Caracas Is Headed Back to the Beach

It’s a shore thing: Caracas Arepa Bar will return to the Rockaways this summer, as will its partners in the Rockaway Beach Club.

According to Maribel Araujo, owner of the Venezuelan spot on East Seventh Street, its oceanfront outpost took a $70,000 hit when Hurricane Sandy sent waves cascading into the concrete bunker at Beach 106th Street, destroying equipment and uprooting the boardwalk around it. But the Parks Department is currently making repairs and aims to hand over the keys on Memorial Day weekend. After that, said Ms. Araujo, she’ll sell beer and water during the two or three weeks it will take to get fully operational again.

Rippers, Rockaway Taco, and Motorboat and the Big Banana will also return to their respective stands this summer along with 20 mobile food vendors, said Ms. Araujo.

The parks department’s plan to build “boardwalk islands” around the concessions hasn’t been met with unanimous approval: some have complained about their Star Wars-esque modular comfort stations, which will be raised 12 feet off the ground per FEMA regulations. But Ms. Araujo is trying to take any changes to the concessions in stride. “If they’re painted in magenta and apple green like in some of their proposals, at this point I just don’t care anymore,” she said. “I just want to be back out there and keep doing the work we were doing.”

Despite all the turmoil, the future is looking bright. “I think it’s going to be amazing in every way,” said Ms. Araujo of the upcoming season. “I feel like a lot of people are going to come that maybe never before heard about Rockaway and now have the curiosity to see how we’re reinventing ourselves.”

Today, the Daily News reported that new concessions will come to the Jamaica Bay side of the peninsula, as well.