Advertisements
Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Cha-Cha’s’

Cha Cha's

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

Sunday afternoon’s party at Cha Cha’s with Killer Joe will be the last hurrah for the Home of Wild Women and Wise Guys on the Coney Island Boardwalk. On Tuesday, November 1st, the contents of Cha Cha’s — restaurant equipment, fixtures and memorabilia, including a quantity of neon signs– will be auctioned off. The public sale will be at the bar, located at 1229 Boardwalk near Stillwell. If you’d love to have a piece of signage or other keepsake from Cha Cha’s, be there by 2:00 pm, when the auction begins.

According to an ad for the auction in today’s New York Times, the sale includes “5 Coney Island Restaurants, Bars/Snack Bars” and contains “a tremendous quantity of memorabilia!!!!” Auctioneer Vinny Casale told ATZ that the auction’s five locations include Cha Cha’s on the Boardwalk and neighboring bars and restaurants as well as the Coney Island Souvenir Shop. “There is an upright player piano marked William Knabe & Co. from the 1920s that comes with piano rolls,” he said of the items for sale at Cha Cha’s. “There are a lot of neon signs.” Some of the other restaurants are selling off old equipment and furniture which will no longer be needed, regardless of whether they are closing or have hopes of returning to the new, rehabbed Boardwalk or another location next year.

Grill House

Steve's Grill House, Coney Island Boardwalk. October 31, 2010. Photo © me-myself-i/Tricia Vita via flickr

Sources tell ATZ that Cha Cha’s, Beer Island, Gyro Corner and Coney Island Souvenir Shop were not offered new leases for the Boardwalk by Zamperla USA. Gyro has already moved signage and equipment to their Bowery location. The last we heard from “the Coney Island Rumor Mill,” Ruby’s Bar and Paul’s Daughter were in negotiations for multi-year leases and it was not a done deal. Although November 4th is the final date by which the Boardwalk businesses are required to vacate the premises, the deadline was said to have been extended through November 14 for the businesses offered leases and with whom negotiations were in progress. Steve’s Grill House, located at the corner of Stillwell Avenue, was reportedly offered the space adjacent to his restaurant, where the Tacos and Tortas stand is located. The Tacos restaurant is relocating to Neptune Avenue between Stillwell and 15th Street. They leased the store formerly occupied by Classic Heros, which closed last year.

Cha Cha’s Closing Party featuring Killer Joe and Vinny “Big Pussy” Pastore of The Sopranos starts at 3pm on Sunday, October 30. Ruby’s “Final Closing Party” begins at 12 noon. The date was changed to Sunday because of yesterday’s weather. Paul’s Daughter is expected to be open as well.

The advertisement for the November 1st auction lists the following items:

icecream, memorabilia, Coldlite C/T Ice cream machines, 3- Flavor margarita machines, Batch Freezers, Lab 100B & 500, 5- Ice machines, ! & 4 direct beer taps, Curved glass gelato cases, ! & 2 Glass dr refrigerators, 1 & 2 S/S Dr Refrigerators, Flat top grills, Hot Dog Cart, Coffee machines,& Grinders, Funnel cake cart, Chest & Upright Freezers, C/T Pizza Ovens, 4- Ice-Cream Dip Boxes, Deep Fryer & Hood Combo, 8-camera system, ADS Pass thru D/W, lg Screen TVS, Ship Chandeliers, Brass Glass Racks, Glass Sneezeguards, 10-Cash registers.

Complete Build A Bear Machine originally costing $5k with bears & stuffing, 75 neon signs, pretzel & popcorn machines, smoke machines, sheet pan racks, bar stools, 60 chairs, 15 tables, 4 glass lighted showcases, 500 Coney Island sweatshirts & t-shirts, Novelty items, So many more items too many too list. call auctioneer for more info

The sale is being held by Best Buy Auctioneers in conjunction with Vincent Casale Auctioneers.

Last year on November 1st, nine Boardwalk businesses received “surrender the premises” letters from Zamperla USA, the operator of Luna Park (“Out With the Old in Coney Island: Only 2 of 11 Boardwalk Businesses Invited Back,” ATZ, Nov 1, 2010). Eight of the businesses banded together to fight the eviction from the City-owned property on the Boardwalk leased to Zamperla. Seven won a one-year lease, which expires on November 1, 2011.

