I’m trying to figure out what’s new. Bagel truck? I don’t remember that last year. Wasn’t the Taco Tuesday truck and the Corazon de Cuba truck one and the same? Beach Local Cafe now has ice cream and I hear it’s delicious. Skudin Surf sells food concessions now? (Just kidding). Snowie Long Island sounds new, although my memory is terrible. Don’t forget we have restaurants on Park Avenue and W. Beech Street as well!! Everything looks set, but still no Pizza delivery drones… That’s a bummer.
- Swingbelly’s Cool Kitchen
- Lido Kosher Deli Express
- Sugo’s Beach Buns & Bites
- Long Beach Wellness Cafe (they had grass-fed beef and organic salad)
- NY ACAI
Sugo provided Bob Marley music while the palm trees set the atmosphere. I was impressed. I definitely felt like I was on vacation and Swingbelly’s was great, as usual. But instead of me yapping away, what did you guys think?
RUMOR: Something fun is going to be announced for the Foundation/Superblock area of Long Beach. It’s to coincide with the new Shoregasboard/foodtruck zone, which will feature eight food trucks from local restaurants. A major announcement regarding this “fun zone” should come from the City of Long Beach really soon.
I did hear what the type of fun the city has in mind, but I am not at liberty to say. In the meantime, enjoy the following photos which I posted purely for fun ;).
(iFLy in Eisenhower Park. Read from April 3rd: I.FLY Trapeze Program in LB?? [just a proposal])
Read Newsday for all the juicy details: (April 29th – Long Beach food trucks are unfair competition, some restaurants say).
- Eight Food Trucks, two of them will be rotating vendors.
- All stationed at Riverside Blvd and will called “The Shoregasboard.” Yes, that’s not a typo.
- May 23rd to Sept. 2nd as a trial program.
- $4000 per truck paid to city to operate.
- “The food truck concept emerged from conversations between city leaders and local restaurateurs…”
- The above statement isn’t necessarily true. As the City Manager recently told me, the food truck conversation started on this blog. You guys deserve the credit (read – www.seabythecity.com/?s=food+trucks).
So there you have it. You wanted food trucks, you got food trucks. I was all gung-ho for these trucks all along, but I do feel bad for those barely making it and can’t afford a truck. (read – Food Trucks by the beach. Could they lead to more vacant storefronts?). I still love this food truck idea, but I hope and wish the city does something to remind beachgoers about the other businesses in town. Sugo and Swingbellys are two of my favorite local places, so I am completely happy for them and wish them nothing, but success with this new endeavor. I’ll definitely be at the shoregasboard this summer eating their delicious products. Mmmmmm Pork.
The other day I wrote how local-operated food trucks were apparently coming to the beach this summer (read- food Trucks are coming to the Beach this Summer). Newsday posted article on the topic as well (read- Long Beach to allow food stands at the beach). Of course this is Long Beach, so with any plan comes great controversy. While most agree that the beach needs more food options, some feel these beach-side food trucks will hurt our downtowns.
The following was sent in by a concerned LB resident:
With this new proposal, anyone with 20 or 30k to get a food truck can open up shop on the most prized real estate in town and reap the benefits essentially rent free. Why would anyone spend hundreds of thousands (upwards of a million for something like corbin and reynolds) to renovate and equip any of these empty store fronts, then pay 10+ thousand a month in rents and taxes just to compete with gypsies who would now have the advantage of better location. Most long beach businesses only make money in the summer months. Lucky ones break even in the off season…most lose money. While it is undeniable that most beach goers would welcome these food trucks and they would create a draw to the beach that is greatly needed right now, in the long term it would lead to more and more vacant storefronts.
I’ve been a proponent of food trucks, but this argument is a valid one. Of course, you can say “have great food and you don’t have to worry about it.” But, the convenience factor alone might be enough to hurt our two downtowns.
Keep in mind: we don’t know all the facts on these food trucks just yet. If it’s true that they are coming this summer, maybe there is a way we can at least tell people about other places around town. Perhaps a bulletin board with a food map? A restaurant directory? Allow places to advertise beach delivery service? I’m just throwing a few ideas out there…
I don’t have much more info other than what the title says, but I was told by a local restaurant owner that food trucks are indeed coming this summer. Yes, local restaurants will be able to participate. From what I’m told, unique and trendy food will be on the menu. So don’t expect the usual.
