Beachfront snack stand plan stalls

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BRADLEY BEACH — A divisive proposal to turn a former pump station at the beachfront promenade into a snack bar was tabled after a fiery debate among residents and those on the council. 

Members of the borough council voted on Tuesday, Aug. 13,  to table the proposal until the next council meeting, on Aug. 27. Mayor Gary Engelstad defended the proposal, saying that he was prepared to move forward with one of the proposals, submitted by local business owner John Grillo. 

“If this vote had taken place tonight, I would have voted for it,” Mayor Engelstad said.

 “One of the things I heard loud and clear is the caliber or lack of caliber of some of the eating establishments we have on the beach. The Grillo proposal was far and above better than the other one.”

On July 11 the borough issued a request for proposals [RFP] to renovate and lease the pump station, located near the intersection of 5th and Ocean Avenue on the promenade near the playground. The borough has been discussing the possibility of putting a concession stand at the promenade since last year. 

Two bidders submitted proposals, T&M Foods, which operates concession stands in Deal, Island Beach State Park and Liberty State Park, and John Grillo, who owns Beach Plum and Perfect Perc in the borough, for the renovation of the 600-square-foot building. 

Both proposals kept the same footprint of the building. Mr. Grillo submitted two plans, one for a one-story building and the other for a two-story building. The plan for a one-story building will be the only plan considered, according to the mayor.

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