A hearing with the purpose of gathering public comment on a plan to build a bar and restaurant at Traders Cove Marina in Brick is scheduled for Monday night, and will presumably bring both supporters and detractors to the microphone.
Save Barnegat Bay, an environmental group, is planning to oppose the plan, under which Chefs International would build the outdoor establishment, which would feature beach sand lounge areas and dock-and-dine opportunities to the publicly-owned park and marina.
“Save Barnegat Bay opposes this project because it violates the Project Agreement between Brick and Green Acres; because if a commercial entity is allowed to exist in a park, the purpose ought logically to be to increase the quality of the park users’ experience, not to deprive them of it; and for other reasons,” said Britta Wenzel, director of Save Barnegat Bay, in an e-mail.
The restaurant complex would be built on the northeast corner of the Traders Cove site, where there is currently a grassy area. The location would be adjacent to slips where boaters could stop in to dock-and-dine. The establishment would begin as a seasonal facility that would be open during the spring, summer and early fall, but could transition into a year-round restaurant depending on demand, representatives for Chefs International have said. The site, according to the company, would retain all of the public access now featured at the site, including the boardwalk which rings the bayfront.
“The restaurant lease will give us not only an awesome place for everyone to enjoy, but revenue to help pay down our debt service” on the park, Mayor John Ducey said, which currently stands at about $15 million. Chefs International would pay an annual $75,000 lease on the site.
The hearing is part of a process under which comments are accepted and forwarded to the state Department of Environmental Protection, which oversees the Green Acres program. Brick officials said they have received preliminary approval from Green Acres, however it must be formalized.
The hearing will be held at 6 p.m. in the council chambers at the township municipal complex on Chambers Bridge Road.