WOODBURY — It was once just a vacant concession stand in Hollow Park. Now it’s a dream opportunity for two women who have rented it to open their seasonal business. And hopefully the weather will finally agree with chefs Cathy Beck and Denise Garling, the owners of Parker’s Sandwich Shack.
“Weather has been our biggest problem so far,” said Beck. “We haven’s been ready to tell everyone that we’re here yet. We get good reviews (on Facebook) from our customers, we just aren’t getting a lot of people to show up.”
Since Parker’s Sandwich Shack opened on May 15, Woodbury has seen more than its share of rainy days. That’s kept the crowds away. But it’s also helped Beck, who moved to Woodbury in 2015, find out what customers want.
A Gourmet Concession Stand
When Beck discovered and inquired about the concession stand in Februrary, she anticipated a “gourmet concession stand” concept. The staples of the main menu are Cubans and pulled pork sandwiches. Daily specials include items like meatloaf burgers, grilled vegetables with goat cheese on ciabatta bread and chicken curry salad.
In the summer, once when The Newtown Savings Bank Summer Concert Series begins, Parker’s Sandwich Shack plans to offer upscale picnic baskets. They would include menu items such as cheese and charcuterie, mini crabcakes, and scallops over summer corn salad.
Beck would also like to offer family meals to go, like Beck and Garling did when they were in business together in Florida. A daily dinner special would be ordered in advance for customer pick-up on their way home from work.
Switching Gears… With Hot Dogs
But the rain has been a blessing for Beck, who has had a chance to sit down and really listen to her customers. Beck said she quickly learned from her conversations that the business would have to be more than just gourmet offerings.
“What we wanted to be was a gourmet concession stand,” Beck said. “But as it’s turned out, we’re ended up being a concession stand, too, in the evening, when the baseball and soccer games are here.”
So, alongside the gourmet offerings, Parker’s Sandwich Shack offers up some traditional park-like items. There are now hot dogs (cooked on a roller – Beck is not a fan of boiled hot dogs), soda, chips and candy available daily.
Beck is also making space for an ice cream cooler from Good Humor.
Making the Space Theirs
There is a significant green space between Parker’s Sandwich Shack and the Woodbury Lions Club pavilion. Beck said she has received permission to add four picnic tables to the grassy area between the two. They will include umbrellas as well.
Beck is also incorporating a lattice fence to designate a more intimate seating area that’s within close proximity to the order window for added convenience to customers.
“We won’t have waitresses, but we will bring your order out to your table,” Beck said.
Parker’s Sandwich Shack will be open through October 31, when its annual lease expires.