Riis Bazaar Back With More. Locals Join The Fun

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 The Riis Park Beach Bazaar’s (RPBB) mission in 2015 was to reinvigorate and reimagine the historic art deco buildings in the Jacob Riis National Park and they did just that.

As advertised on their website, the Bazaar provided food, music, drinks and a variety of vendors to the two million visitors that had visited the park last year, according to the National Park Service. For the 2016 Summer Season, they’re cranking it up a notch.

Four local businesses are featured in this year’s food lineup. Cuisine by Claudette will have a beautifully decorated tent located on the boardwalk at Bay 13 for her inaugural debut. Claudette will be serving falafel, a healthy vegan alternative to be enjoyed with the Atlantic Ocean as your backdrop. Beachgoers will have three choices: Traditional (falafel, red slaw, shepherd’s salad and tahini in pita), Quinoa Plate (roasted beets, quinoa, slaw, falafel, tahini plus pita) and Hummus Plate (hummus, falafel, tahini, shepherd’s salad and red slaw). Gluten free options are available upon request. Also offered will be a variety of cookies and fresh fruit bowls.

Returning to the RPBB for its second year and the same location on the boardwalk at Bay 9 is The Paleo Factory. Owners Miriam Kwietniewska and Sam Friedman are expanding last year’s menu and want to be the “healthy snack and dessert place on the boardwalk”. Besides their flagship product, Mindfulness Using Desserts (aka MUD), a delicious chilled mousse dessert, The Paleo Factory will be offering dried fruits and nuts and fresh apricots and dates in bags to go, that are easy to grab on the way down to the surf. MUD will be served in four ounce cups in the popular vanilla, chocolate and coffee flavors as well as a new green tea flavor. Miriam and Sam are excited about launching a few new items this summer which includes dark chocolate peppermint patties and nut butter cups. Also look for seasonal flavors for MUD, which includes fresh strawberry.

Another local business returning is By The Beach Coconuts, owned by brothers Dylan and Ryan Sirigiovani and Michael Reen. They will be serving freshly imported “young coconuts” from Thailand, that are sweeter than the norm. Their pop-up location is at Bay 9.

Finally, Whit’s End will make its presence known at Bay 9 West. He’ll be featuring his signature pizza from a recently installed Stefano Ferrara, a traditional Neapolitan handcrafted wood burning oven, just like the one at his Rockaway Beach location. He’ll be going into full swing on Memorial Day, offering pizza similar to his current menu, plus some other cool bites. Look for some surprises that Whit will be serving for opening day of volleyball.

Besides the aforementioned local businesses, the Bazaar will feature the following vendors (moving west to east)

  • Bay 14 - Oaxaca Tacos, and Clean Shave Ice (organic, local and non-GMO fruits and veggie snow cones).
  • Bay 9 - Ample Hills Creamery (ice cream), Fletcher’s BBQ, Bolivian Llama Party (Bolivian food re-imagined), Wild Feast Foods (seafood), Samesa (Middle Eastern food) and pop-up vendor La Newyorkina (paletas, similar to popsicles).
  • Bay 6 - Ed & Bev’s (Detroit-inspired menu featuring Coney Dogs and Greek-American dishes like spanikopita and Greek salad).
  • Bay 4 - pop-ups Mighty Edible (Jamaican food) and East Coast Roast artisan coffee.
  • Bay 2 - pop-up vendors Lizzmonade (artisanal lemonade), Top Pops (whole fruit on a stick) and Coney Shack (Southeast Asian Tacos).

In addition to the food and beverages, there will be plenty of activities and entertainment at the Bazaar. The ever-popular Rockaway Beach Volleyball League starts its weekly Wednesday schedule on May 25. This year the RPBB will be sponsoring a team called the Rockaway Breakers! “RBVL is really one of my favorite things about Rockaway and Riis - it’s just such an awesome thing to see every Wednesday” proclaims Riis Park Beach Bazaar owner, Belvy Klein. I think we all agree.

Another weekly happening beginning May 27 will be Campfire Fridays, which is in conjunction with the National Park Service and is an all-ages events for everyone to enjoy all summer long. “Killer Karaoke” is an another weekly occurrence commencing Tuesday, June 28. There will also be a lot of one-offs like “Adoptapalooza: Mayor’s Alliance For NYC’s Animals” large-scale adoption event on June 18 and Brooklyn Greenway’s Epic Ride bicycle event on July 23.

There will be plenty of sponsored live music featuring local and touring bands, DJ’s, and artists. Klein noted “I think it’s important to have a local presence with regards to both our vendors and live music schedule. We did last year somewhat but I think one year in, we’ve made that many more friends and contacts here so it’s just a natural progression.” The following local bands will be kicking off the season: Simon & the Bar Sinisters on May 28, The Supertones on May 29 (both starting at noon) and Indaculture on June 11 at 1 PM. The full Events Schedule can be found at riisparkbeachbazaar.com/events/

This venue is providing more wonderful options for things to do this summer. So drive, bus, bike or walk on down to check it out!

The Riis Park Beach Bazaar is located at 167-02 Rockaway Beach Blvd. Queens, NY 11694. Hours of operation are Monday through Friday: 12 noon – 8 p.m. and Saturday/Sunday 11am – 9 p.m. On Wednesdays they are open until 9p.m. For general information or to sign up for their mailing list, their website is riisparkbeachbazaar.com/

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