Coney Island Souvenir Shop on the Boardwalk. Photo © Tricia Vita//me-myself-i via flickr

Rolling Sign: Coney Island Souvenir Shop on the Boardwalk. April 21, 2010.Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

Share

Related posts on ATZ…

November 1, 2011: Live from Coney Island! Wanna Buy a Chair from Ruby’s Bar?

October 12, 2011: Photo of the Day: Last Drink at Cha Cha’s of Coney Island

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

October 8, 2011: Photo of the Day: “The Chief” of the Coney Island Boardwalk

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

July 16: Last Burlesque Show at Cha Cha's on the Boardwalk

This weekend would have been the 11th annual Siren Festival if the Village Voice hadn’t deserted Coney Island and Brooklyn for a Manhattan venue. As one of the commenters on the Voice’s “Embrace change!” announcement in April said: “Booooooo. No rides, no beach, a giant mall and a bunch of tourists? No like.” Or as another said, “Embrace my middle finger.”

Are we bitter? Hell, yeah. It’s like being dumped by your one true love for an unattractive gal who happens to have a trust fund. But if the Voice comes running back to Coney Island next season, we’ll overlook the bad choices they’ve made. In the meantime, Coney’s beer, hot dog and ride operators are going to miss the business on Siren Day. The good news is that the sirens of Coney Island have outlasted the Siren Festival and are putting on their own show.

On Saturday at Cha Cha’s of Coney Island, the music begins at 8pm with Coney Island rock and rollers Neptune Jam, followed at 10 pm by the Girls! Girls! Girls! of the Hubba Hubba Hooplah Burlesque Revue. The presser says the July 16 show is “the last Burlesque Show at Cha Cha’s Club in Coney – this is our last summer of 2011 so come out & see the last burlesque revue on the boardwalk.” But the beat goes on through October with bands like All Mobbed Up and Windsor Terrors, and DJ Dance Parties on Friday nights during the fireworks.

Coney Island Girlie Freakshow at Coney Island USA. Photo © Norman Blake

At the Coney Island Sideshow on Saturdays at 10 pm, there’s the Girlie Freakshow starring Insectavora, Serpentina, Kryssy Kocktail and guests–sirens one and all. Burlesque at the Beach has shows on Thursday and Friday nights all summer long featuring Bambi the Mermaid, Bunny Love and “Miss Coney Island”–past, present and future.

talent show

July 30: Thirsty Girl Productions Presents in Coney Island...

Coney Island also has Jen Gapay, the siren who created and produced the first two Siren Festivals when she was Promotions Director for the Voice. Jen went on to launch Thirsty Girl Productions, which co-produces the New York Burlesque Festival with Angie Pontani aka Miss Cyclone. She has also produced events for Astroland, Deno’s Wonder Wheel Park and the Coney Island History Project. Her current Coney Island baby is the 2nd annual Coney Island Talent Show, set for July 30 on the Boardwalk. Hey you know what? If the Village Voice doesn’t come back to the beach and the boardwalk, Coney Island should launch its very own successor to the Siren Fest. Jen could do it again. All that’s needed are sponsors.

Read Full Post »


Brooklyn-based band Barefoot Walking’s first music video “Mermaid Day Parade” was filmed on Coney Island’s beach, Wonder Wheel and Sideshows by the Seashore’s stage. The song is from their first album “Running with Sprinklers,” which was released last year. On June 18th at 8pm, after the Mermaid Parade, lead singer Livia Beasley and the band will be singing their songs at Cha Cha’s, the “Home of Wild Women and Wise Guys” on the Coney Island Boardwalk.

Cha Cha’s Mermaid Day Party begins at 3:30 pm with Killer Joe’s classic rock and blues. Frederick the Victorious takes the stage at 7 pm. $5 cover charge pays for first drink.

Also on the Mermaid weekend schedule at Cha Cha’s: Punk Rock Show with 11 bands on Sunday, June 19th, from 2-10 pm. No cover, no minimum.

Share

Related posts on ATZ...

June 16, 2011: Last Chance to See Mermaid Parade Before It Turns 30!

January 8, 2011: Music Video: Strange Powers by the Magnetic Fields

November 30, 2010: Video: The Wanted’s Lose My Mind at Coney Island’s Wonder Wheel Park

June 22, 2009: A Judge’s Photo Album of the 2009 Coney Island Mermaid Parade

Read Full Post »

Strange Girls

John Strong's Strange Girls Sideshow at Cha Cha's of Coney Island. May 21, 2011 Photo © Diana Taft Shumate

Cha Cha’s Club on the Coney Island Boardwalk is already a sideshow and we mean that as a compliment. On Saturday, the longtime home of wild women and wise guys welcomed John Strong’s sideshow aka the “Strangest Show on Earth.” Starting this weekend, Cha Cha’s will feature a troupe of Strange Girls, including a totally tattooed leopard woman.

