Coney Island Mainstays Stick Around for One More Summer
Tuesday, March 08, 2011
Seven Coney Island boardwalk businesses that faced eviction will stick around for at least one more summer.
The seaside mainstays -- including the venerated Ruby's Bar & Grill -- hashed out a deal late Monday night to extend their leases until November 2011. The so-called Coney Island Eight have been fighting eviction from their new landlord, Zamperla USA.
The eighth business, Shoot the Freak, plans to move elsewhere on the boardwalk after it was bulldozed to clear a path for a new entrance to the park.
"It's like art," said Anthony Berlingeri, owner of Shoot the Freak and Beer Island. "When someone looks at a picture, everyone has a different interpretation of it. And when you look at Coney Island, people have different visions too."
Berlingeri said he remained optimistic about the developer's "vision of the boardwalk."
Last year, the Bloomberg Administration selected Central Amusement International to plan the redevelopment of Coney Island's amusement park. In a statement, the developer's president, Valerio Ferrari, said the deal with the seven businesses was not part of the vision for this season, but is a "viable plan" to keep the boardwalk active.
Berlingeri hopes that the Coney Island Eight will be able to "work together" with the new developer and participate in planning the future of the amusement park.
In addition to Ruby's, the other boardwalk businesses staying through this summer are Kris Gregs, Beer House, Cha Cha's, Gyro Corner, Beer Island, Coney Island Souvenirs and Paul's Daughter.