The owner of Boardwalk staple Cha Cha’s says the storied, Sandy-sunk honky-tonk will be back — but exactly when is anybody’s guess.
“You’ll just have to ask President Obama and the mayor when it’ll be open,” said John “Cha Cha” Ciarcia, who vowed his beloved watering hole would rise again from the floods that wrecked his new restaurant’s interior just eight months after it opened on Surf Avenue, following its unceremonious eviction with other Boardwalk businesses last year.
Ciarcia said the opening was delayed because he was still battling the treacherous waters of his insurance company and federal aid, leaving him to fund the repairs out of pocket.
“It’s all me right now,” said the ex-carny. “Where are the grants? All they’re offering is bulls--t loans.”
The taproom titan promised that his storied spot will be exactly as patrons remember it when it reopens — complete with an open front, a kitchen in back, and an adjoining pizzeria.
“It’ll be just like it was,” he said.
Those who can’t imagine a summer at the People’s Playground without Cha Cha’s shouldn’t fear because Ciarcia’s 12-ride Steeplechase-Fun Park on Stillwell Avenue between Bowery Street and the Boardwalk — which has its own bar — will be back in 2013, he promised.Reach reporter Will Bredderman at (718) 260–4507 or e-mail him at wbredderma