The concessions stands along the Rockaway Beach boardwalk are under new management.
The city’s Parks Department awarded a multi-year contract to the team that runs the Riis Park Bazaar to renovate, operate and maintain the three outdoor cafes, one beach shop and up to 20 satellite units along the iconic boardwalk that was reconstructed following the massive destruction caused by Superstorm Sandy.
“Rockaway beachside oases, Beach Bazaar intends to keep the party going at the beloved B86, B97th and B106th streets with plans to transform B97th Street into a year-round venue and extend further east on the boardwalk,” NYC Parks spokeswoman Meghan Lalor said. “Rockaway Beach Bazaar has also committed to working with existing food vendors on the boardwalk to keep much of the same great tastes that beachgoers know and love.”
NYC Parks awarded the 15-year contract to Belvy Klein and Aaaron Broudo, the co-owners and co-founders of Riis Park Bazaar who have run those concessions for the last five years.
“We appreciate this opportunity and look forward to working together with the NYC Parks Department and the local Rockaway community, utilizing our proven track record to help make the Rockaway Beach boardwalk better than ever,” Klein said. “We have a 10 year+ track record of opening venues, building strong teams, managing vendors and programming at Jacob Riis Park, where we have proved to be a safe and responsible operator while helping raise park attendance to levels not seen in decades. We have done this with an emphasis on hyper local vendors and staff. Our Rockaway Beach operations will follow this same example.”
As for the operators of the concession stands who have been able to stay in business through Superstorm Sandy and the boardwalks reconstruction, the 2018 closure of the beaches by the city due to sand erosion and last year’s COVID-19 pandemic shutdown, some may return this spring.
“We plan on bringing back popular Rockaway vendors as well as introducing exciting new operators as we contribute to Rockaway’s renaissance,” Klein said. “We intend to retain as many of the previous vendors as possible and will be offering those operators first opportunity at their past concession locations. We are very excited and look forward to seeing everyone back at the beach!”