Around 5:30 on Saturday, John Strong and his crew were seen raising a couple of gorgeous banners on the rooftop of the club, which is adjacent to Scream Zone’s Boardwalk entrance. The banners tout a beautiful girl with the body of a snake, a double-bodied girl and other female freaks. As old-pro sideshow banner painter G.M.Caldwell famously proclaimed: “It’s the front of the show that gets the dough.”

Once the banners were flying, a girl with a Burmese albino python draped round her neck stood on John Strong’s ticketbox while the showman brought out another snake. The bally began. Cha Cha’s has hosted the Squidling Brothers and other sideshows as late night entertainment, but as far we know this is the first time they’ve had a bally out front, which is a time-honored way for sideshows to gather potential customers. Patrons paid $2.00, the price of a child’s ticket, to see the show.

John Strong

John Strong's Strange Girls Sideshow at Cha Cha's of Coney Island. May 21, 2011. Photo © Bruce Handy/Coney Island Photo Diary via flickr

The Strange Girls and Giantess banners were last flown in Coney Island in “Dreamland,” a temporary assemblage of amusements brought by Thor Equities to the former Astroland site in 2009. But Joe Sitt shut down the amusements and John Strong, whose Texas- based sideshow tours the carnival and fair circuit, has been trying to make a Coney Island comeback ever since.

Strong’s “World’s Finest Shows” with its 150-foot “world’s largest bannerline,” is currently playing Kings County Fair with Reithoffer’s carnival. The fair is at Aviator Sports in Marine Park through May 30. Strong is also eyeing two additional locations in Coney Island for his museum and freak animal show: 1109 Surf Ave near Jones Walk and another spot on 12th St. and the Bowery. The 12th Street location is the former site of the Coney Island Arcade, which was destroyed by a fire and is currently being demolished. We’ve heard of at least two other parties hoping to rent the site for rides and/or games, so Strong may have to make do with two locations in Coney island.

Last May, Strong’s on-again, off-again deal to lease the Grashorn Building, Coney’s oldest, from Joe Sitt fell through and he made a deal to set up on the north side of Surf Avenue across from the Cyclone. ATZ contemplated the possibility of Coney Island hosting a trio of rival sideshows in 2010, but it was not to be. Will Coney Island host a multiplicity of sideshows this season? The more the merrier school of thought is that a concentration of sideshow talent is good publicity for Coney Island.

Update, May 31…

Cha Cha’s stint as a sideshow with a Boardwalk bally was officially over on Saturday night. John Strong’s sideshow can now be found at the 1109 Surf Avenue location near Jones Walk. From the F train on Sunday afternoon, I could see he’d already gathered a crowd. Having the sideshow bally and ticketbox out front at Cha Cha’s drew onlookers, but Cha Cha’s bar lost business. People didn’t realize you could walk past the talker and just have a drink at the bar. Or they’d buy a ticket for the show, but not a drink. Now if you go to Cha Cha’s, there’s live music with a $5 cover which includes one drink.

Update, June 5th…

John Strong’s freak animal show, including live as well as mummified and pickled specimens, is set up at the corner of West 12th and Bowery, on the site of the now-demolished Coney Island Arcade. Both shows left Coney Island on June 12th and are on the state and county fair circuit.

John Strong

John Strong's Strange Girls Sideshow at Cha Cha's of Coney Island. May 21, 2011. Photo © Bruce Handy/Coney Island Photo Diary via flickr

Share

Related posts on ATZ…

May 17, 2010: Will Coney Island Host a Trio of Rival Sideshows in 2010?

