County Exec Issues RFP for Tiki Bar
By Robin Jovanovich
Last week, County Executive George Latimer released an RFP (Request for Proposal) for the space currently occupied by the Pier Restaurant and Tiki Bar, a popular (not always with neighbors and parkgoers) dining and drinking destination, within Playland. The agreement with John Ambrose had expired and Mr. Ambrose died suddenly last month.
The 56-page document requests that qualified individuals interested in operating a boardwalk restaurant and a daily boat parking business for a term of five years, with an option of an additional five years, submit applications by November 22. Applicants must have ten continuous years of experience as owner/operator of a food concession business or restaurant with minimum gross receipts of $2.5 million.
In a telephone interview with the paper, Mr. Latimer explained that it is his intention with the RFP to honor the agreement with Standard Amusements, which is still set to take over operation of Playland at the end of 2019, pending a decision in the courts.
“One issue we had with Mr. Ambrose was ongoing diligence on his part to maintain a clear path on the historic Boardwalk,” said the County Exec. “We are also looking to improve the food quality with any future establishment.”
Latimer, who will not be on the evaluation committee, noted that there is a great deal more energy at Playland Park than in recent years, and it is his hope that the selected applicant will bring that same measure of excitement.
With the waterfront horizon opening up, it is to be hoped that the reinvention of Playland cannot be far behind.