Report: Boardwalk businesses saved!

One last drink at Ruby’s on the Boardwalk
Photo by Tom Callan

Seven of the eight evicted Coney Island businesses may return to the Boardwalk for one more summer — but Shoot the Freak could be shut out of the deal.

After a drawn-out legal battle, the booted shops are set to receive a one-year lease that would end on Nov. 1, according to a report on the blog, Amusing the Zillions. Landlord Central Amusement International will allow Ruby’s Bar and Grill, Cha Cha’s and five other longtime businesses to move back into their original locations, but will place the bulldozed Shoot the Freak in an unspecified spot in the area. Central Amusement wants to use the kitschy attraction’s old Boardwalk site as an entrance to its new amusement park, Scream Zone.

Shoot the Freak co-owner Carlo Muraco confirmed that his paintball booth is the Boardwalk outcast.

“They are leaving out Shoot the Freak from the Boardwalk, but if they offer us another location, we’ll take it,” Muraco said.

But even the businesses that are likely to return to the Boardwalk will have less than a year to celebrate. The one-year-lease deal may stipulate that they cannot protest their eviction this fall.
Central Amusement first kicked out the Coney Island Eight in November as part of a vision of glitzy stores and a fancy sit-down restaurants — a plan that hasn’t materialized, partly because of the lengthy eviction battle, partly because of the economy.

Central Amusement officials declined to discuss the ongoing negotiations but the businesses’ lawyer, Marc Aronson, said, “We’ve been working strongly on a settlement that will cover all eight businesses.”

Aronson declined to discuss further details, but added that the agreement may be finalized as soon as next week.

Both sides were due in court for a hearing this morning, but the case was adjourned until March 7. But Aronson vowed that the case would be settled before then.