Parks shuts down newsstand eatery

Parks closed the concession stand near the Westchester Square station because of irregularities at the location. Photo by Victor Chu

The Parks Department has closed a concession stand near the Westchester Square train station after the operator began preparing food at the location without a proper license.

While the Parks Department’s official stance is that the concession, a newspaper stand, was closed due to irregularities in the operation, sources said there were also questions about the bidding process. Parks operates the concession because it is adjacent to Owen Dolen Park.

One man who wanted to bid on the project said that he couldn’t do so, and questioned if the bidding process was adhered to in the awarding of the original contract or Request for Proposal.

“They were calling for a bid in August, and then canceled it because they said that the bidding had already taken place in March,” said Steve Parlas, who wanted to bid on the newspaper stand concession. “I don’t understand how the project was put out to bid in August if it was already bid on in March.”

Parlas and his partner filed complaints with the city, as well as bringing the matter to the attention of local elected officals.

The parks department has said that it is not yet issuing a new bid for the stand.

“[The concessionaire] was doing a lot of things that he wasn’t supposed to,” said Jesslyn Tiao Moser, Parks department spokeswoman. “We are starting from scratch right now.”

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