Hurricane Sandy’s affect on Rockaway boardwalk food vendors

Rockaway Taco by Chris Gold

Rockaway Taco by Chris Gold

The Rockaway boardwalk has been the recent home to a number of food vendors, and has been part of a whole “food renaissance” there. The vendors have been a huge draw in the summers for regulars as well as people originally unfamiliar with the Rockaway peninsula. A lot of people have fallen in love with the Rockaways through the food.

These food vendors, many of them right there on the boardwalk, were hit hard, and have suffered much damage to property, not to mention the boardwalk in some areas is just gone. Overwhelmingly there is loss; some are expecting to rebuild; some are uncertain.

Vendors are situated from Beach 86 to Beach 106. Here are some status updates.

Caracas Arepa Bar. 106-01 Shore Front Pkwy – GMAP. According to a 10/31 Facebook update, “Caracas Rockaway… totally destroyed as well as the whole peninsula… we were there yesterday and it s really sad… we will reach out for volunteers to help people out there as soon as we have a clear idea on how to do it properly.”


Image source: Caracas Arepa Bar Facebook page November 13, 2012

Low Tide Bar. Beach 96th Street at the Boardwalk – GMAP. According to the How Sandy Hit Rockaway tumblr, Rockaway resident Andrew Fields, owner of both Rockaway Taco and the Low Tide Bar, sustained “immeasurable dammage to his business and his home on Beach 88th St.”

Rockaway Taco. 95-19 Rockaway Beach Boulevard – GMAP. This is probably the most well-known of the food vendors on the Rockaways, and since it is right next door to the Low Tide Bar, it also sustained heavy damage. This was some of the mess they encountered:


Image source: How Sandy Hit Rockaway

Rockaway Taco has been a relief distribution site and are not open for business. They are organizing a big dinner for Thanksgiving. If you want to donate food, fill out this Thanksgiving Contribution Sheet. They also need hot box trucks. If you can help,email them at with the subject line TURKEY DAY.

Motorboat & the Big Banana. Beach 96th Street at the Boardwalk – GMAP. Directly next door to Rockaway Taco, you can imagine they were hit hard, too. We were not able to find any direct description about their fate, but you can see a little bit of them in this photo with crud on the floor:


Image source: How Sandy Hit Rockaway

On Facebook, owner Lindsay Robinson said on November 5, “wish us luck (by that i mean a boardwalk and a place to call our business).”

DiCosmos. 95-19 Rockaway Beach Blvd – GMAP. They sustained devastating damage. Here is their statement on their website:

Hello World,

Firstly, thank you for an amazing summer of 2012. It was our strongest season yet and a lot of fun.

Secondly, we too got devastated by the storm. Our house, ice and fro-yo equipment, and the concession stand itself were all banged up. Our friend and DiCosmo’s employee Roberto lost everything, but has landed on his feet.

Thank you to everyone who helped us dig out our house and business (Jade, Jon, Dan from Bellweather, Robert Wagner, Ernesto Palladin, and many others).

While the future of DiCosmo’s Ices in Rockaway remains uncertain, we are grateful for the present.



Image source: DiCosmos

DP Pizza. Beach 96th Street at the Boardwalk – GMAP. It’s future is “uncertain” (here’s a photo of the boardwalk near the concession stand). From The Local:

With the boardwalk ripped from its moorings, the future of Caracas Rockaway is uncertain, as is that of DP Pizza, the pizza stand operated by the Brindle Room.

Jeremy Spector, the owner of the East 10th Street restaurant, said DP’s boardwalk concession stand at Beach 96th Street didn’t sustain much damage, but he described the peninsula’s plight as “heartbreaking and upsetting.”

Rippers. Boardwalk & Beach 86th St – GMAP. Chris Parachini, owner of Rippers (also Roberta’s in Bushwick), said it fared better than a lot of places on the boardwalk. They had brought everything in at the end of the season, so there was nothing to worry out that might fly around and cause damage. He believes that the extended amount of beach in front of Rippers may have been a helping force during the storm surge.

The boardwalk broke off just to the west of Rippers. Parts of the floor have collapsed but the building is still standing. He believes the building will be relatively easy to repair and believes that the people of the Rockaways are strong and will rebuild.

Parachini was interviewed on Heritage Radio on November 1, 2012, and at about 1:26 is when he begins to talk about Rippers’ status post-Sandy.


Image source: Heritage Radio