2010-09-10 / Top Stories

Parks Pushes Foodie RFP To September 24

The city’s Department of Parks and Recreation has pushed back the due date for a Request for Proposal (RFP) for a single vendor to run three snack bars and up to 20 mobile carts on or near the boardwalk.

In addition, the concessionaire that gets the nod will be able to rent beach equipment such as beach chairs and umbrellas.

The three existing boardwalk snack bars, located at Beach 86 Street, Beach 97 Street and Beach 106 Street, will all have to be renovated and restocked by the winning bidder and there is a 63-page list of rules by which they will have to live.

The city agency has changed its rules for selling from food carts on the boardwalk, however.

Under a modification to the RFP that was issued just last week, the winning bidder may operate pushcarts on the boardwalk, but mobile trucks would still be limited to the non-beach side of the boardwalk.

In addition, food hawkers would be allowed to work the beach, but would be restricted to a specific set of items that they could sell, including packaged drinks and snacks.

Another change to the RFP changes the definition of “beach season,” so that the vendors can operate before Memorial Day and after Labor Day with the agency’s permission.

And, while the original RFP held the vendors to operating only between Beach 50 Street and Beach 149 Street, the addendum will allow pushcarts to operate on the remainder of the boardwalk with the approval of the agency.

As for alcoholic beverages, they are permitted in the three snack bars, but that alcohol consumption “must be kept discreet and the alcohol must be served in cordoned-off areas in the immediate vicinity of the snack bar.”

The RFP says that the department “will view favorably proposals which incorporate ethnically diverse and/or healthy food choices, such as salads, fresh fruit, yogurt, nuts, granola bars, protein bars, bottled water, juices and smoothies.”

Some of the other items cleared for sale by Parks are hot dogs, sausage, pretzels, pretzel dogs, knishes, prepackaged empanadas, potato chips and Red Bull.

The pushcarts may also have a freezer cart attachment, in which case the vendor can sell pre-packaged ice cream specialties.

None of the pushcarts will be allowed to serve alcoholic beverages.

Those who are interested in bidding for the Parks concession will be given a tour of the sites at 2 p.m. on August 20.

Proposals are due to the Parks Department by 3 p.m. on September 24, and a decision as to the winning bidder will be made at a later date.

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