City Island business owners prepare for the summer season
The summer of 2023 marks the first post-pandemic summer since 2019 and businesses on City Island hoped the Memorial Day weekend would be the start of a successful season.
Lickety Split Ice Cream Shop was ready to serve up sundaes on Saturday.
The family business is celebrating its 21st season, which is one they said was already off to a busy start.
"We began to see a little bit of an upward movement last season, but this season started out like gangbusters," said owner Skip Giacco.
Giacco said the COVID-19 pandemic impacted his business like many others.
"Financially, it was very, very, very, very rough, but when people started coming back out, they started coming back to Lickety Splits," he said.
Customers were also back on the island to fill restaurants and enjoy the scenic waterfront views.
"We're free from COVID, so now it's just time to really enjoy the sights of New York City, of the Bronx," said Max Fernandez, a graduate of Fordham University.
But it was not just the restaurants and shops that missed their customers.
"It's a very interesting place to dive," said Mike Carew, of Captain Mike's Diving shop. The business has instructed people how to scuba dive for 33 years on the island. He said each season is a new adventure.
"We have people in New York come and go, 'Wow, we're just diving locally here?' and when you tell them 'yes' and you actually take them they're just like, 'Wow, I didn't imagine it would be like that,'" Carew said.