The promise of summer ice cream in Brooklyn Bridge Park is melting away after the owners of Blue Marble Ice Cream revealed that bureaucratic snafus have delayed their Pier 1 opening.
The ice cream station was expected to open this month, just a few weeks after the Boerum Hill-based gourmet treat company won a competitive bidding process to run one of four concessions in Brooklyn Bridge Park at the foot of Old Fulton Street.
But that win did not mean that all the red tape had been cut. Apparently, no one from the state agency that ran the bidding process told Dundas that there was one more hurdle: the state Health Department.
This week, the iced creamers told us that their semi-permanent structure, slated to stand on the promenade at the south end of Pier 1, was dashed by the agency — forcing an 11th-hour restart on the vendor application process.
“We’re frustrated because we had no idea there would be so many problems,” said Jennie Dundas, co-owner of the shop that has locations already in Boerum Hill, Cobble Hill and Prospect Heights. “I feel bad that we can’t start serving ice cream out there right now.”
The crux of the problem is that Dundas was told to submit an application for the permanent structure — but such a wooden shack requires running water and sewer connections, both of which aren’t available on the promenade.
Now, Dundas needs to start the whole process over and seek a permit for a mobile unit. That will not only require state paperwork, but an overhaul of her plans, which she said could take months.
What’s worse, as everyone knows, the vending season for ice cream ends as early as October. She blames herself for misunderstanding state regulations, but park development officials are still hopeful.
“[All the vendors] have made significant progress since being approved by our board in May,” said Empire State Development Corporation spokeswoman Beth Mitchell. “We expect them all to be opening in July.”
Dundas said she doubted that the stand could open before August.
©2010 Community Newspaper Group
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