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Robert Ross Band at Cha Cha's of Coney Island. October 15, 2010. Copyright © Kenny Lombardi 2010. All Rights Reserved.

Robert Ross Band at Cha Cha's of Coney Island. October 15, 2010. Copyright © Kenny Lombardi 2010. All Rights Reserved.

ATZ enjoyed some great music and great company last night at Cha Cha’s in Coney Island. The fact that both the 2010 season and the leases of the Boardwalk businesses end on October 31 makes us appreciate the good times even more. Last night, Robert “Bluesman” Ross and his Bluesmanian Devils played some smoking hot blues and kicked off a weekend tribute to JT.

John Thomas, who passed away in September, was the general manager of Cha Cha’s and its predecessor Club Atlantis for many years. He gave quite a few bands their start, which is reflected in the line up for Sunday’s all-day jam session: Classic Rock with Girls on Top, Bridgid Bibbens of Viper Vixens, Mel “Guitar” Williams, Amy Madden, Phoenix Rivera, Stephen Porro and Paul Sanchez are among the musicians who will perform beginning at 2:30 pm.

ATZ will be back on the Boardwalk tonight to hang out at Ruby’s with South Brooklyn bloggers Brian Hedden of BK Southie and Ned Berke of Sheepshead Bites, among others. Then we’ll adjourn to Cha Cha’s to catch Bluesball’s set. The group performs music by Muddy Waters, Otis Rush, Little Walter, and Howling Wolf. Perhaps they will play “How Many More Years”…

Cha Cha's Bar & Cafe on the Boardwalk in Coney Island. June 1, 2009. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i  via flickr

Cha Cha's Bar & Cafe on the Boardwalk in Coney Island. June 1, 2009. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

Last night we asked John “Cha Cha” Ciarcia, owner of Cha Cha’s and nearby Beer Island, if he expected to be back next year. “I’ll be back,” he vowed, “If they let me.” Ciarcia and other longtime business owners on the Boardwalk were required to submit business proposals to new landlord Luna Park/Zamperla to qualify for a 9-year lease. The City purchased the land from Thor Equities last year. Zamperla USA CEO Valerio Ferrari tells us some of the Boardwalk businesses will be back in 2011 and some won’t. Will the good times roll in 2011 at Cha Cha’s and Ruby’s? An announcement is expected on October 31. In the meantime, go and enjoy the last few weeks of the season. If you have a sentimental favorite, take some photos as a souvenir. Word on the street is the Boardwalk is going to look a lot different next season.

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