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Monday
Sep202010

Monday, Sept. 20th, 2010—Bar 253

Day 253—Sunday, September 19th, 2010
Ruby’s Coney Island Bar

I’ve been meaning to travel out to Coney Island all summer. Now that summer’s over, I better get out there before it closes. And speaking of closing, the last couple years I keep hearing rumors the legendary Coney Island dive bar, Ruby’s  is going to be closing. So let’s get out there before it does!

Through the magic of the internet, you're spared an hour-long ride out here on the subway with long stops and announcements no one can understand. Anyway, without any further bitching, here we are!

And the first stop is Ruby's Bar and Grill.

These guys are playing the blues out front on the boardwalk.

Here's the bar, let's grab a seat.

Mike the bartender flashes the 365 card...

And seves me up an ice-cold bottle of Budweiser.

Vintage photos of Coney Island line the wall behind the bar. They should make a history book out of these.

A long shot of the bar, featuring a beer and a shot.

Harpo, peanuts and Cracker Jacks, behind the bar. Perfect.

The jukebox features such Coney Island favorites as Dean Martin, Louis Prima, Sam Cooke and The Duprees.

Here's the backroom where the beer inventory is housed.

Photos of the Mermaid Parade are plastered on the walls.

If chairs could have sex, it might look something like this.

A classic shot of Marilyn Monroe on the wall at Ruby's.

There's a food station at the front of the bar.

And here's some of the food on display.

Here's a collage of more Mermaid Parade photos.

A shot from the back end of the bar.

Looks like the booze inventory is dwindling. Oh well, it is the end of the season.

There's a lounge area opposite the bar complete with a mini motorcycle on a table.

Ruby's neon sign inside at the front of the bar.

Okay, I've had my three beers here, time to check out some more of Coney Island.

Whirley Pops!

Clams, cold beer and soft ice cream, a winning combination.

And check it out, corn dogs! Time to start eating.

And this gentleman happily served one up.

It was delicious!

Funnel cakes, Italian Ices, Slushies and soft ice cream...

Right over here. Step right up!

The merry-go-round in the amusement park.

And there's beer in the amusement park! And it's a great bargain, a bottle of Heinekin is just three bucks!

And it's served up by Steve and Stacy who own the amusement park and are nice people.

After the beer, it's time for a little more food. I think I'll sample something here.

I got the chicken wings and fries.

Paul Michael was seated at the table with me and was enjoying the end of the season at Coney Island.

The sun sets on the boardwalk.

Cha Cha's is another legendary bar on the boardwalk.

Shoot the freak!

You're never far from food or drink at Coney Island.

Steve and Stacy told me this was the last night for the Wonder Wheel till next season.

And here it is, taking one of the last spins of the year.

This guy made me think of John Belushi.

And here's the legendary Cyclone ride.

You have to ride this thing at least once when you come out here. I have ridden it once and never will again, it scared the shit out of me!

The amusement park is closing up for the evening, one last shot through the chain link fence.

As I call it a night I take a stroll down the boardwalk...

And take a final shot of Ruby's bar.

On my way back to the subway station I happen along the original Nathan's hot dog stand. I think I have room for one more treat.

It's kind of hectic in here, but I finally made my way to the front and placed my order.

I got a cheese dog with mustard and a bottle of Corona for the road.

One last shot of Nathan's and it's off to the subway. My Coney Island day is done.

And an obligatory subway window shot of the train pulling into Manhattan closes the evening. Goodnight, everybody!

Review
Ruby’s Coney Island Bar is the oldest bar on the Coney Island Boardwalk. They opened in 1934 and they are open from April till October. The bar is long, wooden and tables and booths are located opposite in the cavernous, somewhat roughshod space. Vintage photos of Coney Island and the Mermaid Parade line the walls and grizzled regulars drink their drinks from plastic cups at the 45-foot-long bar.

It’s a full bar, but I wouldn’t suggest ordering a Cosmopolitan here. It’s strictly a beer and shot joint with the odd Rum and Coke thrown in for good measure. Some of the bottled beers available include: Sam Adams, Brooklyn Lager, Becks and Coney Island Lager. There’s also a large food menu including such offerings as: Clams on the half shell, jumbo fried shrimp, fried chicken, hot dogs, hamburgers and of course, funnel cakes.

There’s always a rumor that Ruby’s will be shut down, let’s hope that rumor never comes true. This joint is a real slice of Coney Island history.

Ruby’s Coney Island Bar
1213 Riegelmann Boardwalk (Near 12th St.)
718-372-9079

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Reader Comments (38)

Nice Job Marty. I have never been to Coney Island but now I almost feel like I was there. I could almost smell the hotdogs.

September 20, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterHappy Cappy

@Happy Cappy: You've never been to Coney Island? Pack up your family and get out there before the season closes! I think there's a Blimpies out there for you.

September 20, 2010 | Registered Commenter365 Beers

What a great post! Ruby's looks like an amazing place, from the bare-bones bar to the seating areas (nice bike!) to those amazing vintage photos. You're right, they should make a book! Love that old Dr. Pepper sign and I never knew there was a Mermaid Parade, but now that I do, I want to check it out! The amusement park is wonderfully retro (how many scenes have been filmed at that merry-go-round?) and you can't go wrong with a $3.00 Heineken! Sometime I'm going to fast for a week and then walk the entire boardwalk, eating something from every stand. And to you, Cha Cha's....you had me at "live entertainment for the hole family." HA HA HA! Classic.

September 20, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBiff

This is an epic post on the bar crawl! You captured Coney Island perfectly! I agree with Happy Cappy the smells are actually coming out of the photos. Great job!

