Jamesport residents are concerned that a proposed concession stand at South Jamesport Beach may attract problems because it may sell alcohol.
The town’s Recreation Department brought the idea forward after hearing requests from residents for "concession and entertainment” at the beach, similar to what some other towns have, said Riverhead Town Councilman Tim Hubbard at an April 4 Town Board work session.
While there is a concession stand at South Jamesport Beach that sells packaged items like potato chips, it is not equipped to cook or serve food. A pilot program this summer would make it a full-service concession stand. The pilot is intended to test interest from merchants and how financially viable it would be to run the stand.
The proposal would allow acoustic music and the sale of alcoholic beverages such as beer and wine — the latter to be allowed via license agreement — at the stand during the summer. If town officials give it the go-ahead, the stand would run at the beach on Fridays and Saturdays for 14 weekends from May 31 through Sept. 1, Hubbard said.
William C. Van Helmond, president of the Greater Jamesport Civic Association, said in an interview Wednesday that his members had concerns about the stand, particularly the proposed sale of alcohol. One member, Van Helmond said, told him he didn’t want to see “a sea of red Solo cups” lying around the beach.
“I appreciate that they’re trying to enhance the beach, but I think it’s way too large scale for such an area that already has a tremendous amount of traffic issues,” Van Helmond said.
Raymond Coyne, Riverhead’s recreation superintendent, said at the April 4 work session that the town would reserve the right to discontinue the new features of the concession stand if any issues arose. “If we feel after the first weekend that this is not going to work out, we can pull it at any time,” Coyne said.
Riverhead Supervisor Laura Jens-Smith said before going forward, the town wanted to get input from Jamesport residents.
A community forum on the stand will be held at 6:30 p.m. April 30 at the senior center at 60 Shade Tree Lane in Aquebogue.