The food truck trend has exploded in the NYC. I’m not talking about your corner grease stand that sells hot dogs in old water, I’m talking fancy stuff like Kimchi, Hibachi, Fish Tacos, etc. Higher priced, higher quality food.
You have a food item you want specifically? Let’s hear it! (maybe somebody is reading)
When I asked several months ago to come up with creative ways for our city to make some cash, a lot of you mentioned food on the boardwalk or near the beach (Taken from: Does Anybody Have Any Creative Ways for the City to Make Some Cash?):
MAY 11, 2012 @ 11:11:01 Larry wrote: “You could invite foodie trucks to park on the lot/foundation block for a fee.”
MAY 15, 2012 @ 12:47:05 Kevin wrote: “The food truck trend is very big right now”
MAY 09, 2012 @ 16:02:37 Wolfman wrote: “Let the restaurant owners offer food outside their establishments”
MAY 09, 2012 @ 21:59:26 Overtaxed sarcastically wrote: “Don’t rent out space on the boardwalk for food, would make too much sense.”
MAY 10, 2012 @ 10:15:06 Allison wrote: “Food truck rally charge a fee to the trucks have a bands and beer-garden.”
MAY 10, 2012 @ 10:23:02 Rich wrote: “sell food on beach”
MAY 10, 2012 @ 19:21:57 Carlosferreiro wrote: “Super Block needs to go Forward with plans of Mini Mall Restaurants”
MAY 13, 2012 @ 09:24:52 MHC wrote: “How about a Boardwalk fair for artists and artisanal food makers from Brooklyn?”
MAY 16, 2012 @ 18:00:53 Mary Ellen wrote: “It doesn’t have to be anything big for the moment, it could be as simple as the food trucks”
Now it’s time for us to get into more detail. What kind of food do you want? The basic hot dogs (which are there already), hamburgers, gyros, sausage & peppers that you would normally see at street fairs? Do you want to class things up with more exciting and better quality food, like those gourmet trucks that are driving all over brooklyn (read – Top 10 Brooklyn Food Trucks)? Do you like tacos, pizza, lobster rolls, falafels and dumplings? Oh that list can go on…. Or do you have a sweet tooth and want more ice cream, Italian ices or frozen yogurt? What about our local businesses? Should they be the ones selling this food? If so, which ones would you like to see setting up shop? Do you want to see Sugo move their YA MONS to the beach? Or how about Brands Deli wheeling over a sandwich cart?
Speaking of shops, what type would you like to see? A food tent? Carts on the boardwalk? Food trucks on the boardwalk? Food trucks in the streets? What makes the most sense to you? GO!
Here is the original post: Does Anybody Have Any Creative Ways for the City to Make Some Cash? [Part of the “What do we want” Series]
Here are the results: I compiled a list of what you all said, sans the jokes (sorry folks). Sorry it took me so long. Better late than never, right? So what to do with all this? Well, a letter to the City Council and City Manager will eventually follow. I’ve been pretty damn busy with my private life lately, so I’ve been slacking, but I promise this list won’t go to waste. In the meantime, if you keep suggesting ideas, I’ll keep adding them. A few that were already suggested can somewhat be easily executed: Bed & Breakfasts (right? How hard can that be besides a few zoning changing…), food trucks on and off the boardwalk, Mini Golf plus more activities and street fairs. Grand ideas such as a Performing Arts Center can’t happen overnight, but it puts the mindset out there and it’s fun to talk about.
Here are the top 10 most mentioned ideas (in no particular order):
- Bed and Breakfasts (It will bring more people and more $$$$ to Long Beach. Instantly turn Long Beach into a tourist destination and give it more charm).
- Food on the boardwalk / Food Trucks (But better quality food. Not the typical street fair carts.)
- Make the Long Beach pretty and people will come (“Broken Window” Theory). This is a no-brainer.
- Quiksilver Pro (Bring it back).
- Performing Arts Center (Need private $, but the demand is there).
- Improve the Recreation Center (Maybe great ideas are mentioned in the original post).
- Develop the bay front of Long Beach: Marina, Restaurants, Water Taxies (Here is what it looks like now, in case you forgot).
