Yesterday’s news in Gothamist that Ruby’s Bar and Grill (aka Coney Island Olde Time Bar) might vanish from the Brooklyn boardwalk next year reminded us all at Edible that we’ve had some very special moments there, including several summer afternoons that we don’t really remember and several New Year’s mornings we’ll never forget, watching the wanna-be Polar Bears hit the icy cold surf. But the most memorable of all was this May, when I had friends gather there to celebrate the James Beard award I’d scored a few nights before.
We met for a few Bud bottles (and maybe some Cracker Jacks, as that’s all they had on hand) before heading down the boardwalk for a) $2 shots of vodka and buckwheat blini from a window and then b) to a Brighton Beach nightclub for dinner. It was actually so early in the season the rickety chairs were still up in the rickety tables and we had to huddle together for warmth against the glow of the jukebox. Which was, as I recall, still stuck in the middle of the room. (Though wait, isn’t it always?)
My good friend, who shall remain anonymous, had brought some date from another country who could barely understand what was happening, and while still at Ruby’s she asked, her voice quavering, “is this where we are EATING?” (Later she ended up so tipsy she crawled under our table and went to sleep, as drunken diners ate pelmeni and sang Lionel Richie with Eastern European accents.)
It’s only-in-Brooklyn experiences just like that wouldn’t happen without a Ruby’s, and that’s why it’s a New York City classic, a Brooklyn icon and a one in a million cracker jack of a bar.