Posts Tagged ‘souvenir’

Ruby's Bar & Grill

Chairs for Sale. Inquire Inside. Ruby’s Bar & Grill, Coney Island Boardwalk. October 18, 2014. Photo © Tricia Vita

Whether you’re a regular at Ruby’s Bar & Grill or a fan who drops by on Mermaid Day, here’s your chance to own an original chair from the legendary watering hole on the Coney Island Boardwalk. Ruby’s co-owner Michael Sarrel told ATZ the chairs are up for sale because they are getting new seating. The price is right — only ten bucks–marked down from $18. On a snowy day at home, you can tip back on your souvenir chair and imagine you’re back at Ruby’s in Coney Island and it’s summer.

Last week, Ruby’s November and December schedule was posted on the bar’s website: “From now until Jan. 1, we will be closed, BUT our bar will be open on weekends (weather permitting). For updates, please check our Facebook page. As is our tradition, we WILL be open for the Polar Bear Club’s annual plunge on New Year’s Day. Ruby’s is looking forward to seeing you again in 2015!”

Related posts on ATZ...

April 5, 2014: Photo Album: A Solitary Evening Stroll in Coney Island

October 3, 2012: Photo of the Day: The Weekday View from Ruby’s Bar

May 22, 2012: Photo Album: Welcome Back, Paul’s Daughter & Ruby’s Bar!

January 7, 2011: Photo of the Day: Greetings from Ruby’s Snow Mountain Resort!

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Coney Island Seashell

Souvenir: Coney Island in a Seashell. New-York Historical Society Collection. Gift of Bella C. Landauer

Back in the early 1900s, the Shell View Syndicate sold seashells by Brooklyn’s fabled seashore. These scallop shells with accordion folded booklets of miniature photos tucked inside are one of the most charming souvenirs of Coney Island that we’ve come across. Tied together with red ribbon and measuring just 1-5/8 x 1 x 7/8, the seashells are in the collection of the New-York Historical Society.

Souvenir New-York Historical Society

Miniature Photos Inside Souvenir Seashell. New-York Historical Society Collection. Gift of Bella C. Landauer

If you take a look at the photographs on the Society’s Collections page, you’ll see Steeplechase Park’s Ferris Wheel and Airship Ride, Luna Park’s Promenade, Circle Swing, and Elephant Ride, Stauch’s Restaurant and Dance Hall, and a Beach Scene.

A web search of “The Shell View Syndicate” turned up a few tidbits about the company. They had offices at 147 West 23rd Street in Manhattan in 1908. Their line of souvenirs included “New York in A Seashell, “Allentown in a Nutshell” and novelty postcards, but “Coney Island in a Seashell” is destined to remain our favorite.


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March 15, 2012: Museum Objects Inspire Writing Contest at New-York Historical Society

February 22, 2012: Rare & Vintage: 1930s Tin Litho Bumper Car Wind-Up Toy

December 23, 2011: Rare & Vintage: Subway Ad for “The One The Only Coney Island!”

March 22, 2011: Rare & Vintage: Souvenir of Frank Bostock’s Coney Island

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Toothpick Holder: Souvenir of Henderson's Music Hall & Restaurant, Coney Island. Late 1800

When Henry M. Henderson died in Los Angeles in 1909, his obituary said “Mr. Henderson bought property in Coney Island thirty years ago and started one of the first amusement places. He acquired a large fortune and the family now owns all of the property between Henderson’s Walk and Stratton Walk, extending from Surf Avenue to the sea.” Henderson’s establishment began as a restaurant at Bowery and Henderson Walk in 1881. His son Frederick managed the family’s Coney Island empire, which included a music hall featuring vaudeville acts and a bathing pavilion at the foot of Sea Beach Walk.

After we wrote about a vintage coffee cup from Childs Restaurant last month, a reader sent us this photo of a toothpick holder from Henderson’s. Lisa Ramaci collects memorabilia of early New York, including chinaware and utensils from restaurants and hotels.  “You will see it was broken at some point in its past – I picked it up for a quarter probably 20 years ago in a small antique store in Manhattan,” Ramaci told ATZ.  “They had a ‘jumble’ table in front with stuff they considered valueless. Little did they know that even in the condition it’s in I consider it a treasure. Anyway, hope you enjoy it, only wish I could have eaten there – and at Childs!”

Made in Austria

Made in Austria for J. R. Gibney: Souvenir of Henderson’s Music Hall & Restaurant, Coney Island. Late 1800

The souvenir made in Austria for J. R. Gibney is indeed a rare find.  We’ve seen only one other example. The auction info site worthpoint has photos of a Henderson’s toothpick holder that sold for $115.49 on eBay in 2009. It appears to be in very good condition. But we find it poignant that Lisa’s souvenir of Henderson’s was so carefully mended after having been broken. “It obviously meant something sentimental to whoever stole it from the restaurant way back when,” she says. “A great example of an earlier time, when things were repaired and re-used rather than thrown out and replaced. And thank God for that!”

Sadly, the last remnant of Coney pioneer Henry Henderson’s empire isn’t being rehabbed and re-used.  The building is currently being demolished by Thor Equities. On Friday there was one wall left standing. Henderson’s will be gone in a couple of days. A few weeks ago we posted Charles Denson’s video tribute to the Henderson Theater. In lieu of an obituary, we decided to write about the survival of this humble but treasured memento.

For more info on the history of the building, see “Photo of the Day: Interior of Coney Island’s Doomed Henderson Music Hall” (ATZ, April 29, 2010).

UPDATE 3:20 pm

RIP Henderson Music Hall. Just got word the last wall of this historic Coney Island building was demolished this afternoon. Bad things have happened in threes in Thor’s Coney Island over the past few months: The demolition of the Bank of Coney Island, the Shore Hotel, and finally the Henderson Music Hall. Now when tourists exit Stillwell Terminal, their first sight of Coney Island will be one of Thor Equities infamous empty lots!

Vintage Postcard of Henderson's Music Hall Stage in Coney Island. Cezar Del Valle Collection

Vintage Postcard of Henderson's Music Hall Stage in Coney Island. Cezar Del Valle Collection


Related posts on ATZ…

December 19, 2010: Rare & Vintage: Original Coney Island Motordrome Bike

December 4, 2010: Artifact of the Day: Vintage Coffee Cup from Childs Restaurant

November 16, 2009: Rare & Vintage: Coney Island Sideshow Banner by Dan Casola

May 29, 2009: Astroland Star from Coney Island’s Space-Age Theme Park Donated to the Smithsonian

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