Brooklyn Bridge Park (BBP) today announced the selection of two new concessions at the Historic Fireboat Station at Fulton Ferry Landing. This space includes a 2-story building along with a 1,000 square foot outdoor seating area with an adjacent utility shed. Alex and Miles Pincus were awarded the outdoor concession space and Ample Hills was awarded the building space. The Historic Fireboat Station Concession Space is located within the Park at Fulton Ferry Landing at the intersection of Old Fulton and Furman Streets. Brooklyn Bridge Park expects both concessions to be operational in the Summer of 2019.
Ample Hills will offer an ice cream scoop shop on the ground floor and will transform the second floor of the building by working with the Brooklyn Historical Society to create a publicly accessible exhibit space honoring the history of the Brooklyn Ferry and Fulton Ferry Landing. The Pincus brothers will offer an outdoor seating area with a high-quality seasonal café and bar. As part of their operations, they will dock a restored vintage FDNY fireboat, the Governor Alfred E. Smith, on the north side of the landing, which will provide additional seating and public amenity.
“We are excited to be working with both Ample Hills and the Pincus brothers in this iconic location, where they each will provide not only a unique food experience but will additionally honor and pay tribute to the historic nature of Fulton Ferry Landing,” said Brooklyn Bridge Park President Eric Landau.
“A century ago, Fulton Ferry Landing was the home of Brooklyn’s marine fire unit,” says Alex Pincus. “We’re thrilled to be able to return a vintage fireboat to this venerable site and to invite the public aboard to experience history firsthand.”
“Our name comes from Walt Whitman’s beautiful poem, Crossing Brooklyn Ferry, with the Fireboat House sitting on the very site where Whitman boarded the ferry time and time again. To be able to open a shop at this spot, and to work with Brooklyn Historical Society to tell this story of Brooklyn through the ferry terminal is a dream come true. It’s the culmination of everything we have worked towards. We are humbled, honored, and profoundly grateful to Brooklyn Bridge Park for awarding us this opportunity, and cannot wait to join our neighbors and engage the community along the bustling waterfront,” said Brian Smith and Jackie Cuscuna, co-founders of Ample Hills Creamery.
“We are thrilled for the opportunity to bring the rich history of this site to the public in an exhibition at the Historic Fireboat Station,” said Brooklyn Historical Society President Deborah Schwartz. “It was over 200 years ago that Robert Fulton launched the first steam ferry between Brooklyn and Manhattan. That event transformed Brooklyn’s neighborhoods, economy, and much more. We look forward to working with Brooklyn Bridge Park and Ample Hills to present Fulton’s story, and many others, at the very site where the history was made.”
The selections are the result of a public Request for Proposals (RFP) process seeking food and beverage concessions for the Historic Fireboat Station. The RFP specified that the “selected respondent will be required to fit out, operate, and maintain a high-quality food and beverage concession of premium quality in terms of both experience and offerings at the Historic Fireboat Station. The concession should enhance the ambience of the Park and surrounding area while providing a convenient service to the public… the selected respondent will be responsible for the implementation of capital improvements necessary to create a suitable space for the concession and the ongoing day-to-day operation of the concession.” Both concessionaires were awarded a 10 year license with one three-year renewal option. Ample Hills will pay the higher of a guaranteed minimum fee of $275,000 or 11% of gross sales. The Pincus brothers will pay the higher of an annualized guaranteed minimum fee of $93,000 or a combined 8% of food and 10% of alcohol sales.
The Fulton Ferry Landing Pier at the foot of Old Fulton Street is one of Brooklyn’s most historic sites, marking the location of the first ferry service between Brooklyn and Manhattan in 1642. The refurbished pier was re-opened in 1997, offering visitors spectacular views of the harbor, Brooklyn Bridge and the Lower Manhattan skyline. The Historic Fireboat Station Concession currently houses Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory, and adjacent outdoor seating area has been the location of Buzz Bar. Their respective license agreement concludes at the end of this year. Brooklyn Bridge Park is currently in conversation with the Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory about other potential locations within the Park.
About Brooklyn Bridge Park
Brooklyn Bridge Park Corporation, known as Brooklyn Bridge Park (BBP), is the not-for-profit entity responsible for the planning, construction, maintenance and operation of Brooklyn Bridge Park, an 85-acre sustainable waterfront park spanning 1.3 miles along Brooklyn’s East River shoreline. As steward of the park, BBP has transformed this previously deteriorated stretch of waterfront into a world-class park where the public can gather, play, relax and enjoy sweeping views of New York Harbor. The self-sustaining park was designed by the award-winning firm of Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates, Inc. and features expansive lawns, rolling hills, waterfront promenades, innovative playgrounds, a greenway, sports facilities and the popular Jane’s Carousel. BBP serves thousands of people on any given seasonal day, who come to picnic, walk their dog, play soccer, jog, bike or roller skate. Brooklyn Bridge Park is a signature public investment for the 21st Century and will be an enduring legacy for the communities, elected officials and public servants who made it happen.
About Ample Hills Creamery
Ample Hills Creamery is the beloved Brooklyn-based, family-owned ice cream company started and run by husband and wife duo Brian Smith and Jackie Cuscuna. Since its first store opening in Prospect Heights, Brooklyn in 2011, the brand has been rated #1 in New York City by Zagat, named “Best Ice Cream in America” by Food Network, and has been featured in outlets such as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, AdWeek, The TODAY Show, O, The Oprah Magazine, and more. Brian and Jackie now run thirteen locations in New York City, New Jersey, Florida, and their first West Coast-location in the Los Feliz neighborhood of Los Angeles, scooping cult-favorite flavors in their creative and playful style, like Salted Crack Caramel, Ooey Gooey, and The Munchies, with pints sold in retailers across the Northeast region including Whole Foods. In 2014, the duo debuted their first book, Ample Hills Creamery: Secrets and Stories from Brooklyn’s Favorite Ice Cream Shop (Stewart, Tabori and Chang).
About The Pincus Brothers
Alex and Miles Pincus are the lifelong sailors and restaurateurs behind Grand Banks, Island Oyster and Pilot, three celebrated waterfront destinations that have changed the way locals and visitors experience summer in New York City. All are near zero-waste establishments that focus on sustainability and operate in partnership with the Billion Oyster Project.
About Brooklyn Historical Society
Founded in 1863, Brooklyn Historical Society is a nationally recognized urban history center dedicated to preserving and encouraging the study of Brooklyn’s extraordinary 400-year history. Located in Brooklyn Heights and housed in a magnificent landmark building designed by George Post and opened in 1881, today’s BHS is a cultural hub for civic dialogue, thoughtful engagement and community outreach. In May 2017 BHS opened a second site in DUMBO’s Brooklyn Bridge Park.