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Town board won't pursue alcohol sales, night music at South Jamesport concession stand

Riverhead Town officials wanted to offer more full-service options such as hot dogs and hamburgers to mimic the experience at nearby beaches, but residents opposed it.

Residents who live near the concession stand at

Residents who live near the concession stand at South Jamesport Beach in Jamesport had opposed expanding it to offer alcohol and music in the evening. Credit: James Carbone

Riverhead officials have withdrawn a proposal to sell alcohol and include music in the evening at a concession stand near South Jamesport Beach after pressure from nearby residents who opposed the plan.

The Riverhead Town Board announced Thursday at a work session at Town Hall that it was withdrawing the proposal. Town Councilman Tim Hubbard, who had worked on the plan with officials in the town’s Recreation Department, said Friday that he had received dozens of calls and emails — many of them from residents who live near the beach — that were mostly opposed to alcohol sales or music at the concession.

“The only positive responses were from people who didn’t live in the area,” said Hubbard, which he added were only one or two people.

As a result, the board also decided to cancel a planned community meeting Tuesday in Aquebogue, where residents had been invited to discuss the proposed changes.

The concession stand, which sells only packaged items such as potato chips, was to undergo changes to become a more full-service stand capable of selling cooked foods such as hot dogs and hamburgers after some residents suggested the upgrades. The idea was to give beachgoers concession options similar to those at other beaches, such as Cupsogue Beach in Westhampton Beach.

Hubbard said he will speak with recreation superintendent Ray Coyne about other options for developing the concession stand. He added that it is likely to be at least a year before the stand is ready for any upgrades.

William C. Van Helmond, president of the Greater Jamesport Civic Association, said Thursday that he and his civic group, which expressed their concerns about the proposal to the board, support the decision.

He said that while they welcome enhancing the beach stand, the beach had always been envisioned as a family residence-style beach.

"As a civic and as a member of the community, it’s all of our due diligence to see that it remains that way for generations to come,” Van Helmond said.

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