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National parks to demolish former Canarsie Pier eatery

National parks to demolish former Canarsie Pier eatery
Pier destruction: National Park Service has decided to demolish the dilapidated building on Canarsie Pier that once housed the Abbracciamento Italian restaurant, following more than a decade of failed attempts to find another business willing to renovate the structure and setup shop there.
Photo by Steve Solomonson

It’s pier waste.

The top brass at the Gateway National Parks and Recreation Area can’t find anyone interested in filling the long-vacant structure that formerly housed the Abbracciamento’s restaurant on Canarsie Pier, so they plan on bulldozing it. National Parks said the ailing structure has fallen into such disrepair that no right-minded businessman would take up the cost of repairing it.

“Most places realized that they wouldn’t make any money,” said National Parks spokeswoman Daphne Yun. “So, it’s slated for demolition.”

Yun couldn’t say when the federal parks agency plans to obliterate the dilapidated structure. She did say that following Abbracciamento’s closing in the late 1990s, the agency tried to fill the vacancy with another food vendor. After the family-run Italian joint went under, only one business expressed interest in filling the space. Pier rulers later decided that the application was invalid, according to Yun.

Since than, no one else has showed any interest, the federal agency claims, who said the cost of renovating the ailing structure would have become the responsibility of any new business owner, thus making turning a profit at that site a difficult prospect.

“Basically, it’s quite costly to repair that building,” said Yun.

The pier itself recently reopened following an engineering study that concluded the jetty wouldn’t buckle into the sea following Hurricane Sandy. This summer a bike-rental and a kayak-rental station will be serving pier-goers. They are expected to be ready for business before the end of June.

About two years ago, the National Parks also began looking for someone to open up a bait-and-tackle shop, and businessmen and women who would be interested in bringing food carts to the pier. In both cases, the government claims to have received no responses.

Reach reporter Colin Mixson at cmixson@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-4514.

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