Beer Island in 2008. Apparently, no one on Flickr took photos of the real sites, so you get this lonely guy with a murse. (Source: laserlars/Flickr)
On the list of things that I’m way too excited about and probably flag me as less than a gentleman, Coney Island’s Beer Island is being resurrected as Margarita Island, Amusing the Zillion reports.
For those who don’t know, Beer Island was one of those places that could only emerge in the post-Thor, pre-development purgatory phase of Coney Island, when various establishments were shuttered to make way for new amusements and construction that took a few years to appear. To save face, Thor leased out a few properties to various operators, of which only Beer Island was redeemable.
Let me set the scene here: a big fenced lot. Within, someone dumped a few tons of sand, set up some chintzy tables and umbrellas, and hired some buxom dames to wear bikinis and dole out suds from a shack.
It was glorious, and it was given the boot when the city evicted the boardwalk businesses after purchasing the property from Thor.
Now, it’ll be returning, this time to Bowery Street and West 12th Street. Here’s the nut from AtZ:
The outdoor bar’s liquor license was issued a few days ago and a food truck specializing in Japanese teriyaki is already parked on site. New picnic tables are set up on the corner lot, which had been vacant since Coney Island Arcade burned down four years ago. The property is owned by Jeff Persily, who is also leasing the space next-door to [Margarita Island owner Carl] Muraco for his arcade, formerly located in one of Thor’s buildings.
Five-dollar beers? Yes, please. Check out AtZ’s scoop for more details, including the food they plan on bringing in.
New signage went up over at 1307 Avenue Z, the former home of Puff Caffe, revealing a rebrand as Love 69 Bar & Lounge.
The change happened within the last few weeks, though we’re told it’s the same owners as Puff, which came under new management about a year ago.
We haven’t been inside, but a Yelp reviewer notes that there’s been a redesign on the interior:
Before Love 69 (a little bizarre for a name of a hookah lounge), the previous Puff cafe underwent multiple. Its fairly similar, but now they have a stage (I’m assuming they will upgrade with live music) and more importantly, a full bar!
Decor now is a rustic, western theme. Same layout and cool decorations. Theme also includes sex; you’ll notice the bathroom door with a woman taped with “69″ on her boobs and a poster in the front with about 15 different explicit sex positions. Guess they took “sex sells” a little seriously?
Writer, producer and actor William DeMeo, who got his big acting break in A Bronx Tale (portions of which were filmed in Sheepshead Bay) and named his production West Street after the Gravesend street he grew up on, is back in the neighborhood today, filming scenes for his upcoming feature-length indie flick Back in the Day at Night Light Cafe (1657 Sheepshead Bay Road).
The bar will serve as the scene of an “argument in the neighborhood bar,” and crew on set this morning told us that DeMeo and Shannon Doherty will both be in the area for today’s filming.
We’re told Danny Glover will be in the movie, and even Mike Tyson has a cameo. Consider this a scoop – none of these stars are listed on the IMDB page, which does note that Michael Madsen, Joe D’Onofrio and Paul Borghese will co-star, and Borghese is serving is director.
The film, written by DeMeo, takes place in the 1980s and the current day, following Anthony Rodriguez (DeMeo), a half-Italian, half-Puerto Rican youth growing up in Bensonhurst. After losing his mother and suffering his abusive, alcoholic father, he’s taken under the wing of a local mob boss (Madsen), who supports him as he rises as a boxing talent to eventually become a world champion.
The movie will definitely feature Southern Brooklyn prominently, and future shoots around Sheepshead Bay – as well as Gravesend and Bensonhurst – are likely. For now, mind the traffic: Sheepshead Bay Road is a nightmare to get down.
CLARIFICATION (10/22/2012): We just received a call about this post from a reader who said our post was confusing. Our apologies – it is confusing, and part of that is because we put our latest updates above the piece, with the original post below it. So, to be clear, Vodka Gallery is not closing. They said they were, and had a closing party, but then announced that new management will take over the business and keep it alive.
Below is the update we posted Friday, after finding out our original post, which is below that on this page, no longer reflected the facts.
UPDATE (10/19/2012 @ 4:31 p.m.): We take it all back. Thirty minutes before this post published, the established announced via the very same Facebook page that a deal was struck, and the establishment would stay open under new management. However, it sounds like there’ll be a change in direction.
Here’s what they posted: “Everyone! Vodka Gallery is under new management (**more info to come, including what’s changing**)”
Fans, however, do not seem amused, with one saying they feel lied to, and another accusing them of playing with their heartstrings. We’re just happy to hear there won’t be another vacant storefront.
The Vodka Gallery (2376 Coney Island Avenue) has closed its doors for good, but not before holding one last vodka swilling bash this past Saturday, October 13. After four years of sharing shots, good times, and more shots, the Vodka Gallery “moved on to new adventures,” according to its Facebook page.
A process server representing the owners of a proposed bar and restaurant in Gravesend that was denied a liquor license interrupted Community Board 15′s September meeting last night, serving papers for a $180 million lawsuit that claims the Board conspired to defame the owners, and discriminated against them based on their Russian roots.
Pleasure Island, also known as Galaxy, located at 816 Avenue U, was denied a liquor license by the State Liquor Authority in 2011 – and again by the Community Board earlier this year – after locals learned of plans to reactivate a bar that some said was a hotbed for underage drinking and rowdiness. The lawsuit claims, though, that those neighbors were misled by numerous community leaders in a smear campaign orchestrated by Community Board 15 Chairperson Theresa Scavo, possibly for discriminatory reasons.
“She’s saying these people aren’t Jewish enough,” Susan Bernstein, the plaintiffs’ attorney, told Sheepshead Bites. “She wants what she wants in that neighborhood. A Community Board isn’t a despotic agency that can decide what business can open and close. They spread intentional lies about the two individuals involved.”
With a headline like that, I’m sure plenty of Sheepshead Bay old-timers are groaning, “Duu-uh! Old news.”
But we’re not talking about the influx of immigrants from the former Soviet Union. We’re talking about a new bar and restaurant at 2817 Coney Island Avenue called USSR. Or, perhaps, Back to USSR, depending on how you read the sign:
I’ve got to admit, on first seeing this I said to myself, “Man, that’s foolish. Way to tell non-Russians they’re not welcome.”
But after getting a closer look at the sign, and seeing they replaced the hammer and sickle with chicken Kiev and kielbasa, designed the communist red star using caviar, and wrapped the whole thing in bread and sturgeon, and underscored it with a blini – well, these guys have a sense of humor, and I look forward to checking it out.
Construction workers have spent the last week or so at 2524 Coney Island Ave, overhauling it from an understated lounge to the brightly-colored, potentially Spider-Man-themed hockey bar, Arena.
It’s not clear when the new location will be open. The site was previously Status Quo Ante, which after a year or two in operation with barely a sign to indicate its existence, closed up shop recently.
BREAKING NEWS! GROUNDBREAKING REPORT! SHEEPSHEAD BITES EXCLUSIVE! YOUR READ IT HERE FIRST, FOLKS!
The restaurant at 1705 Sheepshead Bay Road formerly known as Wheeler’s and then became Wheelers is now once again Wheeler’s!
Ah, Wheelers, we hardly knew ye. I mean, you only existed for three months. And, mom was probably afraid to tell you this, but you were totally an accident.
When Wheelers – er, Wheeler’s? – upgraded to a new sign and awning in November, a little snafu caused the apostrophe, which indicates this bar is the property of Wheeler and not just named Wheelers, got lost in the mix. After three months of looking for it – bam! Found it! – it was mounted yesterday, bringing us back to the name we’ve been familiar with since 1979.