Beach season is finally in full swing, and nothing compliments sand and surf like a pitcher of mojitos you and your buddies snuck in in an air-tight plastic pitcher. But the boardwalk's about to get a little less boozy in the Rockaways, where a new city ordinance has banned hard liquor at beachfront concession stands; and obviously, food sellers are not happy.
Concessionaires can still sell beer and wine, but cocktails a no-go this year. Rockaway beaches are still hurting from the after-effects of Hurricane Sandy—Fort Tilden, for instance, is shuttered for an unforeseen future, and other stretches of the beach are struggling to make a comeback this season. Operators are concerned this new booze ban will hurt their bottom lines. "We’re responsible people, we know how to deal with selling alcohol,” Maribel Araujo, owner of Caracas Arepa Bar on Beach 106th Street, told the Daily News. “I would like to have a sitdown with the lifeguards and understand what their concerns are.”
Apparently, lifeguards recommended the Parks Department remove hard liquor from the beachfront, citing concerns about drowning; they're off-duty at 6 p.m., when a lot of the drinks strt pouring. "Statistics have long proven the correlation between alcohol and drownings," Geoffrey Croft of NYC Park Advocates told the Daily News. "Anything to help lessen the chances is positive, but especially at this time of the day when there is no lifeguard coverage." Considering so much of the beach is closed thanks to storm cleanup, food sellers' concerns are not illegitimate—for now, though, we'll all have to be satisfied with a surfside Sixpoint instead of a dark-and-stormy.