Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Binghamton to Be Reborn as Barge Restaurant

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Binghamton to Be Reborn as Barge Restaurant

Article excerpt

EDGEWATER -- The dismantling of the Binghamton ferry, a historic double-ended steamboat and former restaurant, will halt in March for fish spawning season before resuming in July to make way for a new floating restaurant.

The planned 915-seat restaurant and catering hall, to be called Binghamton II, will sit atop a 300-by-78-foot barge at the existing location of the ferry and ideally open by summer 2018, Roger Gross, the property's manager, said.

Demolition of the original 111-year-old Binghamton, which ferried 125 million passengers between New Jersey and Manhattan from 1905 to 1967 and found a second life as a popular Hudson River nightspot, began earlier this month.

The work will stop for four months to allow Atlantic sturgeons, an endangered species, to spawn undisturbed as required by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, said Gross.

Complete removal of the vessel is expected by late summer.

Its replacement will be operated by Binghamton Entertainment LLC, a company headed by restaurateur Jean Goutal, owner of restaurants in New York City, Philadelphia, Chicago and Los Angeles, and several partners.

The Binghamton II will include a seasonal beer garden and live music as well as an attached docking barge for boats to transport patrons to the restaurant. A daily excursion boat, "The Sailing Boat," will also be available for charter events and cruises.

The project was originally envisioned as four separate barges with a swimming pool barge for summer and one with an ice skating rink for winter, but parking concerns scuttled that plan, according to John Candelmo, the borough's construction official.

Binghamton Entertainment intends to provide the 305 parking spaces required for the barge by using the existing 636-space parking lot of the Edgewater Marketplace shopping complex, which the Binghamton is docked behind. Usage will likely peak at night and in the summer months.

The company must make seven parking spots compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act, and renovate and extend the Binghamton's 119-foot pier, which is deteriorated and fire-damaged. …

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