Aug. 14, 2014 By Michael Florio
The concession stand at Gantry Plaza State Park opened for the season this weekend—with a new operator who is focusing heavily on selling smoothies and juices.
The kiosk, called the Ice Box, is being run by COFFEED, the same company that opened LIC Landing at Hunters Point South Park in May.
The Ice Box is selling a range of items—from iced coffee to iced tea—as well as sandwiches, salads, wraps, ice cream and freshly baked pastries that will be delivered each morning from other COFFEED locations.
The Ice Box will have particular appeal to residents who like smoothies & juices. It offers a menu that includes flavors such as strawberry, banana, blueberry, pineapple and orange.
Frank Raffaele, the owner, said that the Ice Box will have a larger focus on smoothies and juices than his other seven COFFEED locations, including the flagship cafe at 37-18 Northern Boulevard.
“There is a big need for juicing in the LIC area,” Raffaele said. “A lot of people are part of the juice culture.”
A commercial size juicer is currently being installed at the Ice Box so fresh juice can be produced on location.
Raffaele, who has been open just a few days, said the community’s reaction to the Ice Box has been very encouraging.
“People were very eager to have a food provider here…and they are glad we are here.”
Raffaele said he has created a menu that appeals to parents and children.
“LIC is becoming very kid friendly,” he said. “We will be servicing all the families that come to the park as well as dog walkers.”
The concession stand was built by Queens West—next to the playground–during the initial development of the park about 10 years ago, Raffaele said.
When the previous concessionaire left, it went up for bid. Raffaele said he was very interested and applied for the spot.
“We were lucky that we got picked and are very happy to be here,” he said.
I like the coffee focus in Gantry. someone should tell them though that dogs aren’t allowed in the state park (thank god).