Restaurants and surf and yogurt shops did banner business this year.
This story was written by Susan Brickman
weather and exciting events certainly bode well for local businesses
anywhere, but providing patrons with what they want all year long is a
key to success in beach towns like Long Beach.
The week-long Quiksilver Pro New York surfing competition
attracted thousands of people to the city and business was good in September 2011. A year later,
business has been the same or better, some local shop owners
is surprisingly good, almost equal to last year with the Quiksilver,”
said Long Beach Surf Shop owner Luke Hamlet. “There is no real reason
for it. Every year is different but we’re really busy right now.”
contributing factor is the people who go on cruises or head to warmer
climates as temperatures start to dip in New York, he said. The surf shop
continues to sell summer-type merchandise: surfboards, wetsuits, board shorts
and bikinis. Hamlet recently had a group of 60 people headed to the
Dominican Republic for a destination wedding purchase “tropical-type”
clothes, including sandals and shorts to everything in between.
a foreign couple tried on wetsuits in his shop, located in the center
of town at 70 W. Park Ave, he noted that the hotel five blocks away has helped
his business during the ongoing recession. “We get a lot of customers
who are staying at the Allegria and if they’re staying there, they’re
not worrying (about money),” Hamlet said.
Certain dining establishments, too, are having a great year, especially those with outdoor seating.
think the weather played a good part in it,” Rob Richards,
co-owner of Sutton Place, said about his restaurant’s success in 2012,
which marks its tenth anniversary.
Place has an outdoor front patio as well as one in the rear, both lined
with palm tree planters. It helps, too, that his establishment, at 124
W. Park, is just steps away from the Long Island Rail Road station. “We
get a lot of beach traffic from city people,” Richards said.
lauds the three different catering rooms and his new partner, Matt Serra,
who changes the menu and delivers better food than in the past. “We’re
getting a good response [to the new menu and food preparation],” Richards
said. “Now we have someone in the kitchen who really cares about the
food, more than just an employee.”
restaurant is also a sports bar, which helps keep it busy during the
football season, from September to February. And in coming months,
Richards will install a glass, retractable roof over the back patio to
provide an aura of outside dining even in the dead of winter.
lot of things are coming together to make us busier than in the past,”
Richards said. “I think a lot of people may be in the same boat
[financially] or in trouble, but we’re doing things right so we’re going
to be better off than most people.”
Frutti, the do-it- yourself frozen yogurt shop, which opened last summer across
from the train station on West Park Avenue, attracted people from
throughout the world during the Quiksilver competition. And business is
up a bit from last year, said Eric Berkowitz, who owns the shop with his
wife, Patty. “And we had a very good year last year,” he said.
Irene, though, preceded the Quiksilver competition, and during the week of the event the weather was sometimes wet and drab. Berkowitz said his
shop was actually slower last summer, and he doesn’t expect business to
slow down even as the colder weather approaches and the economy
continues to stagnate.
price points are really moderate, so it’s not an expensive experience,”
he said. “A reasonable price is part of our mission.”
the winter, Tutti Frutti makes waffles that customers can top with any
of a variety of yogurts, including four kosher flavors of the day.
it’s the only local yogurt shop with soy-based flavors, said Patty
Berkowitz. Customers come from Oceanside, Island Park and even the North
Shore. “We post special flavors on our Facebook page and when people
see them, they come down,” she said.
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