This last Saturday was supposed to be the last day for Ruby's Bar & Grill at Coney Island. As the demise of Ruby's is symbolic of the last nail in the coffin for all of Coney Island, I felt I had to be there.
I was happy to see a large crowd gathered outside, despite the cold wind and almost nothing else being open on the boardwalk. It then dawned on me that I've never been to Ruby's in November, nor without a costume or covered in sand. And, although this was supposed to be a final goodbye, people seemed to be in high spirits.
Behind the bar:
One reason I love Ruby's is their collection of Coney Island photos and artwork that covers all three walls:
The memorabilia is personal and reminds us that this is a long-time family-owned-and-operated business, something rare these days. A newspaper clipping also alludes to the recent negative changes affecting the entire boardwalk:
They swore to stay open this day until all the booze was gone. By this time, the only drinks left were Corona, Heineken, peach schnapps and triple-sec.
The penned-in area outside the bathroom has always provided me with amusing and pleasant experiences. Unlinke usual bathroom lines, the one at Ruby's was always full of jovial people laughing about this or that, chatting each other up or, occasionally, showing off strange sea creatures found on the beach:
The sun sets over the familiar boardwalk and the band played on...
More photos of my evening at Ruby's can be found here.
As of today, the situation is still up in the air. Due to huge support from patrons, Ruby's plans to be open this Saturday, November 13. So, don't miss this opportunity to pay a visit and show support for one of Coney Island's most beloved institutions.
For more history on Ruby's, Coney Island, and to see some good videos of Ruby's daughters speaking about the 'real' Coney Island, check out Amusing the Zillion.
UPDATE: A lawyer representing the Coney Island boardwalk businesses says there is no way they are leaving by the 15th.