. Coney Island Boardwalk, May 19, 2012. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

As Tina Georgoulakos told ATZ: “It’s a brand new place with the same people.” Gaby, seen in the photo at the top of this post, is one of the same people who has been serving us French fries and beer for years, and we were happy to once again see him behind the counter. We asked him to raise a cup in a pose reminiscent of a favorite photo that we took at Paul’s closing party in 2010.

The photograph on the wall behind him is a 1954 snapshot of Paul Georgoulakos in his store on West 12 Street and the Bowery. The business on the Boardwalk is celebrating it’s 50th anniversary this year! Gregory & Paul’s was co-founded by Paul and his partner Gregory Bitetzakis in 1962, with a lease from the then brand-new Astroland, which closed in 2008 and also would have celebrated its 50th anniversary this year.

Ruby's Coney Island

Behind the Bar at Ruby’s, May 19, 2012. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

At Ruby’s Bar, an LED sign spelling Ruby’s in red letters and the striped awnings mandated for the Boardwalk stores have yet to go up, but friends and fans came out on Saturday to raise a toast to the reborn bar. Formica tabletops as well as the bar itself were redone with ipe wood salvaged from the Boardwalk reconstruction. On the Boardwalk in front of the bar, white plastic tables and chairs have been replaced by wrought iron. The best of the best vintage photos will be put back up behind the bar, but for now the freshly painted blue wall is dotted with a few colorful posters and photos of the bar’s founder.

Ruby Jacobs, who died in 2000, has a nearby street named in his honor. At a rally, party and “last call” at Ruby’s in 2010, his daughter Cindy Jacobs-Allman said: “When people used to come and ask him what is the best item on the menu. He used to take people out to the boardwalk rail and say look at that tapestry of humanity. It’s the people that make Coney island and he called his Coney the elixir of life. And I hope in some way we’ve given back to the community and we’ve done my father proud by keeping this restaurant going as long as we have.”

Ruby's Bar

Tabletops made from salvaged Boardwalk wood at Ruby’s Bar, Coney Island Boardwalk, May 19, 2012. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

On Saturday, a paper plate advertised the menu of hot dogs, hamburgers and soda. Today in Coney Island, signage with the full menu was being installed. Ruby’s, which merited a Critics’ Picks in New York Magazine and was voted one of the World’s 21 Sexiest Beach Bars by the Travel Channel, will now be open year-round, thanks to a new heating system. The restrooms have also been modernized, with the ladies room gaining a much appreciated second stall.

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May 19, 2012: Paul’s Daughter & Ruby’s Bar Reopen on Saturday, Restored Signs to Return!

April 16, 2012: Art of the Day: Fresh Corn on the Cob at Ruby’s Bar & Grill

December 8, 2011: Paul’s Daughter Signs 8-Year Lease for Coney Island Boardwalk

November 15, 2011: Coney Island 2012: What’s New on the Boardwalk

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Clam Bar

Clam Bar: Original Signage Restored and Set to Return to Paul’s Daughter, Coney Island. © Paul’s Daughter

On Saturday, May 19, you’ll find us in Coney Island enjoying the first plate of clams and a beer at Paul’s Daughter and raising the first toast of the season at Ruby’s Bar. After attending several “Last Call” protest parties at Ruby’s and lingering over more than one “Last French Fry” at Paul’s, there’s no place we’d rather be. The two Mom & Pops will open for the 2012 season this weekend after months of renovations and missing Coney Island’s Opening Day on April 1st. Both businesses were required to do gut rehabs of their Boardwalk establishments after dodging eviction and winning eight-year leases from Zamperla, the landlord of the City-owned Boardwalk

Paul's Daughter

Paul’s Daughter on Last Night of Business in 2011. October 30, 2011. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

“It took time to be that iconic and it’s going to take time to put some of it back,” Paul’s daughter Tina Georgoulakos told ATZ about the work in progress at her store. The family business was co-founded 50 years ago by her father Paul Georgoulakos, now 83, and Gregory Bitetzakis on the Coney Island Boardwalk as Gregory & Paul’s. Saturday will be the soft opening of the new Paul’s Daughter, with the grand opening scheduled for Memorial Day Weekend. Some work remains to be done in the kitchen, which will be finished and inspected next week. This weekend’s bill of fare will be limited to clams on the half-shell, Brooklyn craft beer and soda. “It’s a brand new place with the same people,” said Tina.

