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Archive for October, 2010

Halloween at Cha Cha's 2009. Photo © Coney Gal/Mindy via flickr

Halloween at Cha Cha's 2009. Photo © Coney Gal/Mindy via flickr

On October 31st, Ruby’s Bar will host their annual closing party. “Come celebrate Halloween at Ruby’s, wear a costume and get a free beer,” Rubys Host says. The Grill House will have Coney Island band Neptune Jam’s Halloween Jam on the Boardwalk from 1- 5 pm. Cha Cha’s, which is decorated for Halloween year round, will celebrate from 2:30 pm with music by Killer Joe and the Warriors. Come out to playyy! It’s the last day of the season for Coney Island’s legendary dive bars as well as for the other Boardwalk businesses, including Paul’s Daughter, Steve’s Grill House, Gyro Corner and Lola Star Gift Shop.

Lola Star Gift Shop and Gyro Corner. August 20, 2010. Photo © Mattron via flickr

Lola Star Gift Shop and Gyro Corner. August 20, 2010. Photo © Mattron via flickr

The 11 Boardwalk businesses have leases with the City through Oct 31 for the 2010 season. Zamperla USA/CAI, which is taking over management of the City-owned Boardwalk properties, is expected to offer new 9-year leases to some, but not all, of the businesses after reviewing their business plans.

Paul's Daughter in Coney Island. September 24, 2010. Photo © SaucyPinkJesus/Christopher Duff via flickr

Paul's Daughter in Coney Island. September 24, 2010. Photo © SaucyPinkJesus/Christopher Duff via flickr

“Some will stay, some won’t. We’re exploring our options,” Zamperla USA CEO Valerio Ferrari told the Brooklyn Paper earlier this month. The catch is we don’t expect to find out who’s getting a new lease till the end of the month. Hey, it is the end of the month! Rumors abound, but an official announcement has yet to be made. If you have a sentimental favorite on the Boardwalk, come out on the last day of the season and show them some love. And don’t forget to take souvenir photos. UPDATE October 31….Business owners told us that they would find out on Monday whether or not they’d get a new lease from Zamperla/CAI!

Wild Women & Wise Guys. March 15, 2009. Photo © Justin Korn via flickr

Wild Women & Wise Guys. March 15, 2009. Photo © Justin Korn via flickr

ATZ will be in Coney on Halloween to hang out with friends and revisit old haunts. We’ll snap photos as if it were “last call” for the vernacular signage and gritty authenticity of these Boardwalk mainstays. Just in case. If they get erased from the Coney landscape, we’ll still have our memories and our photos. The oldest existing business is probably Paul’s Daughter, formerly known as Gregory & Paul’s. The family-run business has been at its Boardwalk location for more than 40 years. Cha Cha’s and Nathan’s satellite location are in the former Club Atlantis building,which requires extensive rehab to bring it up to code.

Behind the Counter at Ruby's Bar in Coney Island. April 16, 2010. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i

Behind the Counter at Ruby's Bar in Coney Island. April 16, 2010. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i

The namesake of Ruby’s Bar–Ruby Jacobs–bought the bar in 1975. That’s his portrait with the Parachute Jump amid the vintage photos on the oft-photographed wall. After Ruby’s death in 2000, West 12th Street was named Ruby Jacobs Way in his honor. His daughters and son-in-law continue to run the family-owned business.

Shoot the Freak (I felt like I had stepped back in time). October 7, 2010. Photo © Marniepix via flickr

Shoot the Freak (I felt like I had stepped back in time). October 7, 2010. Photo © Marniepix via flickr

The world-famous Shoot the Freak is a relative newcomer having arrived on the Boardwalk in 2002. By the next season, the game was world famous. ”Look, this is a country where there was the pet rock,” Shoot the Freak’s creator Anthony Berlingieri told a reporter for the New York Times. ”I always figure that after that, everything stands a shot.”

