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Seaside Johnnies pulls out of Rye Town Park

John Ambrose and Sam Churnin, the current operators of Rye Town Park’s Seaside Johnnies restaurant, have decided to reject a one-year license extension to operate their restaurant. File photo
John Ambrose and Sam Churnin, the current operators of Rye Town Park’s Seaside Johnnies restaurant, have decided to reject a one-year license extension to operate their restaurant. File photo

John Ambrose and Sam Chernin, the current owners and operators of Seaside Johnnies, the Rye Town Park restaurant and snack and concessions stands, will not accept a one-year deal to continue their operation in 2017, the Review has confirmed. Despite offering a one-year extension to the restaurateurs, the Rye Town Park Commission is now faced with no food and beverage to offer patrons of the park or its adjacent Oakland Beach area.

“I won’t accept a one-year deal,” Ambrose said when reached on Friday. “After running the business for 17 years, it just doesn’t make any sense for me at this point.”

The current license agreement with Seaside Johnnies, which overlooks Oakland Beach and the Long Island Sound, is set to conclude at the end of 2016.

On Oct. 18, members of the park commission unanimously voted to extend Seaside Johnnies’ current license agreement for a year in fear of the potential of a vacant restaurant for next season, after having previously rejected a proposal by Ambrose to operate the restaurant for another 10 years.

Unless the commission can find a replacement on such short notice, it is estimated that Rye Town Park will lose approximately $100,000 next year as a result of Ambrose and Chernin walking away from the deal.

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