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Coney Boardwalk Rathskeller

Remnant of Under the Boardwalk Rathskeller: Food & Beverage Menu from the 1940s. Photo © Brooklyn Beach Shop via AmusingtheZillion.com. All Rights Reserved

The renovation of stores on the Coney Island Boardwalk has already uncovered the ghost lettering of an arcade and signage for Club Atlantis. The latest discovery is a remnant of one of the rathskellers that thrived under the Boardwalk in the 1940s and ’50s. The menu for the long-lost bar was found on a basement wall by Maya Haddad of Brooklyn Beach Shop, which will soon begin rehabbing the first-floor space formerly occupied by Coney Island Souvenirs.

Coney Island Rathskeller

Vintage Ad: Coney Island Rathskeller for Lease

Decades before the Army Corps of Engineers pumped sand under the Coney Island Boardwalk in the 1990s, rathskellers (council’s cellar in German) were popular with beach goers. ATZ found an ad from 1957 looking to lease an 80-foot Boardwalk frontage with an 80-foot rathskeller below with direct frontage on the beach.

The name of the rathskeller whose menu was rediscovered remains unknown, but its prices appear to date back to the 1940s. Beer and milk were 10 cents, coffee was a nickel. The sandwich menu included hamburger, egg, cream cheese, American cheese, Swiss cheese, Sardine or Salmon, Ham, Salami or Liverwurst, Ham & Egg, and a Western. Could this be the place where the boy in the 1953 movie The Little Fugitive returned soda bottles to collect money to go on the rides?

Brooklyn Beach Shop’s new location next to Ruby’s Bar is in a building that dates back to 1940. The original tenant was Moe’s Fascination, which occupied the upper story until 1965. Brooklyn Beach Shop, a spinoff of Coney Island Beach Shop located behind Nathan’s and in Stillwell Terminal, will feature their own brand of Coney Island-themed clothing and souvenirs. The Boardwalk shop is expected to open in April.

Remnant of Boardwalk Rathskeller

Remnant of Under the Boardwalk Rathskeller: Beverage Menu from the 1940s. Photo © Brooklyn Beach Shop via AmusingtheZillion.com. All Rights Reserved.

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January 16, 2012: Photo of the Day: Signs of Coney’s Club Atlantis Resurface

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

October 27, 2011: Ghost Lettering & End of Season Color in Old Coney Island

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

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Rubys Spring 2010.  Photo © Rubys Host via flickr

Rubys Spring 2010. Photo © Rubys Host via flickr

From the ATZ Inbox: On this gorgeous spring day Rubys Host invites you to Coney Island to celebrate Cinco de Mayo at Ruby’s Bar & Grill. If you’re new in town, Ruby’s is the oldest bar & grill on the Coney Island Boardwalk and one of our fave places to have a beer…

Hey gang – I’m at Ruby’s – it will be 85 – sunny out- 2 mph winds- and its Cinco de Mayo!!!! I’m hoping to be open till 7:30 or so tonight – since we are having great weather. It’s a great suntan relaxing day with friends – cold Corona or frozen Margarita on the Boardwalk.

Ruby's Crowd April 20, 2010. Photo © Rubys Host via flickr

Ruby's Crowd April 20, 2010. Photo © Rubys Host via flickr

Ruby’s Bar & Grill, 1213 Riegelmann Boardwalk, Coney Island. 718-372-9079

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April 26, 2010: Foodie Alert: Brooklyn Bread Cafe Opens on Coney Island Boardwalk

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

February 3, 2010: New in 2010: Coney Island Fun Phone Addition to CI Fun Guide

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

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Cha-Chas Schedule of Events, photo by me-myself-i/Tricia Vita

Cha-Cha's Schedule of Events, photo by me-myself-i/Tricia Vita

photo via me-myself-i, flickr

We heard all about the East Coast-West Coast rivalry between Dick Zigun’s Coney Island Circus Sideshow and John Strong’s Circus Sideshow. Almost everyone, including the sideshow operators, agrees the publicity is good for Coney Island. But we’d heard nothing at all about the Squidling Brothers Circus Sideshow coming to Coney to challenge Ringling until we saw this note scrawled on Cha-Cha’s schedule: “Every Saturday Beginning May 30, Squidling Brothers Sideshow Karnival of Kuriosities.” Since Squidling rhymes with Ringling, and Ringling Brothers Coney Island Boom a Ring Circus will be just down the Boardwalk, ATZ wondered if the name was a product of JT Thomas’s wry humor.

Turns out the Squidlings are a real, live sideshow troupe from Philadelphia who performed at Cha-Cha’s Rockabilly Fest last summer.
Their MySpace page ballyhoos a sword swallower who performs upside down on a trapeze, a human see-saw on a bed of 1,500 nails, and a clown with a homemade flame thrower built into his sword. Ringling clowns take note!

Squidling Bros Circus Sideshow & Burlesque at Cha-Chas

Squidling Bros Circus Sideshow & Burlesque at Cha-Cha's

Also on this summer’s schedule at Cha-Cha’s: Live Jazz (Mondays), Live Rock, Blues and Classic Rock (Fridays), Latin Jazz and Classic Rock (Sundays) and a Rockabilly Fest on Labor Day Weekend.

Cha-Cha’s of Coney Island, Boardwalk just east of Stillwell Ave

Cha Chas Bar & Cafe on the Boardwalk next to Shoot the Freak in Coney Island, photo by me-myself-i/Tricia Vita

Cha Cha's Bar & Cafe on the Boardwalk next to Shoot the Freak in Coney Island, photo by me-myself-i/Tricia Vita

photo via me-myself-i, flickr

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