Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation

Press Release

May 16, 2014

Randy Simons
Dan Keefe
(518) 486-1868

‘SmorgasBar: Brooklyn by the Beach’ Food Court to Open at Jones Beach this Summer

Pilot venture to energize vacant boardwalk site with food and drink vendors

Popular Brooklyn food attraction will help kick-start revitalization of park

The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (State Parks), in partnership with Brooklyn Flea, is pleased to announce the opening of SmorgasBar: Brooklyn by the Beach at Jones Beach State Park. The outdoor food court is expected to open to the public Memorial Day weekend and will help reenergize the long-dormant site of the old restaurant at the park's main entrance.

SmorgasBar: Brooklyn by the Beach, featuring four to five food and beverage vendors, will be a one-year pilot venture located at Jones Beach's Central Mall and open Friday to Sunday through June 16 (plus Memorial Day, May 26), then daily through Labor Day. The concession will include large tents for shade and dining, and a sand play area with games such as ping-pong, bocce, and horseshoes.

"We are thrilled that the addition of SmorgasBar will be one of the first steps in Governor Cuomo's broad plan to revitalize Jones Beach, which includes diversifying food options, adding more recreational opportunities and repurposing underutilized space," said State Parks Commissioner Rose Harvey. "With thousands of people already fans and frequent visitors of both Jones Beach and the Brooklyn Flea, this is a great opportunity to offer fresh, new ways for people to enjoy the park this season."

"We're so excited to take this plunge at Jones Beach," said Jonathan Butler, co-founder, with Eric Demby, of Brooklyn Flea and Smorgasburg, "and to give Long Islanders a taste of the best of Brooklyn's burgeoning food scene. We're also proud to expand our relationship with State Parks, and look forward to a bright future at the beach."

Four food vendors from Brooklyn Flea's renowned Smorgasburg food market—which showcases 100 food vendors every Saturday at East River State Park in Williamsburg, Brooklyn—will be open daily at the site, including: Handsome Hank's Fish Hut (fish & chips, clams, shrimp); Home Frite (fresh-cut potato and sweet-potato fries with sauces); Rubirosa (the legendary Nolita pizza restaurant); and Summers (a South Williamsburg shop featuring fresh juices, healthy sandwiches, and LA-style tacos). A fifth vendor booth will feature a rotating vendor each month of the summer. New York-produced products will also be featured, including bar offerings from Long Island breweries such as Southampton Publick House and Greenport Harbor Brewing Company, fruit-juice mixers by Brooklyn Soda Works, and a raw bar by Brooklyn Oyster Party. The concession's hours are tentatively scheduled for 11:00am to 9:00pm.

The summer pilot project will help inform future uses of the vacant East Mall site, including the potential for a permanent storm-resilient fresh food marketplace/dining facility at the park. As part of a $65 million plan to revitalize the historic park, State Parks is considering the redesign and enhancement of selected areas to allow for additional vendors to offer more diverse, ethnic and local food selections.

Announced by Governor Cuomo in March, the Jones Beach Revitalization Plan, in addition to expanding food and recreational opportunities, will focus on restoring historic and aesthetic grandeur, strengthening storm resiliency, and streamlining park entry, all of which will improve economic development and increase visitation to the park. The plan will primarily be funded through the NY Works program, which in its first two years has invested $265 million into the state park system.

The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation oversees 180 state parks and 35 historic sites, which are visited by 60 million people annually. A recent study commissioned by Parks & Trails New York found that New York State Parks generates $1.9 billion in economic activity annually and supports 20,000 jobs. For more information on any of these recreation areas, call 518-474-0456 or visit, connect on Facebook, or follow on Twitter.