Hot dog! McCarren Park getting grills, picnic tables in time for summer

Hot dog! McCarren Park getting grills, picnic tables in time for summer
Grill season: The city plans to install new grills and picnic tables in McCarren Park by May.
Parks Department

This green space is getting licensed to grill!

The city is gifting McCarren Park with new barbecues and picnic tables ahead of the summer season so its patrons can finally have their perfectly seared burgers and a place to eat them, too.

“McCarren Park is a heavily-used resource for many North Brooklynites,” said the Department of Parks and Recreation’s Brooklyn Commissioner Martin Maher. “We’re excited to bring even more amenities to the park, and we know these grills and picnic tables will be put to good use.”

The agency is coughing up more than $50,000 to install nine “double-header” grills that hold twice as much meat, fish, or vegetables than the standard variety, along with 18 picnic tables, three charcoal-disposal bins, and two additional garbage containers, all of which will be placed in three designated areas within the meadow that straddles Williamsburg and Greenpoint, according to a spokeswoman, who said park-goers have already been hauling their own grilling equipment to the lawn for a long time.

The parks department also plans to solicit bids from food vendors before picking two to operate trucks inside the green space and one to set up shop in McCarren Park’s field house near its baseball diamonds this spring, the rep said. And the agency is working to arrange a meeting with the local community board before it issues any permits, she said.

The new picnic facilities will arrive nearly six years after some park-goers begged the city to install barbecues in the park in 2012 — the same year that other locals grilled officials over the installation of cooking stations in nearby Cooper Park on Maspeth Avenue, which they claimed would lead to pollution and violence.

And outdoor kitchens aren’t the only changes coming to the green space roughly bounded by Manhattan, Nassau, and Bedford avenues and Bayard, Lorimer and N. 12th streets. The parks department next month will begin a year-long, $4-million capital project of renovating of its track and field, which includes laying a new rubber oval and an artificial-turf pitch, the rep said.

Reach reporter Julianne Cuba at (718) 260–4577 or by e-mail at jcuba@cnglocal.com. Follow her on Twitter @julcuba.

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