Long Beach mulls alcohol sales at boardwalk concessions

The city of Long Beach is considering allowing alcohol to be served at certain concession stands along the boardwalk, but not everyone is toasting the

The city of Long Beach is considering allowing alcohol to be served at certain concession stands along the boardwalk, but not everyone is toasting the idea.

The city of Long Beach is considering allowing alcohol to be served at certain concession stands along the boardwalk, but not everyone is toasting the idea. (2/19/17)

LONG BEACH - The city of Long Beach is considering allowing alcohol to be served at certain concession stands along the boardwalk, but not everyone is toasting the idea.

The Long Beach City Council will vote on the issue this week. The proposal would allow certain concession stands that serve food to also serve alcohol, but businesses would need to apply for a state liquor license and request city to amend their current leases.

The proposed regulations would not allow alcohol to be sold on the beach or outside the concession stands.

Opponents fear it will change the atmosphere of the beach and promote undesirable drinking. An alcohol abuse prevention group has expressed concerns that the measure will destroy the family friendly atmosphere of the beach and foster underage drinking.

"The more places you have, the more underage drinking there is, and our underage drinking rates are 20 percent higher than Nassau County and New York state," says Judi Vining, of Long Beach Aware.

But some business owners in the area say it will boost business, and they say the restrictions in the proposal should allay concerns.

"It's going to be be restricted hours, restricted limitation on the surroundings where we are, restricted to the concession stands. We are looking to do it in a responsible, tasteful manner," says Gina Braddish, owner of Rip Tides concession stand.

The plan also faces opposition from local restaurant owners who worry it will hurt their bottom lines.  "We've already been hurt economically by the food trucks that have been allowed up on the boardwalk last year," says Mark McCarthy, of Lola's Kitchen and Wine Bar.

Jamie Lynch, with the Long Beach Chamber of Commerce, says the plan can help benefit local businesses, by drawing more people into the community.

The council is scheduled to vote on Tuesday.

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