40 THE QUEENS COURIER • SUMMER IN THE BORO • MAY 24, 2018 FOR BREAKING NEWS VISIT WWW.QNS.COM
summer in the boro
Photos courtesy of Jimmy Dowd
Rockaway Beach still has much
to look forward to this summer
BY RYAN KELLEY
Queens’ most popular summer getaway
may have been hit with a minor
setback this week, but there is still plenty
to look forward to as Rockaway Beach
opens for the season this Memorial Day
Th e sudden announcement by the
city that the stretch of sand from Beach
91st to Beach 102nd streets will remain
closed this summer because of dangerous
conditions from erosion came as a
surprise to everyone on May 21. Queens
Borough President Melinda Katz called
the move “unacceptable” and said that
the city’s “failure to act earlier” will cause
the Rockaway community to suff er in
Senator Joseph Addabbo agreed, pointing
out that the Army Corps of Engineers
knew this portion of the beach needed
attention and they should have fi xed the
problem years ago.
“Th e summer season is supposed to be
Rockaway’s shining moment,” Addabbo
said. “All we ask is that government agencies
do their job so that we can maximize
the potential and enjoyment value
Rockaway has to off er.”
Th e closure means that beachgoers
won’t be able to access that 11-block strip
of the waterfront, but there is still plenty
of beach — and plenty more enjoyment
— to be had.
Good food can make anything better,
and there’s no shortage of it on Rockaway
Beach. Th e variety of eateries off er several
diff erent types of cuisine, live music,
outdoor dining areas, long lists of beer
and wine choices and even formal dining.
Some of the local favorites include:
• Jameson’s Pub: A laid-back bar and
grille that claims to serve the best burger
on the peninsula and off ers many
• Th ai Rock: Serving Th ailand-inspired
meals and signature drink, this waterfront
venue looks over the Jamaica Bay
with views of Manhattan while also
off ering jet ski, kayak and paddle board
rentals as well as a fl oating jungle gym
complete with diving boards, trampolines,
slides and swinging ropes.
• Liquid Bread Beer Garden: An extensive
beer list is accompanied by a menu
of specialty hot dogs and all-you-caneat
crabs, plus games like bocce, cornhole,
ping-pong, kan jam, giant jenga
and board games.
• Bungalow Bar & Restaurant: Also
overlooking the Jamaica Bay, the bar
off ers panoramic views of the waterfront
and features an outdoor deck with
a tiki bar and frozen drink specials.
Aft er Hurricane Sandy, Bungalow Bar
was featured on “Bar Rescue with Jon
• Rockaway Beach Surf Club: A cross
between a beer garden, cultural event
space and community center, the club
promotes surfi ng, showcases local artists’
work and hosts fi lm screenings
while off ering popular specialty drinks.
• Kennedy’s Restaurant: A more classic
restaurant, it is located in Breezy Point
and off ers fresh seafood, dry aged steaks
and chops, top-notch wines and beer
and a popular Sunday brunch.
Rockaway Beach is also one of the premier
surfi ng destinations in New York,
and the peninsula has many great surfi ng
schools. Skudin, run by local and industry
legends Will and Cliff Skudin, provides
a wide variety of lessons and off ers dual
camps for children by combining surfing
with soccer, lacrosse and other sports.
Conatus Surf Club, founded by former
pro surfer Dion Mattison, focuses
on teaching students about the ocean
and the sand without pushing them into
anything, and his initial classes focus on
things like paddling and maneuvering.
Locals is owned by Mike Reinhardt
and Mike Kololyan, who both grew up
in Rockaway and are lifelong surfers and
skaters. Th ey teach both hobbies at their
school founded in 2011 and currently
off er individual and group lessons, camps
for kids and charity programs.
Of course, there is also the Riis Park
Beach Bazaar for a one-stop shop of hip
eateries, stores with all sorts of beach
memorabilia, major concerts and events
and a large beachfront space with lifeguards.
Th ere is also the Riis Park Golf Course,
various street fairs and other local events
organized by members of the community.
Rockaway Beach is just a short drive
over the Cross Bay Veterans Memorial
Bridge or a ferry ride from Manhattan or
Rob MacKay, director of public relations,
marketing and tourism for the
Queens Economic Development
Corporation, contributed to this report.
Rockaway Beach, a popular surfi ng destination, opens for the summer season this weekend.