May 4, 2010: Rare & Vintage: Major Debert the Tiniest Man’s Sideshow Banner

March 10, 2010: Coney Island Sideshow to Add Girlie Freak Show, Run 7 Days a Week

December 1, 2009: TLC’s Cake Boss Sweet on Marie Roberts’ Coney Island Sideshow Banners

Read Full Post »

Singer songwriter Paul Sanchez and his band Neptune Jam are jamming this weekend in Coney Island. On Saturday, April 23rd, they’re performing at 9 pm at Bratva, a bar and cafe on the north side of Surf across from the Coney Island Sideshow. “We’re a casual lounge owned for and by good old friends and welcome you to join us for beer, cocktails and a wide range of American pub and Russian-style snacks and meals,” says the bar’s website

On Easter Sunday, April 24th, at 3 pm, Neptune Jam will rock Cha Cha’s, home of Wild Women and Wise Guys on the Boardwalk at Stillwell Avenue. This emerging Coney Island band does Rock ‘n Roll, Blues, Country and Reggae. They will be performing covers and originals such as “A Coney Island Song” and “Kingston Town.”

Share

Related posts on ATZ...

March 15, 2011: Hail, Hail Garland Jeffreys! Coney Island Has a New Anthem

January 8, 2011: Music Video: Strange Powers by the Magnetic Fields

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

December 7, 2010: New Music Video: Little Silver’s Where We Met

Read Full Post »

Gyro Corner on the Boardwalk in Coney Island. October 31, 2010. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i

Gyro Corner on the Boardwalk in Coney Island. October 31, 2010. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i

We’re still in shock and will have more to say in the coming days. It’s like a mass wake on the Coney Island Boardwalk at the moment. The funeral will be this weekend…It’s goodbye Ruby’s, Cha Cha’s, Paul’s Daughter, Grill House, Gyro Corner, Shoot the Freak, Beer Island, Pio Pio Riko and Coney Island Souvenir Shop. After hearing the news from folks on the Boardwalk that the venerable Ruby’s and several others were out, ATZ phoned Zamperla USA/CAI CEO Valerio Ferrari for confirmation. It’s shocking but true: the only two existing Boardwalk businesses invited back are Nathan’s and Lola Star Boutique. These lucky survivors will be offered a 9-year lease. The other nine businesses will become part of Coney Island history, unless the City helps them relocate in the neighborhood.

Ruby's, Coney Island. October 31, 2010. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i

Ruby's, Coney Island. October 31, 2010. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i

“They didn’t have the vision that we have for the Boardwalk,” Ferrari told ATZ. “It’s a business decision.” He says Zamperla/CAI’s vision is to revitalize the Boardwalk by making it a lively place open 365 days a year. But it’s also a matter of investment dollars. Luna Park is investing $1.4 million in a new restaurant at the corner of Surf and 10th Street, formerly occupied by Gregory & Paul’s. A Boardwalk restaurant/bar hoping to get a lease renewal would have had to make a million dollar investment as well, Ferrari said.

Signage at Paul's Daughter, Coney Island. October 31, 2010. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i

Made with Love: Signage at Paul's Daughter, Coney Island. October 31, 2010. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i

Where Cha Cha’s is located there will be a year-round restaurant, serving breakfast, lunch and dinner, with upscale food. Ruby’s and the Souvenir Shop will be replaced by a huge sports bar. Ferrari says they have letters of intent from the companies that will bring in the bar and restaurant, but was not ready to reveal the names of the restaurateurs.

Last night, ATZ was on the Boardwalk taking photos of the vernacular signage and gritty authenticity of Ruby’s, Cha Cha’s, Paul’s Daughter, Shoot the Freak, and the other Boardwalk businesses. It was the last day of the 2010 season. As it turns out, it’s the last day period. The businesses have two weeks to vacate the premises they’ve occupied for 7, 20 and in one case 40 years.

It seems to us that Seth Pinsky of the NYCEDC has some explaining to do. As ATZ reported last year in “Ciao Coney Island! Will Ruby’s, Shoot the Freak, Astrotower & Other Oldies Survive?” (December 18, 2009)…

Before the RFP release, Shoot the Freak’s Anthony Berlingieri made headlines when he appeared at the City’s press conference on the land buy 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. 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.”

UPDATE… November 3, 2010: Friends of Ruby’s Bar Launch Petition, Plan Nov 6 Rally

Last Drink at Ruby's Bar, Coney Island. October 31, 2010. Photo © Tricia Vita

Last Drink at Ruby's Bar, Coney Island. October 31, 2010. Photo © Tricia Vita

Related posts on ATZ…

May 10, 2012: Paul’s Daughter & Ruby’s Bar Reopen on Saturday, Restored Signs to Return!

November 4, 2010: Exclusive: Surrender the Premises Letter Sent to Coney Island Boardwalk Veterans

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

Read Full Post »

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

Share

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?

Read Full Post »

« Newer Posts - Older Posts »

%d bloggers like this: