Ruby’s Bar & Grill, the Beer Garden and seven others businesses were notified early today by the owner of their buildings that their leases will not be renewed.
“This is all coming at the expense of the people who kept the place going through the good and bad times,” said Anthony Berlingeri, who owns Shoot the Freak and Beer Island. “I made the investment when I started Beer Island. Now they’re throwing me out to take my business over.”
Central Amusement, which owns much of the boardwalk property, is negotiating with Brooklyn Brewery to open a beer hall on the boardwalk, according to two sources cited by the website New York Eater.com, which also said a spokesman for Central Amusement declined to confirm the report.
Ruby’s, affectionately known as the boardwalk’s top dive bar, has been operating since 1934. It has been ordered to close down by November 15.
Central Amusement issued a statement Monday promising to extend its “vision of a resurgent Coney Island” to the boardwalk. The company said it already has invested $15 million in Luna Park, where 19 rides drew 450,000 visitors this summer, and planned to spend millions more on the boardwalk.
“We look forward to creating an incredible new experience on the boardwalk, while continuing to honor Coney Island’s magnificent past,” the statement said.
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