The news is bittersweet like a candied apple: The attorney for the Coney Island 8, Marc Aronson, tells us that as expected, the embattled boardwalk businesses have signed a deal with Zamperla that will allow them to stay one last season. Aronson says papers were signed last night, and Ruby's, Paul's Daughter, Beer Island, Cha Cha's, the Grill House, Gyro Corner, and Coney Island Souvenirs will return to the boardwalk at the same rent. They’ll close on October 31 and surrender their keys on November 7 of this year. Shoot the Freak, which won’t return since it was illegally razed, received a settlement (certain other businesses also received “financial considerations”), and the group agreed to drop its cases in state supreme and civil court. Aronson doesn’t know what Zamperla’s exact plans are for the 2012 season, when corporate giant Sodexo will run Phony Island’s food concessions, but says of the amusement behemoth, “They had to be taught a little bit about the way the legal system works in this country. In Brooklyn law, I’ve always believed you treat people with respect and dignity, and they didn’t do that.”
As for the rumored non-disclosures that the businesses were said to be signing, Aronson says, “We were asked to sign them yesterday — those documents have not been signed. I did not allow my clients to sign them.” (That may be revisited.) For now, Ruby’s at least is celebrating, judging by a Facebook update: “It is Official. A deal was signed yesterday, and we are happy to announce that RUBY'S will be celebrating our 36th year in business, and will be open for the 2011 season. This small victory has happened in part due to the help and support of ALL of our loyal friends, and patrons. THANK YOU!!!”
Elsewhere in Coney Island, the founder of the Kansas Fried Chicken chain has put the old Thunderbolt roller-coaster site up for sale again.