- More actives for the off season or bad weather (bowling anyone?)
- Mini Golf (Revenue at 5 dollars a game would be $200,000. Cost to build $20,000. Sounds like a good profit to me.)
- Redevelop: Build up, nicer more modern buildings (increase tax base)
The full list is below. Sorry in advance if I missed anything. The number in parenthesis represents amount of times that idea was mentioned. You’re going to see a lot of doubles, triples and quadruples of the same stuff; I just went down the list of comments and added them in chronological order. Food trucks & food on the boardwalk are kinda lumped into the same category: We basically just want more food options by the beach. Good food too: go to Bedford Avenue in Brooklyn and copy what’s going on there.
- Banana boat rides, tricycle paddle “boats” and parasailing for flat days.
- “Food mall” at the base of Riverside Blvd. You could invite foodie trucks to park on the lot/foundation block for a fee.
- Food trucks (2)
- Street fairs. Let the restaurant owners offer food outside their establishments.
- Sell raffles at the summer craft fairs. Get some restaurants to donate free meals and raffle them off. The funds go straight to deficit reduction.
- Sell air rights to buildings on the ocean. Quickly raises $$ (AKA – Build up!)
- Bed & Breakfasts, allow them to operate in Long Beach.
- www.jumpskyhigh.com at the superblock
- Performing Arts Center
- Marina on the Bay front.
- Bed & Breakfasts (2)
- Rent Space on the boardwalk for food (3)
- Booze on the beach
- Enforce laws such as littering, not wearing helmets while cycling, etc.
- Quiksilver Pro
- Quiksilver Pro (2)
- Quiksilver Pro (3)
- Lower taxes for local small businesses to allow them to re-invest those savings into their business through advertising, higher quality products/services and employees.
- Bring main street to the boardwalk. Food on the boardwalk (4)
- Make people want to stay when it’s not summer time: Performing Arts Center (2), A real movie theater, Improve Rec Center
- Change Infrastructure: Knock down subsidize buildings and put up modern buildings that will allow for higher income FULL TIME residents.
- Mini-Golf summer revenue at 5 dollars a game 200,000. Cost to build 20,000.
- Food truck rally – charge a fee to the trucks have a bands and beer-garden. (5)
- Boardwalk concessions – real ones not the ice cream cart (6)
- Movie night on the beach and have local restaurants sell food for a fee or charge an admission or make it free would be fun
- The Rec center should go see RVC rec programs and copy them. The tumble, roll around, boys club etc have to be making money. (2)
- Adopt-a-boardwalk: decided on what is the best materials that would last and ask corporations or individuals to sponsor a block. A sign etc can be posted and boardwalk will look great.
- Smaller Quiksilver Pro-like events
- Bed & Breakfasts (3)
- Develop the waterfront on the Bay front (2)
- Performing Arts Center (2)
- Upgrade the Rec Center (3)
- Quiksilver Pro (4)
- Open parking lots on the foundation block
- Tram service to restaurants
- Sell concerts on the beach
- Parking meters
- Commercial activity on the boardwalk (3)
- Bring more art to the city and beautify: They create a stronger sense of community and make a city more attractive and vibrant (read: brings in the dollars).
- Mini Golf (2)
- Mini Water Park
- Concession stands along the boardwalk (7)
- Super Block development – Mini-mall
- Super Block development – Bowling alley
- Super Block development – Performing Arts Center (3)
- The Bay front – Wharf with Water Taxis (3)
- The Bay front – Bay Boat rides (4)
- The Bay front – Bay front Grill (5)
- The Bay front – Marina. (6)
- Quiksilver Pro (5)
- Bowling (2)
- laser tag, paintball etc.
- A giant inflatable slide on the beach
- Shops on the boardwalk.
- More fairs
- More modern buildings and more hotels (2)
- Superblock – paid parking lot.
- Encourage the use of the city buses. Get visitors to not park near the beach.
- Utilize the ball fields by the Rec Center. Organize a soft ball league. Get local businesses to sponsor teams. This was very successful in Huntington. (4)
- Expand the fishing dock to accept boaters who would pay a docking fee. Marina? (7)
- You know those painted life size horse statues they have (mostly on the North Shore?). I’d love to see a competition to paint and decorate and design Boardwak Benches. I can see wildly colored ones, welded metal ones, new sinuous shapes, steampunk benches, surfboard shaped benches, double decker ones to match the double decker bikes on the Boardwalk. Then scatter them throughout town. It might not make money in itself, but the publicity could get Long Beach jumpstarted on the way to being a more hip, vibrant place for people to come to live or spend money.
