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East River Ferry Now Serves Brooklyn Treats

By Jill Colvin | April 30, 2012 6:07am
The new menu will include Butter Lane Cupcakes, as well as other local treats.
The new menu will include Butter Lane Cupcakes, as well as other local treats.
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NEW YORK — The East River Ferry ride is getting sweeter.

Beginning Monday morning, passengers will be treated to a new menu of locally-produced goodies, including cupcakes from Butter Lane Cupcakes, retro-style u-bet egg creams in chocolate and vanilla, and hot and iced coffees from the Brooklyn Roasting Company.

While coffee was offered on some routes last summer, the effort marks the first time food will be served onboard the pilot ferry service, which launched last June, and travels between Wall Street's Pier 11 and East 34th Street, with stops in DUMBO's Fulton Ferry Landing, north and south Williamsburg, Greenpoint, and Long Island City, Queens.

"We’re very excited about it," Paul Goodman, CEO of Billybey Ferry Company, which operates the routes on behalf of the city, told DNAinfo New York ahead of the launch.

Goodman, who teamed with restaurateur Marc Murphy, of Tribeca and the Time Warner Center's Landmarc bistros and Brooklyn Bridge Park's Ditch Plains, said that, after the success of last summer's coffee service, he wanted to expand the selection for riders, with a focus on local fare.

In addition to the cupcakes and coffee, the menu includes potato chips from McClure’s, the famous pickle purveyors, and pastries from Murphy’s Benchmarc Events.

"Now East River Ferry goers can enjoy the scenic ride, and take in the amazing skyline views while snacking on local Brooklyn eats," Murphy said in a statement.

Jim Munson, president of the Brooklyn Roasting Company, said he plans to offer ferry-riders a variety of single-origin hot coffees and cold-brewed ice coffees throughout summer, with service kicking off at dawn.

“We think it’s a great alliance. We want to promote alternative means of transportation, so we’re working with the ferries,” he said.

The menu, which will be available seven days a week, on all routes, beginning at 7 a.m, is also easy on the wallet, with prices ranging from $2 for chips and pastries, to $3 for coffees, cupcakes and egg creams.

The team is also considering the possibility of adding beer and wine to the menu at some point in the future, Goodman said.

The ferry, which was launched last June, has already attracted more than 715,000 riders since paid service began at the end of June — nearly twice as many as estimates.

While the city is still examining the viability of making the service permanent, it has already begun early discussions with the MTA about the possibility of integrating Metrocard service.

The ferry receives a city subsidy of about $3 million a year.