Riis Returns to the New Normal


Riis has returned!

Just as with NYC lifeguards, Riis Park’s federal lifeguards returned to keep the beaches safe on Wednesday, July 1, and Riis Park Beach Bazaar has opened more options for beachgoers heading to the Gateway National Recreation Area's beaches.

Earlier in the week, the federal lifeguards were on the sand and sea, training for their delayed start on July 1. With lifeguards now back on the chairs, swimming is now permitted at Riis Park.

A spokesperson for the National Park Service noted that the parking lot remains restricted to 50% capacity. At the moment, the parking lot is free, and drivers don’t have to pay the usual $10 fee, but fees may start again sometime later this month. The barbeque area at Jacob Riis Park remains closed until further notice.

However, there are now more food options for people going to “the People’s Beach.” Although they’re still operating with scaled back food service, Riis Park Beach Bazaar has a few choices for foodies. Additionally, with the introduction of outdoor dining, they are now permitted to sell alcohol again, so beer gardens are opening and frozens are back on tap, including the coveted Ginni Hendricks. Alcohol is permitted for table service within the Bay 9 East Beer Garden and the Bathhouse West Beer Garden. Bay 9 East will feature an expanded beer garden, providing more space for distanced outdoor dining and drinking, while Bathhouse West will offer an even larger expansion of its beer garden footprint, allowing for additional distanced seating and table service as well. Food will be available for both table service and at dedicated take-out only locations at Bay 9 and the Bathhouse.

For food, the winter restaurant, The Dropout, remains, serving up chicken sandwiches, hamburgers, hot dogs and more. Rockaway Clam Bar has also returned, serving up their trademark lobster rolls and all things seafood. Cuisine by Claudette is returning with a grab and go only window at Bay 9 West. Locals can get a special discount of $3 off all bowls, just ask! The Bathhouse will eventually have more food options this summer with various food trucks that are yet to be announced, and Wise Clock Café.

Unfortunately, Riis will be a little quieter as all concert and DJ events at RPBB remain cancelled until “gatherings” are reinstated.

Riis Park Beach Bazaar and all of its options are open seven days a week, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Beachgoers are encouraged to carry out what they brought in, meaning take your garbage with you! Masks and social distancing are also encouraged.

For updates on Riis Park, follow Gateway National Recreation Area on social media. For updates on Riis Bazaar, follow RiisBazaar on social media.