Earlier this month, the owners of Coney Island’s Luna Park announced they’d be booting out eight boardwalk businesses because they didn’t fit their image of a “year-round” Coney. That’s been the stated dream of city planners for years now — but is it a realistic one?
For Zamperla, the acclaimed developers of Coney Island’s new Luna Park, the honeymoon didn’t last long. Just five months after opening Coney Island’s first new amusement park in half a century, the Italian-based amusement-ride company came under fire for announcing early this month that it would not renew leases for eight of the 11 businesses occupying the boardwalk properties that it leases from the city. Gone would be Ruby’s Bar & Grill, a Coney institution dating to 1934, as well as several other food vendors and the popular Shoot the Freak game. Only a Nathan’s satellite store and two souvenir shops would survive. … [read more]