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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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