Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Zamperla's Shiny New Boardwalk

(click images to enlarge)
Images provided to KC by Zamperla spokesman Tom Corsillo

With a huff and puff of the new giant in Coney Island, Zamperla Amusements will blow the boardwalk house down and wash in a shiny new row of glitz.  It’s out with the old honky tonk and in with the old Luna-esque; “amusement architecture”. A style designed and coined by Fred Thompson himself.  Which aspect's seems to express the missing link  somewhere, between the Tivoli Gardens and the World’s Fairs of the nineteenth century in design.

The masses who make their Coney visit may indeed welcome the new eye candy with its commercial theme-parkish flare, but die-hard honky tonkers may still scoff with mourn.

This Monday, boardwalk merchants received notice that they will not be receiving leases for 2011 and must vacate the premises by November 15, 2010.  The only three businesses that will be coming back, at this point, are Lola Star Boutique, the Coney Island Beach souvenir shop, and Nathan’s.

"The place has been there for 76 years. It's history," said Ruby's bar co-owner Michael Sarrel, to the Daily News.  Sarrel plans to appeal to the city, which owns the property and leases to Zamperla.  Probably a hard bargain, since the city has been neglecting any chance of saving any history in Coney Island by not stepping in and saving the currently destructive demolition process by Thor Equities.

What’s really hurting Coney lovers and denizens is the end for Ruby’s Bar and Grill, which has been a favorite in Coney Island.  It would be fitting for Zamperla to find a place for Ruby's in their new themed establishments.  Along with Shoot the Freak which is probably the most memorable attraction that most locals and tourists  will remember of Coney Island during the last decade.  However, it seems that Ruby's and Shoot the Freak aren't what Zamperla has in their vision for Coney Island, since their spokesman Tom Corsillo, said these decisions were based on what the company thought would fit with that vision.

What is part of their vision is a sit-down restaurant and sports bar which will be open year-round.  The new possible tenants have still not been named.  The company did mention to the Daily News that they’ve been in talks with Shake Shack and Atomic Wings about opening boardwalk outposts.

“They didn’t have the vision that we have for the Boardwalk,” Ferrari told ATZ. “It’s a business decision.” He says Zamperla/CAI’s vision is to revitalize the Boardwalk by making it a lively place open 365 days a year. But it’s also a matter of investment dollars. Luna Park is investing $1.4 million in a new restaurant at the corner of Surf and 10th Street, formerly occupied by Gregory & Paul’s. A Boardwalk restaurant/bar hoping to get a lease renewal would have had to make a million dollar investment as well, Ferrari said.

Image courtesy of Amusing the Zillion (Tricia Vita)

ATZ went around on the last day of the official season taking some of the last pictures of the 2010 season of the boardwalk businesses before going into Coney memory forever.

But while the axing of the existing structures along the boardwalk seems inevitable, Ruby’s people will be fighting back this week with full force and a vengeance.

1 comment:

Lindsay said...

This is so incredibly sad. How boring are Zamperla's renditions? I can't even picture what the boardwalk will be like next summer...