Small vendors on the beach not permitted anytime soon

Virginia Beach Oceanfront. (Southside Daily file)
Virginia Beach Oceanfront. (Southside Daily file)

VIRGINIA BEACH– If you’ve lounged on beaches in other parts of the country, you may have noticed something different here — there are little-to-no small food vendors.

Virginia Beach Convention and Visitors Bureau spokeswoman Teresa Diaz said the city doesn’t permit vendors on the beach at the benefit of beachgoers.

“We think it is the best interest of those who have chosen our beach to be able to enjoy themselves without being interrupted or solicited,” she said.

Changes allowing beachgoers to buy cotton candy, churros, or popcorn from their beach towel won’t come anytime soon.

Diaz said to operate on public property, a vendor must be a “franchise approved by City Council based on public necessity.”

There are a limited number of vendors who operate on the boardwalk and “franchise agreements are open for bid every five years,” Diaz said.

And, to be clear, there is no shortage of food or retail options on the Oceanfront with restaurants and cafés all along the boardwalk and Atlantic Avenue, she said.

To plan a visit to the Virginia Beach Oceanfront, click here. 

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Lucretia Cunningham is a multimedia journalist at Southside Daily covering hyper-local stories in Virginia Beach and Norfolk. Her stories focus on public safety, tourism, and city government. She is a Virginia transplant and military spouse originally from Chicago. Lucretia also served on active duty from 2006 to 2016 and started her journalism career as a broadcaster in the Virginia Air National Guard. When she’s not covering stories on the Southside, she’s covering stories with her Air National Guard unit.