SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

April 3, 2014

City seeks food stand at Dane St. Beach

BY PAUL LEIGHTON
STAFF WRITER

---- — BEVERLY — Dane Street Beach has sun, sand and sea. Now the city is hoping to add food and drinks to the list of amenities at one of its most popular sites.

The city is asking for bids from people who want to operate a food concession at the 7-acre public beach and park on Lothrop Street (Route 127).

Parks and Recreation Director Bruce Doig said the concession could be anything from a hot-dog cart or food truck to a snack bar that would operate out of the beach’s bathhouse.

“At this point, we’re kind of wide open to suggestions,” Doig said.

Dane Street Beach is often overshadowed by Lynch Park, the city’s largest and most popular waterfront destination, but Doig said Dane Street is the second busiest park.

Lyons Park, as it is officially known, includes a long stretch of grass between the street and beach, as well as a children’s play structure. The city staffs the beach with three lifeguards.

“I do consider Dane as one of our top resources,” Doig said.

A hot-dog cart or food truck has set up occasionally at the beach over the years, Doig said, but the city is hoping to establish a concession stand inside the bathhouse.

The bathhouse would have to be renovated to accommodate a food operation. The city has applied for $40,000 in Community Preservation Act money to do the renovations.

“There’s a lot of space in that building that’s not even utilized now,” Doig said.

Ward 2 City Councilor Estelle Rand said she supports having a concession stand at Dane Street Beach, as long as neighbors’ concerns about trash are addressed. She said the city could consider adopting the “carry in, carry out” policy in effect at Lynch Park, which does have a concession stand.

“One of the things that sets Beverly apart, that’s part of our identity that we haven’t totally highlighted, is that we have really amazing, beautiful public beaches,” she said. “It’s important to send a strong message that we care about these assets.”

The concession stand would operate seven days a week from Memorial Day through Labor Day, according to the city’s bid invitation. The minimum hours of operation would be 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on weekdays and 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekends. The stand would remain open until 8 p.m. or later during special events.

Bids are due at City Hall by April 17.

Staff writer Paul Leighton can be reached at 978-338-2675 or pleighton@salemnews.com.