- How about a Boardwalk fair for artists and artisanal food makers from Brooklyn? (8)
- Another vote for painted surfboards. (2)
- Beautify – Paint the ticket booths different colors
- Beautify – Paint the ticket booths different colors (2)
- Beautify – Paint the planters on Oceanview in the west End. Get HS students involved too.
- Storage lockers for rent $$$
- Charge people to walk their dogs on the beach during the winter.
- Have the city run a for profit volleyball league on the beach. They can make it cheaper and buy all new equipment for the players and thus it will be a win / win for everyone
- Dog owners would pay the money to be allowed to walk them on the beach (2)
- Need large projects, such as real estate development rights, water rights, surf rights
- You could sell our sewage treatment plant to the county or their new P3 provider and get your one shot, all you would need to do is hook us up to Bay Park
- Restaurant food competition.
And the Funniest Idea award goes to Allison Box: The city calendar should scrap the boring pictures submitted by residents and go for full spreads of administrators in provocative poses around the city and charge for the calenders.
A continuation of our WHAT DO WE WANT series….
The City of Long Beach is broke and the budget forecast for 2012/13 has residents on edge. While the new gang is scrambling to get things back on track, they’re asking us for our input. I say it’s time we get creative. By that, I mean, let’s for once not talk about laying people off, cutting salaries or reorganizing unions. Sure, tough decisions have to be made, but every municipality across the world talks about that stuff. Here at seabythecity, we like to do things differently. I want to hear your CREATIVE ways on HOW the city can MAKE some MONEY. The city is reading. Who knows? Maybe your idea will come to life! Let them know how you would offset the taxes with your creative (or obvious) revenue ideas.
I came up with a few categories, but if anything is missing, please let me know in your comments.
INCREASING THE TAX ROLL (Develop? Rezone? Look into tax-exempt properties?)
Should we build up? Increasing the population would increase the tax roll. I have mentioned the idea in the past of smart development and how it will have minimal pact on our Long Beach life, but that is a hard sell to most people. Of course, it all depends on how many people the city wants to live here. I keep hearing that we are a population of 35,000 during the winter and over 50,000 in the summer. Is Long Beach maxed out? What is our cap? Should we build up? Redevelop our downtowns? Fix what we have already? BE CREATIVE.
BRING IN MORE BEACH CROWD MONEY (Long Beach is a summer town. We need Summer Dollars.)
Let’s grab cash from the tourists. So many ideas have been thrown around on this site from you readers: from food trucks & more vendors on the boardwalk to converting the superblock into a parking lot and charging out-of-towners some cash for convenient beach parking.
Since I moved here several years ago, the city has tried pedi-cabs (failed), beach umbrella & chair rentals (passed) and now decobikes (to be determined). What else can we do? How would you guys empty the tourists wallets (without robbing them)? BE CREATIVE.
Make Long Beach prettier, more people will come, stay, visit, want to live and spend more money here. I don’t know about you, but I avoid crappy areas. Why would I want to eat at restaurant that looks like crap? Why would I want to visit a town that is dirty and gross? The solution is quite simple: Make it pretty and profit. It’s not rocket science. I’ve heard of a bunch of great beautification projects that the West End Beautification Association are working on, but I don’t want to spoil any of them. I want to want to see if any of you have similar ideas or can come up with new ones. BE CREATIVE.
This ties in with Beautification. Just like the benches on the boardwalk, people are willing to donate their money for a plaque with their name on it. What else can we get people’s names on? We can get stuff without it costing the taxpayer a dime! Maybe we can start a bulletin board fund, because it would look great in front of the LIRR and tell tourists about all the great activities here where they can spend money. BE CREATIVE.
EVENTS / ACTIVITIES:
COPY AND PASTE: Talk about each topic
1. INCREASING THE TAX ROLL –
2. BEACH CROWD MONEY –
3. BEAUTIFICATION –
4. DONATIONS –
5. EVENTS / ACTIVITIES –