Evidence of an old below the boardwalk bar has been unearthed during renovation work that’s currently underway in Coney Island’s amusement area.
The menu for the underground beer hall, or ratskeller, was found on a cellar wall under the former first floor location of Coney Island Souvenirs, writes Amusing the Zillion.
Decades before the Army Corps of Engineers pumped sand under the Coney Island Boardwalk in the 1990s, rathskellers (council’s cellar in German) were popular with beach goers. ATZ found an ad from 1957 looking to lease an 80-foot Boardwalk frontage with an 80-foot rathskeller below with direct frontage on the beach.
The name of the rathskeller whose menu was rediscovered remains unknown, but its prices appear to date back to the 1940s. Beer and milk were 10 cents, coffee was a nickel. The sandwich menu included hamburger, egg, cream cheese, American cheese, Swiss cheese, Sardine or Salmon, Ham, Salami or Liverwurst, Ham & Egg, and a Western. Could this be the place where the boy in the 1953 movie The Little Fugitive returned soda bottles to collect money to go on the rides?
Coney Island Souvenir’s old storefront, located next door to Ruby’s, is to be occupied by Brooklyn Beach Shop, a spinoff of the Coney Island Beach Shop – located both on Stillwell Avenue around the corner from Nathan’s and inside the Stillwell Avenue Subway Terminal.