A local entrepreneur who brought his pedacycle business to Seaside Heights this summer for a trial run is hoping to remain in the borough and become a seasonal fixture.
The Seaside Heights borough council approved a pilot program in August that allowed Jesse Pomeroy, an Island Heights resident, to expand his pedacycle rides to town. Pomeroy’s business, called “The Pedacycle,” currently operates in Asbury Park and Beach Haven (Long Beach Island).
A growing attraction in several cities across the country, a pedacycle is a pedal-powered buggy that moves between 5-8 m.p.h. and takes groups of riders on a tour of the town, stopping at bars and restaurants along the way. There is no alcohol allowed on the cycle itself, but food and soft drinks can be brought on board. The council approved the business to operate on city streets this summer on a trial basis so officials could gauge the success and feasibility of such an attraction operating in town – and the reviews have been positive, especially from restaurant owners.
“We had a group of ladies who came this summer with Jesse,” said Angie Lombardi, one of the owners of Drifters, a family-friendly seafood restaurant and bar on the Boulevard. “They had dinner and drinks, and just a great time. He took them all over the loop and they had a lot of fun.”
Pomeroy had been looking to expand the business to Seaside Heights for some time, and as has been the case with many enterprises, the pandemic got in the way.
“I had pitched the idea and come in front of the council back in 2018 or ’19 – definitely pre-Covid,” he said. “And I came back with the idea because I have a lot of history in this town and I love this town very much.”
The business has drawn rave reviews in Asbury Park and LBI, and Pomeroy said Seaside Heights seemed like a natural fit.
“We do a two-hour tour – we stop at places like Drifters, Hooks, spend 25 or 30 minutes at each spot, and we have a trained driver to take them around,” he said. “It’s a fun gathering of friends and family – or strangers who come together – and peddle around town.”
Since the pedacycle business is so unique, everyone from borough officials to Pomeroy himself were unsure if local ordinances would allow it. After a meeting late this summer, the council approved a pilot period lasting a few weeks. Pomeroy told council members last week that the pilot was a success, both business-wise and from a practical and safety perspective, and he’d like to expand to a full season in 2023. He came to the meeting to request the endorsement of the council before he invests in the expansion.
Mayor Anthony Vaz thanked Pomeroy for bringing the business to town and said the council would likely decide on the request at its next meeting.