Coney Island’s Ruby’s Bar and Grill Closes after 76 Years


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For seventy-six years, family-owned Ruby’s Bar and Grill has been a Coney Island staple.

It’s also been home to mermaid-pirate weddings, mermaid parade after-parties, and a timeline of photographs that date back as far as the bar does.

But this week the long-time proprietors of Ruby’s may lose their bar forever.

Back in October, sisters Melody Sarrel and Cindy Jacobs, daughters of the original founder Ruby Jacobs, received notice of eviction from amusement giant Zamperla USA, the corporation that had taken over the bar’s lease, and several others, in hopes of turning the boardwalk into a cash cow.

The Ruby’s owners and staff threw themselves a goodbye party. And then another. And somehow never quite ended up leaving.

On December 10, the sisters will appear in court to answer a summons for overstaying their welcome. Zamperla USA has sued the pair, citing lost profits caused by the owners’ refusal to vacate the building and thus delaying construction.

On the weekend before Thanksgiving, Ruby’s Bar and Grill threw a last last hurrah. They were closing up for the season, not so much because of Zamperla’s threats, but because it was getting a bit cold to tolerate Ruby’s breezy, open-air bar setup.

The celebration was bittersweet, with patrons saying ‘goodbye’ to the owners, but also, with stubborn optimism, “see you next year!”

About Eliza Ronalds-Hannon