Wildwood's beach bar plan will depend on the ABC

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This is the proposed location for the beach bar in Wildwood. This is the proposed location for the beach bar in Wildwood.

WILDWOOD—Now that the city has accepted a proposal to operate a beach bar in Wildwood, Beach Buddy LLC will have to be approved for a special liquor license to operate it.

City Commissioner Pete Byron said that the four stakeholders who make up Beach Buddy have already made initial contact with the state Alcoholic Beverage Control Board to get the process moving.

“They are in pretty good shape,” he said Friday.

The city planned to award a five-year contract with the company in the coming weeks.

According to Zach Hosseini, a spokesman with the state division of Alcoholic Beverage Control, after the city awards the winning bidder for the beach bar concessionaire’s license, he or she will have to submit to a thorough application process.

Hosseini said the division will perform background checks and review the winning bidder’s finances before a license is issued.

The process is expected to take between eight and 12 weeks, according to city officials.

Mayor Ernie Troiano said he was frustrated that the process was so lengthy.

“If it takes two days, that is one day longer than it should take,” he said in a phone interview Friday. “Especially in today’s society; everything can be sent instantly.”

The rush is to get the bar open by Memorial Day. According to the Beach Buddy proposal, they plan to pay the city a $55,000 flat fee for this year, plus an additional $35,000 if the bar is not running by the holiday.

That fee increases annually over five years, maxing out at $88,099 in 2018.

“We are trying to generate revenue for the taxpayer and add some excitement to our beach,” Troiano said.

He added that the bar’s utilities, such as water and electric, will be run from the convention center, but will have a separate meter.

The city was first awarded a Coastal Area Facility Review Act permit from Department of Environmental Protection in 2012, and that permits allows for the city to operate a beach bar. It also gives permission for the city to construct a beach bike path and playground, as well as other projects.

Byron said that the CAFRA permit was for five years, and that the city has already used two years of the permit. In 2017, it will have to reapply to renew it, Byron said.

Bob Considine, a spokesman with DEP, said that no aspects of Wildwood’s CAFRA permit have been revoked or changed.

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