Ruby’s Still Fighting for Its Life As Coney’s Opening Day Approaches

Photo: Andrew Karcie

The venerable Ruby’s isn’t included on a list of establishments that will definitely be open when Coney Island starts its season on April 5, so we decided to check in with owner Michael Sarrel. He tells us he’s presently negotiating with Joe Sitt, the landlord, who has doubled his rent, to try to open the boardwalk dive for another season. “It’s a coin toss at best,” he tells us. “There’s not that much money to be made up in Coney Island.” Asked whether he’ll have to operate at a loss if he agrees to a higher rent, Sarrell says it depends on the weather and also on how many people return to the boardwalk now that Astroland is closed. “There’s speculation he’s going to get some kind of circus where the park is going to be, but that’s just speculation. I expect at best to do 75 percent of what we did last year. I don’t know that that’s going to be enough to stay here. It’s tough because we’ve been there so long that it’s in our blood.” Sarrell should have a better idea of where things stand in a couple of weeks.