Michael Sarrel, bartender, co-owner
You can say that again sister...
This past Saturday was perhaps the last day of business at Ruby's Bar & Grill. I got there in the mid afternoon and missed the heartfelt speeches made by Coney Island historian, Charles Denson and bar founder Ruby's daughter, Melody Sarell, which you can watch here.
Myself, I felt angry and sad that this place may very will be taken away from Coney Island along with Paul's Daughter (there over 40 years), Gyro Corner, Shoot the Freak, Cha-Cha's, Beer Island and the Grill House. It didn't seem real, the Ruby's family were gracious to the very end and worked as if it was any other day. I had a few words with Ruby's son-in-law, co-owner and bartender, Michael Sarrel before I left and I asked him how he felt, he said he felt "happy and sad" and I said I felt angry and why did he feel happy? He said that he was happy with how they were going out- if this was the end-with a nice crowd with the right people and he thanked me for coming before continuing to pack away the outdoor furniture for perhaps the very last time. A class act.
Still I am mad. I am mad that the people who have stuck out through the bad times in Coney Island and SHOULD BE LANDMARKED are being asked to leave. Authenticity is being sacrificed for most likely a re-creation. Will the new places have old photographs of Coney Island and hand painted signs? I would put money on it that they will. But they won't be THE REAL THING. They will be simulations in corporate chain restaurants. UP SCALE is the word Italian developer and evictor Zamperla,is loving to use, when describing what they "envision for Coney Island".
As Ruby's daughter Melody said in her speech, Ruby's is still not going down without making some noise. Please sign the petition if you haven't and pass it on to anyone you may know. Ruby's and all the evicted businesses are important parts of the flavor of Coney Island and we can't just let C.I become another mall without a fight.
Sign the petition here.
More photos of Ruby's can be seen here.