Food & Beverage Concessions
To see our current and past season vendors, please visit the Food & Drink page.
The Trust for Governors Island invites food and beverage establishments to submit proposals on a rolling basis to operate on Governors Island.
The Trust offers flexible, high-traffic stationary sites for buildout of semi-permanent structures, opportunities for mobile food carts, and locations for mobile food trucks. In addition to seasonal on-Island vending opportunities, the Trust is seeking a concessionaire to operate a year-round café kiosk space in the lobby of the Battery Maritime Building, the Island’s primary Manhattan ferry terminal. Operators should consider which type of site best suits their business and offerings—proposals are also welcome for alternative locations not specifically listed below.
Governors Island is one of New York City’s most beloved destinations. Between the months of May and October, visitors from across the city and around the globe discover a world unto itself, filled with history and an award-winning spectacular park at the center of New York Harbor. Just minutes by ferry from Lower Manhattan and the Brooklyn waterfront, nearly 1M visitors come to the Island each season to enjoy a robust calendar of cultural programs, public art, car-free biking, festivals, and an expansive park with unrivaled views of the city skyline and the Statue of Liberty.
During the current public season, the island is open 10AM–6PM Monday through Friday and 10AM–7PM on weekends with earlier access for vendors, staff, and tenants. Typically, the Island hosts 3,500+ visitors per weekday and up to 12,000+ on weekend days. On weekdays, concessions also benefit from the Island population that includes employees, tenants, a vibrant arts and cultural community, and day camps. Operators also have opportunities to cater the many corporate and non-profit retreats, events and volunteer days held on the Island.
Our ideal partners to provide food and beverage are businesses that:
- provide high-quality, affordable, delicious food for our diverse visitors
- have demonstrated success running similar concessions
- are enthusiastic about partnering with the Trust for the best possible menu, design and service
- share the Trust’s goals of promoting a sustainable and zero-waste environment
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The Battery Maritime Building, located in Manhattan at 10 South Street, serves as the primary ferry terminal for Governors Island. In 2019, approximately 1.5 million people passed through the Battery Maritime Building, with the majority of those trips occurring during Governors Island’s public season. As a prime waterfront location within the Financial District the Battery Martime Building enjoys year-round foot traffic from tourists and commuters alike. The Battery Maritime Building is located on the East River Esplanade within close proximity to the Wall Street Pier 11 Ferry Terminal, the Staten Island Ferry Terminal, the Manhattan Heliport and commercial corridors along South and Water Streets.
The Trust is currently completing a renovation of the Lobby and will deliver a white box space with utility connections for build out by a year-round café concessionaire. The Trust will furnish a dedicated electrical panel with 208Y/120V, 3-Phase, 400 AMP service, along with 1” cold water and ½” hot water lines. There will be a 2” sink drain, a floor drain and the floor will be tiled.
In the off-season, the Island continues to be utilized by Trust staff, year-round tenants including the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council and the 550-student New York Harbor School, and various visitors and contractors. An additional tenant, the QC Terme day spa, is set to open in 2021, and the Trust released solicitations seeking tenants for three additional historic buildings this year. As we prepare for continued growth, The Trust will explore additional public operating hours and will implement enhancements to ferry service.
Available Area: 171 SF
Electrical Service: 400 Amp
Potable Water: 1” cold water line; ½” hot water line
Sanitary Sewer: 2” sink drain; floor drain
Availability: May to October
Located within one of the busiest areas on the Island and minutes from both the Manhattan and Brooklyn ferry landings, Liggett Terrace has been the Island’s traditional food court with grab and go and multiple public seating options. Space is available for both semi-permanent and mobile operations, including potential use of existing container vending locations.
Available Area: 2,500-6,000 SF
Electrical Service: 200 Amp (more possible upon request with your proposal)
Potable Water: Available
Sanitary Sewer: Available
Availability: May to October
Mobile operations such as food trucks, tuk-tuks, carts or trikes can be assigned to specific locations or vary amongst several pre-approved locations, as preferred by the Operator. The Trust will also consider proposals for mobile units that relocate throughout the day to various locations around the Island. This mobile unit would maintain a prescribed route around the Island to service the more remote locations as well as the highly trafficked areas. We envision a small, electric or pedaled vehicle that is constantly on the move (e.g. a beverage bike).
Electrical Service: Available in limited locations for plug-in operations
Potable Water: None
Sanitary Sewer: None
Your proposal should include the following at a minimum:
- Personal and business biography: Tell us a little about yourself and why Governors Island is a great fit for your business.
- Food concept: What will you serve? What is the story behind your food? Include a sample menu for what you would serve on the Island, with detailed descriptions of dishes, and sourcing, as well as prices, storage and prep needs.
- Location option and details: Which Governors Island site or sites are ideal for your concept? Operators may elect to serve food in a variety of ways. Each operator will be responsible for the design as well as the construction, furnishing and operations of its site. Temporary structures can be built or brought onto the Island before the season begins and removed after the season ends. An example of a temporary structure might include shipping containers and other pre-fabricated structures.
- Physical structure and design sketch: What will your site, structure, truck or mobile unit look like? Provide a sketch or sample of aesthetic.
- Operational Plan: Staffing plan, hours and days of operations, opening and closing procedures, cleaning schedule, storage requirements, and anything else that seems relevant to daily operations.
- Food and beverage receiving plan: All staff and materials arrive at Governors Island via ferry. Vehicles that are carrying equipment and supplies for food and beverage operators will be allowed to drive onto the Island via our vehicle ferry before 10 am each day. In your proposal include times of day, days per week, receiving staff, and projected space requirements per delivery (e.g. number of cases, hand-trucks, etc.). A detailed vehicle policy will be provided in the permit agreement.
- Utility and electric needs: Please provide an equipment schedule showing intended uses and list of each piece of major equipment’s electrical draw.
- Single Season Proforma: Include income and expense projections for each month of operation.
- References: Provide up to 3 relevant business references.
Proposals must include a fixed site fee, a revenue share based on gross sales, and a security deposit.
- The Trust reserves the right to accept, negotiate, or reject any proposals received under this RFP.
- Operators will be required to use an approved point of sales system and report monthly gross sales to the Trust in a provided template.
- The Trust is sensitive to the ongoing financial hardship being suffered by the food and beverage industry as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and will wave fixed fees on a pro rata basis during periods of the term when social distancing restrictions are in effect.
Proposals will be evaluated for:
- Operational expertise: Experience operating concessions, high traffic or outdoor locations
- Food Concept and Quality: Menu and culinary execution, range of offerings and price points
- Design Execution: Professionalism and aesthetic
- Proposed Fee Offer
Proposals should be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org. All proposal questions and/or inquiries about our food program should be sent to email@example.com. No questions will be answered via phone. The Trust will host tours for prospective food and beverage operators upon request. To schedule a tour email firstname.lastname@example.org.