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Entries in Ruby's Bar (2)


Sunday, November 14th, 2010—Bar 308

Day 308—Saturday, November 13th, 2010
Ruby’s Coney Island Bar and the Burger Shoppe

Okay, today is going to be one massive post. I wrote about the closing of Ruby’s Bar on the boardwalk of Coney Island a bit ago and last night they re-opened the bar to have a combination party/protest about the whole deal. I went and took what I hope aren’t the last photos I’ll ever take of Ruby’s Bar, but it doesn’t look good. The powers that be want to put up “sit down” restaurants and sports bars and rip up the boardwalk and cover it in cement. It makes perfect sense...in bizarro world! Why the fuck would anyone take the long train ride out to Coney Island to go to a resaturant or a sports bar? I can spit in any direction in Manhattan or Brooklyn and hit a restaurant or a sports bar. You go out to Coney Island for places like Ruby’s, Cha Cha’s, Shoot the Freak and all the other places on the boardwalk they plan on shutting down. If they shut these places down, I’ll never go to Coney Island again. If you want to help, please sign this petition: Save Ruby’s Bar petition. Supposedly, the lease is over tomorrow, hopefully a miracle happens and it’ll be open again next season. Till then here’s some photos of what I hope isn’t the last pictures I’ll ever take of this historical bar on the boardwalk of Coney Island.

Here we go, the D train to Coney Island.

And through the miracle of the internet, I'll spare you the long train ride with unexpected stops and crying babies and deliver you to the boardwalk of Coney Island. Take a good long look, soon if the powers that be have their way this is going to be all cement.

And here's Ruby's bar. As you can see, they're not going down quietly.

Everybody was taking pictures of what we all hoped isn't the last night at Ruby's.

Two words sum up the whole day.

A petition was making the rounds to help save Ruby's.

I signed it and you can sign it too, online, right here.

Smart and intrepid Egghead says...

Build on vacant lots if you must! Leave the boardwalk alone!

Inside the bar was packed with people who were hoping they weren't paying their last respects.

Here's Mike the bartender we met last September on the bar crawl.

Neon on the inside of Ruby's.

A line up of beers.

Another sign that say's it all.

A father and son show their love for Ruby's.

Coney Island!

Lots of people were wearing "Save Coney Island" shirts.

Well said!

A shadow portrait of Mermaid Day Parades of past on the wall at Ruby's.

Hopefully this won't be my last beer at Ruby's.

There was a power trio playing up front and this guest singer sang an original song called, "Save Coney Island."

The crowd on the boardwalk loved it.

I don't think a sports bar is going to draw this kind of reaction from people.

One of the things I love about Ruby's is all the pictures on the walls. It made me sad to think if it closes on one will see these photos again, so I decided to document a bunch of them here. And here they are, without captions. Every picture here tell's a story, enjoy.

Here's a wedding picture taken at Ruby's and the couple signed it saying, "Thanks for the best day of our lives." Too bad corporate assholes are going to shut this place down and this couple can't re-live this moment again.

Evening arrives and the sun sets on the boardwalk.

Chairs are stacked for what I hope won't be a final last call for Ruby's.

One last shot of Ruby's Coney Island Bar.


Okay, back to bar-crawling business. I'm taking the subway back to Manhattan to meet the BBC and the ABC for Cheeseburger Saturday Night.

And once in Manhattan a cab delivers me to tonight's destination.

Live from New York, it's Saturday Night Cheeseburger! With special guest stars, the BBC and the ABC. Featuring the ready for prime beef player, Marty Wombacher. And tonight's host, The Burger Shoppe!

Here we are at the Burger Shoppe in the Financial District of Manhattan.

The downstairs is a diner style restaurant. But I'm not walking into diners...

I'm walking into bars, let's go upstairs.

I think I know these people...

The BBC (Baltimore Bar Crawlers) and the ABC (Australian Bar Crawlers) are here already! From left: Gene, Shannon, Clacky, Terry and Smoopy. Let the party begin!

Zenith was the friendly bartender on duty. He's also a photographer, check out his website here: Zenith Richards Photography. His photos are wonderful.

The bar and some of the specials written on the mirror.

The BBC and ABC at the bar.


There's tables at the front of the bar to dine at.

Back at the bar, Clacky starts the flippage for the evening.

My bar's-eye view photo.

Smoopy gets Pabst-wrapped!

Terry and I were both sporting the 365 colors. If you want a shirt designed by our in-house artist, "Boris" check out the 365 Bar Store.

Time to order, I think I'll have...

A cheesebuger! God damn, this was one delicious looking burger and it's stuffed with macaroni and cheese!

Now THAT'S a tasty burger!

After dinner it's time for dueling cameras.

Smoopy takes a shot of our final shot for the evening. Cheers!

And Zenith takes a final shot of all of us.

Goodnight, everybody!

Alright, I’m worn out putting up that massive post and I need to run some errands before I hit tonight’s bar for Sunday dinner, so here’s a review of the Burger Shoppe from New York Magazine.


It’s a well-established fact that as the economy sputters, comfort food soars. Which is why the opening of Burger Shoppe early into 2008 couldn’t be better timed. Glum Wall Streeters can now take solace in $4 burgers, two-for-$5 hot dogs, and buttermilk-batter onion rings. A two-in-one burger concept, the Shoppe’s ground floor is done up like an old soda fountain, with twelve stools and a Formica counter. The second floor is more P.J. Clarke’s than Peach Pit, with its vintage bar and trendy bar menu (bone marrow on toast!). This being the financial district, there are big deals: The 100-burger “party monster” requires only one hour’s notice and goes for $365. Now that’s a stimulus package.  — Robin Raisfeld and Rob Patronite


And don’t forget to sign Ruby’s petition!

Burger Shoppe
30 Water St. (Near Broad St.)


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!

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.)