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Governors Island Issues RFP For Mobile Food & Announces New Outdoor Cafes for 2018


Governors Island now accepting proposals for seasonal mobile vendors and food trucks at 3 sites

6 outdoor cafés and beer gardens to open in 2018 at Liggett Terrace and the Manhattan Ferry Landing

The Trust for Governors Island today issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) for seasonal mobile food vendors on Governors Island. Building on the Island’s reputation as a home for a diverse array of arts, culture and food, The Trust seeks proposals for self-contained food trucks and mobile vendors to provide high-quality, fresh and affordable food, coffee and non-alcoholic beverage options for visitors both during weekdays and on weekends. Vendors are invited to submit proposals to bring their food to Governors Island during the 2018 public season, which runs May 1 through October 31. The RFP is available on The Trust’s website. Proposals are due on March 9, 2018.

The Trust also announced today that in addition to Governors Island’s popular waterfront bar and restaurant Island Oyster, which will reopen in 2018, five operators will open six outdoor cafes, bringing an exciting array of dining options to Liggett Terrace Food Court and an additional option at the Manhattan Ferry Landing overlooking the Lower Manhattan skyline and Brooklyn Bridge. Anchoring Liggett Terrace, which serves as the gateway between the Island’s beautiful park and Historic District, is Little Eva’s Beer Garden Grill, returning for its 7th year on the Island from the team behind popular restaurant Kevin’s Red Hook, featuring grill items, craft beer and their popular frozen cocktails. In addition, Blue Marble Ice Cream, Colombian eatery Mi Pequeño Terruño and Pyramid Café will return to Liggett Terrace.

Governors Beer Co., a partnership between the duo behind Alphabet City Beer Co. and Eduard Frauneder from the popular East Village eatery Edi and the Wolf, will also return to Liggett Terrace for its second year to operate a beer garden pairing NYC-brewed beers with Austrian sausages and burgers. For the first time, the Governors Beer Co. team will expand their operation on Governors Island, opening a new pop-up featuring tacos, tequila and mezcal craft cocktails and more located at the eastern end of the Manhattan Ferry Landing.

“With more New Yorkers than ever spending the day exploring Governors Island during our six-month season, we’re delighted to continue to expand and diversify our food offerings,” said Michael Samuelian, President of The Trust for Governors Island. “We invite food purveyors from all five boroughs to bring their cuisine to one of the city’s most inspiring settings.”

The outdoor cafes announced today responded to The Trust’s RFP for Food and Beverage, released in the fall of 2017. The Trust’s highest priority for the Mobile Food Vendor RFP is to award seasonal permits to proposals that will complement outdoor cafes, providing high-quality food that reflects the diversity of Governors Island’s visitors and their appetites. This diversity should be reflected in the range of vendors, price points, types of cuisine and variety of choices within a given menu. Special consideration will be given to vendors who demonstrate sustainable business practices and utilize compostable service ware.

There are three sites available through this RFP. The first, the Kings Avenue Food Court is a tree-lined street flanked by historic buildings located at the heart of Governors Island adjacent to Liggett Terrace. Kings Avenue will be home to multiple sellers of different types of food. For the first time, The Trust will offer two additional sites to mobile vendors, one at the Governors Island Welcome Center, located behind the Manhattan Ferry landing for coffee vendors only, and one near Pier 102/NYC Ferry Landing and adjacent to Nolan Park, which serves as the center of Governors Island’s art and cultural activity during the season. Proposers are welcome to indicate a preference for one location or another, and may also propose food at both locations, as well as their days of operation preference. Use of these sites will be permitted for one season during the six-month period from May 1 through October 31.

Since opening to the public in 2005, mobile food vendors and food trucks have been at the heart of the Island’s food and beverage offerings, with dozens of vendors from all five boroughs feeding the hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers who visit each season. The RFP released today presents an exciting opportunity for New York City food vendors and small business owners to be a part of one of New York City’s most unique and beloved public spaces and recreational destinations with a fast-growing audience.

To submit a proposal for a temporary food vending permit, visit Proposals are due on March 9, 2018 at which point The Trust will review all applications received. The Trust will be in touch with Respondents in late March.

Governors Island is open seasonally to the public between spring and fall. An increasingly popular and accessible seasonal destination just minutes from Lower Manhattan and Downtown Brooklyn, the Island is home to nearly 90 acres of expansive open space, a rich calendar of public arts, educational and recreational programming and spectacular views of the Statue of Liberty, harbor and Lower Manhattan skyline.

In 2018, Governors Island will be open every day from May 1 through October 31. The Island is open from 10 AM to 6 PM on weekdays and from 10 AM to 7 PM on weekends, Memorial Day, July 4 and Labor Day.