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MAP: Here's Where to Eat, Drink and Shop in Rockaway Beach This Summer

By Katie Honan | May 22, 2015 3:20pm | Updated on May 25, 2015 10:45am
 The new menu at the Playland Motel features breakfast like these chorizo-stuffed tacos.
The new menu at the Playland Motel features breakfast like these chorizo-stuffed tacos.
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DNAinfo/Katie Honan

ROCKAWAY BEACH — Beaches will be open for the summer beginning Memorial Day, and Rockaway Beach is heating up just in time.

A plethora of businesses and restaurant have opened up in the Rockaway peninsula, after a months-long hiatus since the beaches officially closed last Labor Day. 

A bazaar featuring live music and DJs, a new shop with a "glitter bar" and a food truck serving a deep fried, bacon-wrapped hot dog are just some of the attractions visitors can expect to find in the area this Memorial Day weekend.

The first stretch of the rebuilt boardwalk in Rockaway Beach, which was destroyed during Hurricane Sandy, will also debut this weekend.

Check out what's new on the peninsula this season: 

► Shore Shack, 108-20 Rockaway Beach Blvd., Rockaway Park

Surf and turf restaurant Dalton’s Seaside Grill is launching its first food truck this year called Shore Shack, according its co-owner Mike Dalton.

“I saw the movie ‘Chef,' I was inspired,” Dalton said. “I just hope it’s as easy as they say in the movies.”

The truck will be serving up smoked brisket, hand-cut French fries and sandwiches. It will also offer a new "heart attack dog," made with a bacon-wrapped hot dog that's been deep fried and served on a pretzel roll.

Before Dalton's Seaside Grill, the restaurant was called Snug Harbor Restaurant, where Dalton worked as a dishwasher until he and his brother Chris bought the business and renamed it in 2010.

Dalton, 52, is running the truck with John Xanthos, 27, and said they hope to bring a quality late-night menu to the peninsula.

The truck will be on the beach for Memorial Day weekend from noon until 4 a.m. and also for the Rockaway Beach Irish Fair on May 30. After that it'll serve food from the restaurant’s parking lot all summer.

“We really want it to just be fun,” Dalton said.

Riis Park Bazaar, Riis Park concessions, 157 Rockaway Beach Blvd., Neponsit

The concessions, designed by Robert Moses and built in the 1930s, will now serve food from some beloved Brooklyn vendors including Ample Hills Creamery and Fletcher’s Barbecue. 

The bazaar will serve local beers, wines and mixed drinks — and is catering to locals with two-for-one deals on Wednesday nights, when the Rockaway Beach Volleyball League plays.

It'll also host a rotating list of DJs and live music all summer. Check their website for a full list.

Chicks to Go, 97-02 Rockaway Beach Blvd., Rockaway Beach

Peruvian chicken, quinoa, avocado salad and saltata — a tasty, messy meal of French fries and hot dogs — are on the menu at this restaurant from Leyla and Ximena Yrala, who also run the popular ceviche restaurant at the beach concessions up the street.

Chicks to Go features Peruvian drinks and snacks like empanadas, convenient enough to grab before heading to the beach.

The Summer Shift, 95-19 Rockaway Beach Blvd., Rockaway Beach

Rockaway Taco’s famed chef, Andrew Field, may have split with the building’s owner in March — but the shack on Beach 96th Street won’t be empty.

Owner David Selig and Rockaway Summer have teamed up with The MP Shift, a concept, design and branding studio, to bring a rotating list of chefs to serve Latin American food all summer.

Leyla and Ximena Yrala, who opened Chicks to Go a block away this spring, will serve food through June. For a full list of chefs, check out their website.

Lola Star, 174 Beach 116th St., Rockaway Park

Coney Island shop owner and civic activist, Lola Star, has brought her beach-inspired clothing, hula-hooping and "glitter bar" across Jamaica Bay with a new shop in Rockaway Park. 

"Coney Island and Rockaway are kind of cousins in a weird kind of way," Lola Star told DNAinfo. "They both have this similar kind of magnet and magic to them."

The glitter bar lets visitors bedazzle their shirts and jackets or stamp on a sparkly tattoo.

The shop features items found at her two shops in Coney Island as well as items made specifically for Rockaway — and she'll also host a hula-hooping event on the beach and wants to bring roller skating to the peninsula.

Tacoway Beach, Beach 86th Street and the Rockaway Freeway, Rockaway Beach

The Rockaway Beach Surf Club is now home to the famous fish taco from Andrew Field, who is cooking up the Mexican food from a shack at the bar.

The food is similar, but now you can dine with a beer or margarita, and there's more seating too.

Rockaway Roasters, 92-06 Rockaway Beach Blvd., Rockaway Beach

Grab a cold Stumptown Coffee brew, a fresh smoothie or an acai bowl at this new coffee shop in the neighborhood's "Restaurant Row."

There's also free wi-fi, doughnuts from Dough and gluten-free pastries. 

► Playland Motel Grill, 97-20 Rockaway Beach Blvd., Rockaway Beach 

Playland isn't new, but the restaurant is sporting a revamped menu and a new manager who's vowed to turn its rowdy reputation around.

Dan Cipriani, who ran a food truck at the Rockaway Beach Surf Club last year, has added a full menu with breakfast, lunch and dinner and wants to attract more families and locals.

"I don't plan on staying open until 4 a.m.," he said. "My vision for Playland is the exact opposite of what it was."

There's still a full bar with wines and beers from New York State, and a backyard space will open later this summer.

By the Beach Coconuts, Beach 67th Street and the boardwalk

Pick up a fresh Thai coconut or coconut smoothie at a stand from By the Beach Coconuts, operated by a group of local entrepreneurs.

For more information, check out their website.