Last November, Berlingieri made headlines when he appeared at the City’s press conference about the $95.6 million land purchase from Thor and posed the question directly to Mayor Bloomberg: “Is there a place for us?” NYCEDC President Seth Pinsky gave a diplomatic reply: “Our intention is for the foreseeable future to keep all the tenants in place, certainly through next summer [2010]. And we’re going to be looking to work with each of you to figure out where it makes sense for the various tenants to remain as we build out the amusement park.”

Does this mean the EDC is committed to relocating the small businesses displaced by the redevelopment of City-owned property in the new Coney Island? Stay tuned.

Grill House Color. August 26, 2009. Photo © verphotoman/Joel via flickr

Grill House Color. August 26, 2009. Photo © verphotoman/Joel via flickr

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Related posts on ATZ…

September 17, 2010: On Coney Island Boardwalk, Ruby’s & Cha Cha’s Rock This Fall

April 23, 2010: Photo Album: Coney Island Boardwalk Businesses Open for 2010

January 2, 2010: Photo Album: Coney Island Boardwalk, New Year’s Day 2010

December 18, 2009: Ciao Coney Island! Will Ruby’s, Shoot the Freak, Astrotower & Other Oldies Survive?

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Demolition of Thor Equities-Owned Bank of Coney Island. October 28, 2010. Photo © Eric Kowalsky

Demolition of Thor Equities-Owned Bank of Coney Island. October 28, 2010. Photo © Eric Kowalsky

On Thursday, the attack of the jackhammers began after Verizon finished removing phone lines for the area from the roof of the doomed Bank of Coney Island building. Photographer Eric Kowalsky has been valiantly documenting the demolition-in-progress. In the photo below, which was taken on Tuesday, Thor’s gang finish putting up the demolition scaffolding.

For more info on the building, see “Photo of the Day: The Bank of Coney Island, Now & Then” (ATZ, October 14, 2010) and “A Rare Peek Inside Endangered Old Bank of Coney Island” (ATZ, October 9, 2009).

Demolition Scaffolding at Thor Equities-Owned Bank of Coney Island. October 26, 2010. Photo © Eric Kowalsky

Demolition Scaffolding at Thor Equities-Owned Bank of Coney Island. October 26, 2010. Photo © Eric Kowalsky

Related posts on ATZ…

October 20, 2010: Joe Sitt’s Gang Punches Holes in Bank of Coney Island Building

October 8, 2010: 40 Day Demolition of Historic Coney Island Buildings Set to Begin

April 21, 2010: Thor’s Coney Island: Tattered Tents, Deathwatch for Historic Buildings

March 3, 2010: Thor’s Coney Island: What Stillwell Looked Like Before Joe Sitt

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Lynn Kelly in front of Lynn's Trapeze in Luna Park Coney Island. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

Lynn Kelly in front of Lynn's Trapeze in Luna Park Coney Island. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

Last night at Lynn Kelly’s Bon Voyage Party at Vig Bar in Nolita, men in suits and blue wigs were spilling out onto the sidewalk by the time we arrived. The invite had said “Leave Your Everyday Hair Color at Home.” The guest of honor was clad in the pink wig and sequined dress that have been her signature costume for Coney Island’s Mermaid Parades and Galas.

After four years as vice president of the City’s Economic Development Corporation and president of the Coney Island Development Corporation, Kelly is leaving for a new career as president/CEO of Snug Harbor Cultural Center in Staten Island. But we think she has sand in her shoes and will come back to Coney to visit Lynn’s Trapeze, which was named in her honor, and bring a Snug Harbor float to the Mermaid Parade.

Now just a sec, while we order a drink from the customized menu. What’ll you have? Lynn Fizz….Kami-Kelly….Lunapolitan? How about a Coney Island Iced Tea…

Cheers and Congratulations!

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Related posts on ATZ…

October 11, 2010: Is Lynn’s Trapeze Still Lynn’s? What about the B & B?

June 7, 2010: Fence Wrap Advertising Comes to Coney Island’s Stillwell Avenue

February 22, 2010: Coney Island’s Luna Park Launches Blog Site, Lists Job Openings

November 25, 2009: Photo Album: Coney Island Shines at IAAPA Attractions Expo 2009 in Vegas

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