Ocean City beachgoers upset over Frenchy's umbrellas

OCEAN CITY, N.J. (WPVI) -- An Ocean City, New Jersey boardwalk eatery is turning heads and angering some with their new beach umbrella rental service.

While there are those that love the new setup near the Ocean City Music Pier, opponents say it's taking up too much room.

Around Memorial Day, regulars on the beach started noticing the an abundance of red and yellow umbrellas.

Each umbrella, set up with a lounge chair underneath, has a Frenchy's logo on it.

Frenchy's is located directly behind the umbrellas on the boardwalk. It has recently expanded into the beach rental business, and will now even deliver food to your chair.

Joan Pierce of Conshohocken, Pennsylvania sees no problem and likes the convenience.

"I think this is perfect," Pierce said.

But not everyone feels the same.

"They got these big chaise lounges here and people are mad about it," complained Randy Jacobs of Dallas, Pa.

John Lazar of Northeast Philadelphia spends much of his summer in Ocean City. He was not happy about the umbrella situation.

"I went over to City Hall and complained. And they talked about some proprietary rights where the store owners actually have rights to the high tide line," said Lazar.

Those rights are the Riparian rights. Officials with Adventure Golf South, the company that owns Frenchy's, say as part of the property deed, they do have Riparian rights which means they can conduct business on the beach in front of their eatery along the Music Pier.

Arlene Hurwitz of Allentown, Pa. says, "Well if they own this beach, why do we have to buy beach tags?"

Folks with Frenchy's say they're trying to be good neighbors, as they offer something new.

"We are not going to move anyone off; if people come down and there's room they can set up. We're kind of working with the city so far and figuring out the best way to do this for us as a business and for the people of Ocean City," said Kevin Kelly, Vice President of Operations for Adventure Golf South.

Some beachgoers have suggested that Frenchy's still rent the umbrellas and chairs, but not setting them out in advance and keeping the unused ones off to the side.

We reached out to Ocean City for comment, but so far have not heard back.
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