Coney Island often seems like a planet all its own. Unfortunately that planet isn’t immune to the real estate politics of New York City.
This week it was announced that nine businesses on the Coney Island Boardwalk would have to pack up and ship out by November 15th.
Say goodbye to:
• Shoot the Freak– The beloved sadistic target game that had you shoot paintballs at a person covered in padding.
• Beer Island– Once a sandy spot on the boardwalk to sit and have a drink.
• Coney Island Souvenirs
• Gyro Corner– A clam bar and restaurant that offered cheap eats.
• Ruby’s Bar and Grill– The restaurant opened way back in 1934 and there’s even a walkway named after the founder, Ruby Jacob. So it’s no surprise to hear that the restaurant is reportedly looking to apply for landmark status.
• Grill House– For 17 years this stand served everything from shrimp to ice cream.
• Cha Cha’s– A bar & cafe known for its live music
• Paul’s Daughter– Formerly known as Gregory & Paul’s, the food stand had been in operation since 1962.
• Pio Pio Riko Peruvian– The third location of the Queens establishment was a recent addition to the Coney Island dining scene.
Nathan’s Famous and the Lola Star Boutique were the only two businesses Valerio Ferrari, the CEO of Central Amusement International and the operator of Luna Park, decided to save.
Locals were saddened to hear that many of the mainstay Coney Island businesses would be forced to close. But with an above average summer that drew 450,000 visitors to Luna Park and plans to fix the boardwalk, these closings are apparently just a small part of Ferrari’s plan to add a little class to the boardwalk.
Ferrari’s proposed expansion plan also includes:
• A fancy sit-down restaurant
• Year-round stores
• Scream Zone: an amusement park planned for 2011 that will offer two roller coasters, go-carts and a human slingshot.
• A Brooklyn brewery, not the Brooklyn Brewery as previously reported, beer hall that will likely take the place of Beer Island.
• A more diverse food variety
Though these changes might improve business, you can’t help but wonder if Ferrari is stripping away all of the Best Boardwalk in America’s freaky and fun personality.
How do you feel about the proposed changes?