Thor brings its hammer down on Coney Island’s Lola Staar

January 9, 2009 at 8:31 pm Leave a comment

Lola Staar, the funky, pink-hued clothing boutique and gift shop on Coney Island’s Boardwalk has been booted from the fabled seaside strip.

Nearly a dozen Boardwalk businesses had their locks changed Christmas Eve by developer Thor Equities.

But from Nathan’s Famous to the legendary dive bar Ruby’s, all but Lola Staar are expected to get new leases this month – at double the rent.

Lola Staar proprietor Dianna Carlin believes it was her outspoken criticism of Thor Equities that prompted the developer not to renew her lease, which ended last week.

“No one knows better than me how vicious and evil they are but it still astounds me,” said Carlin, who said Thor official Sam Sabin told her, “We’re kicking you out. Have a Happy New Year.”

Sabin declined to comment.

Other Coney Island businesses that got lease renewals weren’t entirely happy either.

“We believe we are being renewed, but as of today I don’t know for sure,” said Michael Sarrel, a member of the family that owns Ruby’s.

“There’s a substantial rent increase,” added Sarrel, who wouldn’t discuss specifics. “The truth is the previous rent was fair. The new rent is unfair.”

Carlin, who has operated Lola Staar on the Boardwalk for nine years, said she is finalizing plans to reopen in a ground-floor storefront inside the Stillwell Ave. subway terminal this spring.

“I love my store on the Boardwalk – I loved everything about it,” said Carlin. “I’m sure my Stillwell Ave. location will be great, but I’m heartbroken.”

Thor has been negotiating with the city to sell property now standing in what would become a proposed amusement park once new zoning is approved for the beachside mecca.

Thor spokesman Stefan Friedman insisted most of the businesses would be extended new leases and said all of the storefronts would be filled by the next amusement season.

“Thor has had positive negotiations with a majority of our tenants in Coney Island,” said Friedman. “We are confident every single square foot of property that Thor owns in Coney will be open and active next summer.”

BY JOTHAM SEDERSTROM
DAILY NEWS

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Entry filed under: Brooklyn, Go Coastal.

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