Brick Township officials have awarded contracts to three business to sell food at the annual Summerfest event series, including a contract for beer and wine sales at the events.
River Rock Sports Bar and Grille, a restaurant located on Route 70 in the township’s Herbertsville section, was the successful bidder of the beer and wine concession, and will pay the township $20,225.
Mayor John Ducey said beer and wine would be sold at three Summerfest concerts as well as the July 31 car show.
Township Attorney Kevin Starkey said the successful bidder will have to name the township as additionally insured under its own liquor liability insurance policy.
Business Administrator Joanne Bergin said security for the beer and wine area will be covered by River Rock, and special police officers will be on hand as they always have been at Summerfest in previous years.
Former township council member Domenick Brando, who came to the April 15 council meeting where the measure was passed, asked the council to reconsider selling alcohol at Summerfest out of safety concerns.
"There’s always that one guy who has too many," said Brando, cautioning that a drunk driver could be dangerous in an area where many people walk down Princeton Avenue after a concert ends. "Is somebody’s life worth $20,000?"
"I have a lot more faith in the residents of Brick to be able to act in a responsible manner," replied Ducey. "There are responsible residents in Belmar at the Seafood Fest, in Brielle at Brielle Day, in Manasquan at the Firemen’s Fair ... In town after town after town, we don’t see any problems."
Councilman Bob Moore was the lone council member to vote against awarding the contract.
"As a father and as a first responder, I think having alcohol there is not a good idea," Moore said. "I’ve been going there for 16 years and it’s a great event, and you can have a good time without alcohol."
Food Contracts Awarded
In addition to the beer and wine concession, the township accepted a separate, $800 bid from River Rock to sell pizza at Summerfest.
Tony’s Italian Sausage, of Hazlet, will pay $1,500 to sell sausages and cheesesteaks.
The township did not receive any bids for a deli section or miscellaneous items, which is generally considered to be funnel cakes.
Bidded food concessions are returning in 2014 after many years of township nonprofit organizations receiving permission to sell food at the event as a fund-raiser.