Long Beach city leaders want to add concessions to newly constructed comfort stations on the city’s famous oceanfront boardwalk.
The city is accepting requests for proposals for these concessions, and officials also want to add food carts to the boardwalk. In addition, officials want to bring back a food truck station off the boardwalk.
Officials are accepting proposals with the new concessions expected to be opened by Memorial Day weekend. When they are up and running, vendors are expected to keep their businesses open from May 1 to Sept. 30 and close by 9 p.m. seven days per week, but remain open until 10 p.m. during city events.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency reimbursed the city to replace boardwalk bathrooms destroyed in superstorm Sandy. The city wants to add the concessions in six of these new and large comfort stations, which include bathrooms and resting areas, and are located at Grand, Edwards, Riverside, Lincoln and Pacific boulevards.
Last year, Long Beach City Council members approved spending $8.6 million on concession facilities in the new comfort stations. The buildings are spaced along a 2.2-mile beachside walking and running path.
Long Beach City Manager Jack Schnirman said the city will give preference to local businesses who want to open the concessions. He said the city would like to extend the boardwalk concession business into the spring and fall seasons to try to lure visitors during the offseason. The Empire State Development Agency has given the city a $300,000 grant to promote offseason tourism.
“It’s a goal we have to extend the season,” Schnirman said. “People want a variety of different kinds of food and people want to have access to coffee shops and desserts.”
The city has hosted food trucks for the past three years at a site at Broadway and Riverside Boulevard as part of its “Shoregasboard” food truck festival off the boardwalk. Food carts will also be posted throughout the boardwalk selling ice cream and other refreshments. Other kinds of mobile vendors can set up west of New York Avenue and east of Neptune Boulevard.
Nearly 1,500 residents answered a survey last year to give input as to what options they would like to see on the boardwalk. Residents said they wanted a mix of concessions, showers, bathrooms and tables on the boardwalk. Residents said they want the city to still maintain the boardwalk’s recreational activities like walking, running and biking.
“One thing we heard back from the public was that they want to see a nice balance struck, by increasing the options of food and activities and retail, and making sure we have a recreational and relaxing feel of the boardwalk,” Schnirman said.
Proposals are due by 3 p.m. Feb. 10 at Long Beach City Hall, 1 W. Chester St. For more information call 516-431-1000.