Coney Island Signage

Lollypops, Crackerjacks and French Fries: Original Signage Restored and Set to Return to Paul’s Daughter, Coney Island. © Paul’s Daughter

While the new lighted signs and striped awnings mandated for the Boardwalk stores have yet to go up at Ruby’s or Paul’s, the good news is that some of the quirky vernacular signage that gave both places such character will return after all! At Paul’s Daughter, the original signs will be be put up on Monday or Tuesday, said Tina, who sent us these photos of a few of the restored signs. Back in November, when lease negotiations were in progress, it was heartbreaking to see the cavalcade of beloved characters and foods torn from their home on the Boardwalk building’s facade: Mr Shrimp, Chiefito and Chiefita (the Nice N Sweet/Fluffy Cotton Candy Kids), Shish Kebab (“Made with Love”) and other enticements. Some of the signage has been here since the restaurant’s earliest days and was meticulously restored a couple of years ago.

The rendering for the new store released in November showed the spruced up Burger statues on the roof (where they have remained throughout this saga) and what appeared to be new hand-painted signs in the spirit of the original along the bottom. At the time Tina told us she doubted whether the age and fragile condition of the signs would allow her to return them to the building’s exterior. The happy solution was to have the thin metal signs mounted on a wood backing.

Coney Island Sign

Cold Beers Sodas: Original Signage Restored and Set to Return to Paul’s Daughter, Coney Island. © Paul’s Daughter

The announcement of Ruby’s Saturday opening was posted on their Facebook page yesterday: “WHEW! After months of construction….Ruby’s will be open Tomorrow!!! Look forward to seeing everyone.” The bar, newly trimmed with ipe wood salvaged from the Boardwalk redo, will be open, of course. The menu, still a work in progress, will include hot dogs, hamburgers and knishes. French fries are yet to come.

As we previously reported, the vernacular signage touting Hot Corn, Fried Shrimp and Shish-Ka-Bob have survived and are alive and on the inside at Ruby’s Bar and Grill. The charmingly hand-painted food and lettering surrounding the grill got a touch up and has been trimmed with recycled wood from the Boardwalk. The plastic tabletops have also been replaced with Boardwalk wood. See you there!

Ruby's Bar Coney Island

Last Call Protest Party at Ruby’s Bar, Coney Island Boardwalk, November 6, 2010. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

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May 22, 2012: Photo Album: Welcome Back, Paul’s Daughter & Ruby’s Bar!

December 8, 2011: Paul’s Daughter Signs 8-Year Lease for Coney Island Boardwalk

November 13, 2011: The End of Paul’s Daughter As We Know It–Will They Return?

December 16, 2010: Blast from the Past: LFO’s Summer Girls Music Video

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Corn on the Cob Painting

Hand-Painted Corn on the Cob at Ruby's Bar and Grill. April 8, 2012. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

Good news from the Coney Island Boardwalk! As it turns out, the gut rehab of old-timey Boardwalk businesses does not mean the complete loss of gritty authenticity and vernacular signage. The other day, we were delighted to see that Hot Corn, Fried Shrimp and Shish-Ka-Bob have survived and are alive and on the inside at Ruby’s Bar and Grill. The charmingly hand-painted food and lettering surrounding the grill is getting a touch up and will be back to entice visitors when the renovated Ruby’s reopens in May. The signage is being trimmed with recycled wood from the Boardwalk.

Half of the Boardwalk stores, including Lola Star Gift Shop, Famiglia Pizza, Coney Cones, and the new Nathan’s Restaurant and Gift Shop are open for business. Ruby’s, Paul’s Daughter, Tom’s Restaurant, Brooklyn Beach Shop, and Zamperla’s beach bar and Scream Zone annex with Go Karts and Sky Coaster are currently under construction. The businesses are expected to open on or by Memorial Day Weekend. Coney Island’s amusement rides and attractions are open and unaffected by the ongoing construction.

Back in November, we got a first look at the Boardwalk businesses’ renderings for their new stores, some of which feature dazzling marquees and neon signage. The rendering for Paul’s Daughter, a Boardwalk icon founded in 1962 as Gregory & Paul’s, shows the spruced up Burger statues on the roof and new hand-painted signage along the bottom. Take a peek: “Coney Island 2012: What’s New on the Boardwalk” (ATZ, November 15, 2011). What do you think?

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March 27, 2012: Dazzling Sign of Life on Boardwalk: Lola Star Boutique

March 14, 2012: Coney Entrepreneurs to Open 1st Ever Nathan’s Gift Shop

December 9, 2011: Paul’s Daughter Signs 8-Year Lease for Coney Island Boardwalk

October 10, 2011: Photo of the Day: Coney Island’s Famed “Hey Joey!” Doomed

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