After operating out of Jacob Riis Park’s Bay 9 Pavilion for the past three years, the Riis Park Beach Bazaar is expanding into the park’s crown jewel: its Art Deco bathhouse.
The operators of the concessions near Fort Tilden in Rockaway, who also run the Brooklyn Bazaar in Greenpoint, announced today that they’re bringing a video arcade, several food stands, a beer garden, and even some glamping facilities to one of the building’s pavilions and the courtyard outside of it. The Bathhouse Beach Pavilion and Courtyard is expected to soft-open on the July 4 weekend.
The new food vendors— to be stationed outside of the building, near the beer garden— will include the excellent La Cevicheria, a favorite over at the Beach 97th Street concession stand; a crab-cake stand, Musser’s Famous, by Mark Gravel, founder of Smorgasburg’s Supreme Burger; a coffee stand offering bagels, pastries, and granola; and, naturally, a spot for açaí bowls. Some current Beach Bazaar favorites, like Ample Hills and Fletcher’s, will also have a presence.
The video arcade will be located in the pavilion on the building’s beach-facing side.
For those who miss the last ferry back to civilization, Camp Rockaway will be renting canvas tents, complete with memory-foam mattresses, throughout the season.
As with the Bay 9 Pavilion, there’ll be DJs and other programming outside
of the bathhouse; for starters, boogie-master Jonathan Toubin will be spinning on the weekend of July 14.
The historic bathhouse— opened in 1932 and closed in 1988 due to the asbestos used for its changing rooms— was damaged by hurricanes Sandy and Irene. As of late 2016, it had gotten $4 million in renovations including flood-resistant roll-up doors. Last year, Untapped Cities photographed the “all but abandoned” interior and described the structure—- which once housed restaurants, a solarium, and thousands of lockers—- as “slouching towards ruin but hanging
onto its former glory by a thread.”
The National Parks Service, in a letter of intent about its long-term lease with Riis Park Beach Bazaar, says that in addition to this summer’s pop-ups, “other aspects of this site should be open by summer of 2020.”