Last Call (perhaps) at Ruby's Bar & Grill.

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.


Tricia said...

That's a touching anecdote about Mike. It was certainly an unusual occasion---part wake, part celebration. I pray Ruby's gets a reprieve or at least get relocated. This week is crucial!

Lisanne said...

Yes there was an unusual feeling at Ruby's on Saturday. I thought more people would be there and that annoyed me but I guess Michael was right. The people I did talk to, all had a Ruby's story and a true love for Coney Island. I met many who came from far away, there was a whole group of people who drove down from Vermont..this is my second wake/celebration for a Brooklyn bar with strong ties to their community being shut down by the city this year (R.I.P the original Freddy's in the Atlantic Yards), it's emotionally exhausting.