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Want a Boardwalk Business? Seaside Heights Is Putting a Unique Lease Out to Bid



Blue Cup Coffee at Hamilton Avenue and the Boardwalk, Seaside Heights, N.J. (Credit: Google Earth)

Blue Cup Coffee at Hamilton Avenue and the Boardwalk, Seaside Heights, N.J. (Credit: Google Earth)

Every “boardwalk empire” begins with one step – and a small kiosk in the center of the Seaside Heights boardwalk could be the perfect spot for the right resort entrepreneur.

Long utilized as a Dunkin’ Donuts franchise, the kiosk-style building on the boardwalk at Hamilton Avenue is up for lease again after two other coffee shops occupied the space. The first was Bada Bean, a mobster-themed coffee shop that opened to rave reviews, but moved out after one season. Blue Cup Coffee then signed a five-year lease with the borough, serving coffee and breakfast foods, but recently declined an option to sign a five-year extension.



The building, literally centered in the middle of the boardwalk, is unique in that it is borough-owned. Under state law, the borough must seek bids and award a lease to the highest (and best qualified) bidder. The options for prospective operators this time around will be more robust than before, said Borough Administrator Christopher Vaz.



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“We don’t want to be as restrictive as we were last time, when it basically had to be coffee, so it’s going to be a little more general in nature this time,” he explained.

The borough council authorized the solicitation of bids for the building at its meeting Tuesday. A formal bid specification sheet will be published by the borough shortly. In previous lease offerings, a condition was that the business would be a “coffee and breakfast food concession,” which will be left out this time around. The previous tenant paid $49,000 per year for four seasons after a discounted first season due to its opening date.

For fans of Blue Cup Coffee, the local business has indicated it will return next season to its other location at 1800 Boardwalk, just north of the Sawmill near what has become something of a restaurant and food court area.




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