DiCosmo's Italian Ices
About 18 months ago, locals began to notice improvements at the corner where Rockaway Beach Boulevard intersects the Cross Bay Bridge. In spring 2008, the proprietors of Surfside Bagels opened a sleek but casual bagel store at 95-11 Rockaway Beach Boulevard. Folks arriving on the Q53 express bus could grab a flavored iced coffee and bagel with cream cheese and head to the beach.
Then, in the summer of 2008, a trendy, earthy little taco joint aptly named "Rockaway Taco" was established around the corner on Beach 96 Street, in a tiny hole-in-the-wall wooden shack with an open-air patio on the side, and cilantro plants growing in pots on the roof. Custom-designed mosaic counters executed by Geoff Rawling of the Rockaway Artists Alliance and funky patterns painted on the outside of the shack completed the picture. This past summer, the location in between, close to the corner of Beach 96 and the Boulevard, also became available for rent.
Enter John DiCosmo, third-generation descendant of the famous Italian ices clan from Elizabeth, New Jersey. He decided to hang out a sign at 95-19 Rockaway Beach Boulevard and begin a seasonal business on that corner, selling fresh lemon ices he makes daily using the family's famous 94-yearold recipe. A varying selection of three other flavors of homemade ices are rotated each day, as well.
Given the attractions of the "surfers only" beach at 90 Street and the express bus and train stations nearby, this area is fast becoming "fun snack central" for locals and visitors to Rockaway Beach. More than one of the metro area daily newspapers, including the New York Times, have taken note. The blogosphere is in an uproar. You can partake of Rockaway Taco's authentic local Mexican fare on a hot summer weekend (expect a wait of up to a half-hour due to its current popularity), and follow it up with a perfect chaser of lemon ice from DiCosmo's.
Rockaway has had a shortage of truly inspired seasonal snack businesses lately, so the entry of Rockaway Taco and DiCosmo's Italian Ices is encouraging. Stop by and sample their offerings before they finish their season at the end of September! DiCosmo's is open daily from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. through Labor Day, and will remain open on weekends only in the month of September. Rockaway Taco is open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily and 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday.