July 20, 2021 By Christian Murray
The outdoor café on the waterfront at Hunters Point South Park may soon have a new operator.
The New York City Parks Dept. has put out request for proposals for a company to operate, renovate and maintain the café in Hunters Point South Park.
“This is an amazing opportunity for qualified and experienced professionals to establish a fresh take on the in-park dining experience, and create a destination that will attract parkgoers and visitors for years to come,” said Queens Parks Commissioner Michael Dockett.
The café is located next to the East River Ferry Terminal and consists of a kiosk, a large sit-down area and a 2,000 square foot event area.
The popular outdoor café was established in 2014—shortly after the park opened– and was originally operated by Coffeed. The venue was aptly called LIC Landing by Coffeed.
Coffeed, which grew to have more than a dozen cafes across the New York region, no longer exists and a new group of investors took over the space about two years ago. The café is now called LIC Landing.
The current agreement for the café is set to expire in May 2022. The Parks Dept. aims to have a new license in place by summer 2022 following a successful RFP process.
The operators of LIC Landing could not be reached for comment to see whether they plan to reapply. Frank Raffaele, the founder of the now-defunct Coffeed who currently has no involvement with the café, said he is entertaining a bid with a group of investors.
“I’m praying to all the Gods that I can take the space. That place is my home,” Raffaele said, who has gone on to found Glow Group, which operates The Sanctuary, a café/restaurant on Roosevelt Island.
The Parks Dept. says applicants must submit a menu and price list that features a wide variety of options including diverse, low-cost items and healthy food choices. It is also looking for a high-quality service provider that will enhance the ambiance of the park and surrounding areas.
NYC Parks says proposals will be evaluated based on several criteria, including the applicant’s operating experience, the plans for capital investment and design, the fee offered to the City, and the proposer’s financial capability.
The Parks Dept. is accepting proposals no later than Friday, Aug. 27. It is holding a virtual meeting about what’s required to apply on Friday, July 23 at 2 p.m.
All interested parties considering responding to the RFP are encouraged to attend the virtual meeting, according to the Parks Dept.
Meeting details are as follows:
Phone: 646-992-2010 or 408-418-9388
Access code: 179 427 5972