Kathleen Horan, Reporter, WNYC News
Kathleen Horan is a staff reporter for New York Public Radio, covering the neighborhood beat. She also reports 'Reset', an ongoing series documenting police-community relations in Bedford Stuyvesant, Brooklyn.
The businesses on the Coney Island boardwalk that were asked to vacate last month say they'll be around in the new year and beyond.
The restaurants, concessions and food stands known as the Coney Island 8 have jointly hired a lawyer and public relations firm to fight their evictions. In the meantime, they're organizing a rally on January 1 to coincide with the annual Polar Bear swim. Michael Sarrell is one of the owners of the longest operating business, Ruby's Bar.
"Our goal in all of this is to remain a part of Coney Island as Ruby's has been for the past 75 years and how many businesses have also been for multiple years," Sarrell said. He said they are fighting the evictions on the grounds that the landlord did not act in good faith and gave the tenants reason to believe they could stay to be a part of the new Coney Island.
A spokesperson for leaseholder, Central Amusement International, said it looks forward to improving spaces formerly occupied by tenants such as Ruby's. And that it is part of a plan that includes investing millions in updating the area.
The eviction proceedings could take months. CAI would not say if new tenants could be moved in by the opening of the amusement park in May.