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Happily shipwrecked on the sudsy shores of Beer Island

A new site off the Coney Island Boardwalk has been attracting thirsty revelers.

John Ciarcia, the man behind the Boardwalk mainstay Cha Cha's, recently opened his latest venture, Beer Island, an alcoholic oasis for those coming off the beach, Cyclone or from a stroll along the water.

Since opening for the summer season at the former site of an inflatable water slide and miniature golf course, the venue has been serving up drinks and snacks, with more food options in the works as the season progresses.

With Cha Cha's, Ciarcia hoped to build it up to be a “cool place…where the younger generation is coming,” and the same can be said for Beer Island, a faux-beach in the same vein as other New York City waterfront hangouts such as Water Taxi Beach in Long Island City.

The new Beer Island is built over sand from the beach and features tables and seating for up to 500, a "blankets on the beach" area, a covered dining area with light food, a bar and waitress service with various domestic and imported beers and wines, and only a $5 drink minimum at tables.

Beer Island also has an outdoor sound system and jukebox, and an outdoor stage for various special live-music events throughout the summer will soon be erected as well. The space will also be available for private functions, corporate parties and special events.

Ciarcia, known for his role as Albie Cianflone on the last two seasons of the HBO hit “The Sopranos,” as well as a co-host on the Sirius Satellite radio's “The Wiseguys Show” and on WOR radio's “The Joey Reynolds Show,” is also planning to have many of his celebrity pals drop by for "surprise visits" this summer at both Beer Island and Cha Cha's Coney Island Bar & Café.

Cha Cha’s is on the Coney Island Boardwalk at 1229 Boardwalk W, with the new Beer Island located at the Boardwalk and Stillwell Avenue. The details of all upcoming live shows and special events, at both locations, will be announced in the next few weeks. For further information call 718-946-1305 or visit

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