Eight mom-and-pop businesses were expected to appear in housing court today to fight their eviction from the Coney Island Boardwalk, but we're told the court date was postponed for a second time, to February 16th. In the meantime, the "Coney Island Eight" have already lost the crucial support of Democratic Councilman Domenic Recchia Jr., who serves as chairman of the council’s powerful Finance Committee. Recchia tells the Post, "I understand the sentiment that these businesses have been here a long time, but they also made a lot of money paying cheap rent all these years. If they really cared, I know firsthand that they had plenty of chances to buy these properties and fix them up, but they never did."

Never mind, of course, that the businesses were never offered leases lasting longer than a year or two, thus taking away their incentive to pour money into costly renovations. Or that bars like Cha Cha's and Ruby's submitted detailed plans to their landlord, Italian company Zamerpla, outlining improvements they intended to make if their leases were renewed. Recchia says "the stakes are too high to risk losing" the 360 new jobs that Zamperla estimates it will bring next summer after it tears down the old-timers and builds a year-round sports bar and restaurant.

Those theoretical jobs, incidentally, would be managed by Sodexo, a French cafeteria company that's paid $100 million in legal settlements to settle allegations of overcharging New York students and of denying black employees promotions. Linda Gross, spokeswoman for the Coney Island Eight, says her clients never had the opportunity to buy the property they lease, and accused Recchia of doing Mayor Bloomberg’s “bidding” as payback for the mayor “lobbying successfully” last year for Recchia’s Finance Committee appointment.

Here's video showing exactly the kind of festivities Coney Island could lose if the Bloomberg administration, using Zamperla as its puppet, sanitizes the Boardwalk:

[Via Amusing the Zillion]