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Local Entrepreneurs Expand Eating Options At Bronx's Orchard Beach

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Those heading out for some sun and sand at Orchard Beach in the Bronx will also be greeted by snack bars offering Cuban and Italian cuisine and seafood, run by the owners of an East Tremont restaurant. NY1's Tara Lynn Wagner filed the following report.

Most beach concession stands only offer fast food — hamburgers, cheeseburgers, hot dogs, chips and fries, and often beachgoers bring their own food.

This year, the coolers may take a break on Orchard Beach in the Bronx, as the co-owners of the Havana Cafe on East Tremont have won an eight-year contract to renovate, operate and maintain the beach's three distinct stands.

The new concessioners plan to give patrons a tour of the Bronx, starting with seafood.

"We have one of the concession stands is dedicated to bringing City Island to Orchard Beach with our brand City Island Express," said Ruben Rodriguez, a co-owner of Havana Café.

Further down the boardwalk, another concession stand provides Cuban cuisine.

"It will give you a broad range of great Latin American cuisine," said Rodriguez.

The last stop is Arthur Avenue, with a stand providing authentic Italian food to the Bronx Riviera.

There will also be a dozen food carts and eventually there could be as many as 20. The carts will offer hot dogs and ice cream, as well as other international items from Mexican food, and Greek favorites like shish kabobs.

"We have high-quality meats, we have all the best cuts, the best chicken, the best pork. All Latin flavors, seasoned, hot dogs, shish kabobs, everything you can ask for in a cart," said food cart operator Rollo Monteroso.

"We wanted to make sure we had a green component to our proposal, so we will have green carts offering whole and cut fruits as well as having great salads," said Rodriguez.

Prices at the carts range from $1 to $5 and specialty items at the concession stands can run as high as $27. Bathers at Orchard Beach were already licking their chops.

"The fruits and veggies are refreshing so that's different," said one beachgoer.

"I think it's a good idea. It's good for the Bronx and difference is good," said another.

The snack bars and food carts will serve every day from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m., when the beach closes.

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