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Rockaway Beach Food Vendors Including Caracas Are Returning For a Shorter Summer Season

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Plus, bartending stars Lynnette Marrero and Jessica Gonzalez announce a new project — and more intel

People ride along the boardwalk at Rockaway Beach on July 5, 2018 in New York City
People on the boardwalk at Rockway Beach in 2018
Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Rockaway Beach’s food vendors gradually reopen

Following Mayor Bill de Blasio’s announcement that NYC’s beaches are reopening for swimming on July 1, food vendors stationed along the Rockaway Beach Boardwalk have started to reopen for the summer season, Bedford + Bowery reports. Cult-favorite arepas shop Caracas started offering takeout earlier this week, while other popular spots, including burger shack Rippers and casual hangout Low Tide Bar, are following suit starting on July 1.

According to the report, Rockaway Beach Club — which oversees vendors along sections of the boardwalk — is limiting the number of concession stands allowed to operate in order to comply with social-distancing measures, and the stands will follow takeout models.

While restaurateurs say that it’s nice to not have to worry about facilitating cramped outdoor dining space when customers can haul their food to the beach, there are other challenges. Like owners across the city, Rockaway Beach vendors are struggling to figure out how to protect staff and keep the kitchen socially distant while maintaining quick, high volume service. “It’s starting to get like a jigsaw puzzle inside of your brain,” Low Tide Bar’s owner told Bedford + Bowery.

In other news

— Lynnette Marrero, the beverage director at Llama Inn and co-founder of all-women bartending competition Speed Rack, partnered up with Jessica Gonzalez from Death & Co and the NoMad to take over the drinks program at slick art-deco cocktail lounge Wonderbar located upstate in Beacon, New York. The bar is open for both indoor and outdoor dining for the summer, according to a restaurant spokesperson, and the next-door Beacon Theater is hosting drive-in movie nights through October.

— In the USHG restaurant orbit, Gramercy Tavern has reopened for pickup, Blue Smoke is offering barbecue for takeout with tables and chairs set up outside, and pizzeria Marta launched outdoor dining with full table-side service, according to a spokesperson.

— Black-owned LGBTQ+ bar Alibi in Harlem is on steadier footing after a successful fundraising campaign to keep the beloved bar open.

— Lively Mexican spot Mariachi’s in Tribeca may be closed for good.

— Every upscale restaurant in NYC this weekend:

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