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Fourth of July opening seen for Boardwalk Cafe at Jones Beach

The eatery, shut since 2004, will offer a diverse menu, officials say. The state park has been undergoing $65 million of much-needed upgrades.

An artist's rendering shows the upgraded Boardwalk Cafe

An artist's rendering shows the upgraded Boardwalk Cafe at Jones Beach. The cafe is expected to reopen by July Fourth, officials said Tuesday. Credit: NYS Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation

The Boardwalk Cafe at Jones Beach, shut since 2004, will open by July Fourth, if not sooner, with “every kind of hamburger,” tacos, rice bowls, panini, sandwiches, craft beer and other beverages, officials said on Tuesday.

“It’s exciting because part of our overall revitalization plan — it was about creating a diverse, interesting opportunity for all kinds of different food,” said Rose Harvey, commissioner of the state Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation.

A splash park, located along the boardwalk, also is scheduled to open by Independence Day, she said.

By July 2019, children will be able to frolic in an adventure playground with a zip line and rope courses, Harvey said.

She spoke to Newsday after touring Wantagh’s Jones Beach State Park, now undergoing $65 million of much-needed upgrades.

About $50 million of improvements are ready, including restored East and West Bathhouses, modernized bathrooms and games areas.

The funds come from Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s 10-year plan to pour $900 million of public and private funds into state parks, which were neglected for decades.

“It’s a complete transformation,” Harvey said.

At Jones Beach, planners were instructed to add the 21st-century elements while keeping its 1929 Art Deco designs intact.

“We’re creating an experience that honors the old and the history, and makes it more relevant for the future,” she said.

By next summer, plans call for opening a new 4 1⁄2-mile paved path in the western area.

In 2020, a new 10-mile eastern stretch along Ocean Parkway will debut, more than doubling the length of an existing path.

The reopening of the Boardwalk Cafe was delayed by damage from superstorm Sandy in 2012, which led the state and then-developer Donald Trump to cancel his contentious plan for a larger, more upscale restaurant.

The new $20 million cafe sits on 20-foot pilings, which will protect it from floods and sea level rise, Harvey said.

There is another advantage to raising the building for the customers, who can sit inside or outside.

“It offers a magnificent view while you’re eating,” she said.

Harvey said she and a few of others enjoyed spending Monday night in one of the new cottages at Wading River’s Wildwood State Park, uncovering a handful of minor problems, from shower levers that needed adjusting to a few outlets too narrow for plugs.

“In all seriousness, it really helps that we had about seven people from different walks of life stay in them,” she said.

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