Image: Banana Boat Facebook
Via boston.cbslocal.com. Another quarantine casualty. The Banana Boat, which has been serving up ice cream on Revere Beach since 1977, has announced it is closing. Built like a fortress, it withstood decades of pounding storms and hurricanes, yet the coronavirus shutdown proved to be too much.
Owners Amora & Avri Schena posted a heartfelt message on their Facebook page thanking everyone:
"It is with a heavy heart we have made the tough decision to close Banana Boat Ice Cream. Words will never be enough to express our gratitude to our family, hard-working employees, dedicated customers, suppliers, and each person who has supported us over the years.
The Banana Boat property was founded in 1977 by Tony and Ann Schena along with Bobby and Maureen Fanara as an investment property when they heard there was a possibility a casino was coming to the beach. When that didn’t happen, Ann and her husband Tony decided to hang on to the property and open up an ice cream shop. Banana Boat, as you know it, was established that summer. Ann Schena thoughtfully painted the store blue and white to represent the ocean and Tony Schena built it like a fortress which has proven resilient through major storms like the Blizzard of '78 and other unforeseen challenges like COVID-19. The flags that hang atop the building and off the back of Ann's World-Famous Banana Boat represent the generations of family who have served. Tony Schena served in WWII, his son Anthony was in the Air Force, Bobby Fanara was in the Navy during Vietnam and Anessa Schena went into the army. The last 43 years has truly been a family effort using each members strengths to get the store up in running each summer. Heartfelt thanks to our built-in maintenance man, Chucky Callahan, the family electricians, Andre Dellasandro and Anthony Schena, the ones who come back to work each summer, Victor and Ayla Callahan, Anessa Schena and Alivia Recupero. Our business would not operate without your help and support.
To our customers, your loyalty has kept us going all these years and we will miss seeing each of you get your ice cream at our window. We’ve had the pleasure of being a happy place in your life and seeing all the smiling faces. Watching generations come and go has been one of the greatest motivations for our family to continue each year.
We want to extend a special “thank you” to all of our dedicated employees we have had the opportunity to work with over the years. Many assume scooping ice cream is an easy job but I think our employees would kindly disagree. It’s been a pleasure watching each of you grow summer to summer, welcoming new faces and greeting old. It wasn’t always easy but it felt like working with a family. Whether it was walking into work on a Sunday smelling a sauce made by Amora to feed everyone that night or "the list" which kept inventory stocked or even the days a bag of soft serve gets spilled and everyone scrambled to clean it up, it was you all that made it worth it. We will never forget the sense relief everyone felt after a long hot shift on Sandcastle Weekend, the shutter closing and everyone clapping and screaming because we made it through the day. From busy scorching summer days to rainy nights spent cleaning, we always tried to make it fun and truly could not have done it without you.
Thank you to the Revere Police and Revere Fire Departments who have not only been loyal customers but have come to our rescue on many occasions and made us feel safe in our city.
The Schena Family looks forward to their next chapter spending the summers with family and forever cherishing all the memories Banana Boat has given us over the last 43 years.
We love you, we thank you, and we’ll see you at the beach!"
Amora & Avri Schena