On Monday afternoon the 90°+ temps drew residents to the Greenwich Pool at Byram Park.
There was no waiting line and guests enjoyed walking into the zero entry pool to beat the heat.
The park’s concession stand contract, which was awarded to Kevin Allmashy’s Executive Corner Deli, has yet to open.
The concession doesn’t have its Certificate of Occupancy yet. The Town is waiting for electrical parts for the stove exhaust.
Allmashy was able to obtain a Temporary Certificate of Occupancy from the Town that enables him to vend some snacks from a folding table in front of the concession stand.
On Monday, Allmashy could see through the concession stand window the $25,000 worth of equipment he purchased and hopes to begin using shortly, including fryers, stove, fridge and freezer.
“I wish I could roll out the ice cream,” he said as he pointed though the window at his ice cream cooler. “But the Town would be liable if I step foot inside to get it.”
Reached by phone on Wednesday, Brian Kerzner, Marine & Facility Superintendent for Parks & Rec shared Allmashy’s frustration.
“We’re still waiting for a piece for the stove hood,” Kerzner explained. “It took between 4 and 5 weeks to get the hood, which was a custom order manufactured from scratch. They sent that over, but we had to wait longer for the electrical aspects of the hood, which came this week. But there were missing electrical parts they promised to FedEx to us when they’re ready. Then the outside contractor will hopefully be able to install them quickly.”
“We’re just as frustrated as Kevin is,” Kerzner said.
Kerzner explained that DPW deserves most of the credit for getting the pool up and running. “Then we picked up from there on the operational end with the pool life guards and operation of the pool,” he said, referring to Parks & Rec.
“DPW is doing everything they can to push it along,” he said.
In the meantime, Allmashy serves as something of a maître d’ for the pool, greeting every guest as they head up the path toward the pool entrance and pass by his table. Many of them asked for ice cream, and he explains, “Not yet.”
“The Town has done their best to help,” Allmashy said.
With the TCO, Allmashy is able to bring in a cooler full of sandwiches, which sell out every day. The cooler also contains cold drinks and snacks for kids including guacamole pouches, fruit cups, hummus & pretzels, baby carrots.
To keep the temperature at 40° Allmashy loads the cooler with 15 bags of ice every day, which makes the cooler heavy. The Town provided him with a dolly so he can wheel the cooler in and out.
“With this temporary certificate of occupancy I can’t sell coffee, milk or juices,” he said. “And, obviously no french fries, burgers or hot dogs.”
“I hired several people six weeks ago and lost most of them,” he added.
“One guy threatened to punch me,” Allmashy said. “He had showed up with beach chairs and was told they’re not allowed on the pool deck. Then he thought he’d get ice cream, but that wasn’t going to happen. I’m losing thousands of dollars every day, and he’s threatening to punch me?”
Allmashy shrugs in disbelief. “Most people are understanding, and Town gave me a discount on the fee I pay,” he said.
The fee is $7,500 a year and this year they charged him just $3,500.
“The contract is Memorial Day to Labor Day, but the pool not open until June 29. Now it’s mid July and I’m still on the sidewalk,” he said.
Allmashy said as soon as he is fully open his hours will be 9:00am til dusk, seven days a week.
He will also make deliveries throughout the park.
“That includes the marina, beach, playground, gazebo, tennis courts and baseball field. I have exclusive contract for food at the beach – You can’t order food from outside the park. They just turned away Domino’s.”