September 20, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBarfly

Those are some ginormous fries! Coney Island looks like a busy touristy place. Thank you for sharing. The place looks very 'vintage' to me, and slightly dirty; but fun. :)

September 20, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDarleya

I'm glad to be back in the audience for this post ... scenic, sentimental, historic, gorgeous. What an epic journey this is!

September 20, 2010 | Unregistered Commentermark king

All my family back east and like happycampy i've never been to Coney Island..
I need to fix that...
I was strictly Seaside Heights Jersey kind of Girl LOL...All about the skeeball baby...
I love Nathans's though...
but honestly now in the midwest I seriously think Vienna kicks Nathan's ass.Don't tell my mom i said that.. she might whack me one...
Glad you got out there before season is up Martster.
Looked like alot of fun.

September 20, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterGidget

A fun journey that you took us on,,,,Ruby's is old,,,,real old,,,which makes it a great bar. Its always fun going to Coney Island,,,step out of the bar and all this variety of food. The pictures you took are magical,,,if there is anyone that will never be able to go to Coney Island, these shots are the next best thing. Shoot the Freak is still there,,,,that is a blast,,,,paint guns shooting at a moving target. Those Nathan dogs for some reason taste better there than anywhere else. Cyclone was the oldest and only wooden roller coaster for a long time. Great job on this crawl.

September 20, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAl

I've been follwoing this blog for quite a while and never comment, but this one was above and beyond the call of duty! Fantastic work and I agree with Al, magical photos here!

September 20, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterRob C.

"Oh, Warriors...(clack clack clack) oh, Waaaarriors...(clack clack clack) come out to PLAAAAYAAAY,,," It's the first thing I thought of when I saw the shot of the Wonder wheel, Marty! They should have had at least one old movie poster of 'The Warriors' on display out there! You ought to get Zioum Zioum out there and let her pig out on corn dogs so her familiarization with American culture will be truly complete. And speaking of film history, wasn't the cyclone destroyed by 'The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms?

September 20, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJaws the Cabbie

@Jaws: Ha ha ha! Nope the Cyclone is still standing proud!

September 20, 2010 | Registered Commenter365 Beers

i love that pic with the glowing rolling rock.

September 20, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterkat

I have never been to Coney Island but now I wanna go next year!!

September 20, 2010 | Unregistered Commentermeleah rebeccah

wow! I never been to coney island either!! Next time I can come (after February 2011), I want to go, but I guess I must wait June for it opens?? Jaws got a good idea, I must tast a corn dog, but only one or two bite, since I'm picky with food, or if I'm drunk I may eat it all without questionning or complaining about the unhealthy thing! HaHa!! I'm always complaining about food... I'm a pain in a ass!!

I've ridden the roller coaster once in my life too, and will never do it again ! I got shaking legs for more than 1 hour after the ride!

SHIT! I was commentating in here and forgot my fish sticks... All burn out! ARGH! what a retarded I am!! Pleeeeeease Jason come baaaack here and makes some food for me !!!!! I need you to be my househusband!

Great post, Marty, and great shots of Coney Island. You had a full day, but I can't beieve you didn't actually go ahead and shoot the freak!

September 20, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterFat Al

@Zioum Zioum: Corn dogs are like fishsticks, except instead of a fish you get a hot dog.

@Fat Al: I'm saving shooting the freak for next time.

September 20, 2010 | Registered Commenter365 Beers

wow this was a fantastic journey! some of your best photos yet! and the chairs caption LMFAO! that corn dog looks delish i'm going to get some at the store now.

September 20, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterrita r.

Nice seaside place ! But beware of the zioum if she come here : there may be a new sideshow !

p.s. this night at my favorite place a had a cigar specialy dedicated to 365's ... the kind of roll that was made for american tastes. :-)

September 20, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterGrompf

@Grompf: To "hand-rolled cigars!"

September 20, 2010 | Registered Commenter365 Beers

I once went to Coney Island and woke up in Nutley New Jersey. Can someone please tell me how I got there?

September 20, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJocaroo

@Jocaroo: I'm going to guess the train?

September 20, 2010 | Registered Commenter365 Beers

TO : Marty
Fucking awesome , & I must bring ZioumZioum there , we almost went , when she was here , but something came up unfortunately . I Love It there & have Great Memories of it when I was a Kid ( OK ZioumZioum I can hear you saying I am still a Kid ). Joe Dimaggio was pissed off at that picture of Marilyn Monroe , & I do believe she had to wear 2 panties , because when she shot it with only one on it showed her cho chi , if you know what I mean . Harpo is my favorite Marx's brother !!! , but Cracker Jack surprise are not like they where when I was a Kid . Shoot the Freak is another of my favorites , but it wasn't there when I was a Kid , but it's a must to try if your there & if The Freak is there , sometimes he's not there , but he runs fast . The Cyclone I been on & I always wait to get the front row seats & when it does down that fast hill I raise my hands up & hole on to nothing & for a few seconds I am in the air , & one time I almost went into the second row seats , but my friends in that row held me down , so much fun , Oh & don't forget to play some mini golf .

@Jaws: Are you talking to me?

Gotta agree with Barfly. What an awesome post Marty! Too bad It will be closed down in Nov but I'm sure there will be plenty to do otherwise...
I love the blues band. I like how they couldn't wait for the drummer to set up....drummers- never on time ha ha.
Ruby's is brilliant. Coney Island is a national treasure. Hows your Iron Guts after all those deep fried goodies?
I'm a hard rocker from way back so I have to make a special mention about Stacy's hat! She wanted the best hat..... she got the best hat...the hottest hat in the world.....

To John Belushi and his re-incarnation as a fairground attraction!
To John!

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