So, yes, Rockaway has three new outdoor drinking spots – but what about the boardwalk concessions we already know and love?
The good news is this: Roberta’s has set up a mobile pizza oven on a short stretch of boardwalk on Beach 69th Street and will be slinging pies on the weekends, weather-permitting.
And more good news: this past weekend Caracas, the East Village arepas joint, reopened its stand at Beach 106th Street, which had been badly damaged by Sandy. Joining Caracas this year is Conchos Rockaway — an offshoot of Citysticks, the ice pop stand that’s also outside of the Williamsburg location of Caracas.
In addition to exotically flavored pops (mango capirinha, etc.), Citysticks will offer smoothies, juices, milkshakes and New Orleans-style iced coffee by Blue Bottle. But one thing that won’t be sold at the 106th Street stand, at least for now: hard liquor.
That’s because, according to numerous vendors, the Parks Department demanded last week that concessionaires stop their practice of selling the hard stuff after 6 p.m.
Shaeffer Haitsma, the bar manager at Rippers (at 86th Street) said she didn’t think any one incident prompted the downgrade, but pointed to the “sheer number of people” who descended on the burger joint during its first few weekends, when it was the only concession stand open. “They were starting to get worried about the crowd and did a little bit of crowd control,” she said of the Parks Department.
At the closing of the MoMA PS1 VW Dome on Sunday, Jill Weber, a Rockaway administrator for the Parks Department, referred our questions about the change in policy to the agency’s press office. We’ll let you know if we get an answer.
But fear not, pina colada die-hards: Chris Parachini, the owner of Rippers and Roberta’s, is working to get the booze back: “I highly doubt we’ll have it by the 4th of July,” Haitsma predicted, “but I definitely foresee us getting it back by the end of the summer.”
In the meantime, Rippers is serving beer and messing around with some new menu items. During the weekday, when the crowds aren’t so insane, you might find an oyster po boy on offer, or oysters “Ripafeller” made with house cheese sauce and French-fry bits. And get this: there’s a frozen yogurt machine coming.
Meanwhile, the concession stand at 96th Street hasn’t yet reopened, but it’s expected to be up and running for the 4th. Word is Rockaway Taco won’t be doing flautas there anymore, and will instead focus on its original shack — and perhaps the occasional pop-up event at a lot at. We’ll let you know when we find out who’s taking their place.
In the meantime, order yourself a Rockaway Brewing Company beer, try not to think about the margarita you’d otherwise be downing, and enjoy the “posi-vibes” that, according to Haitsma, are in full force this summer.