Friday, February 21, 2014

Why don't DC pools have snack bars, vending machines or allow food?

Inspired by a tweet from former DCist editor and current WAMU report Martin Austermuhle, I got to thinking: I love DC public pools, especially my go-to of the Banneker pool at Georgia and Euclid, but why don't they offer or allow food?
I don't know about you, but I often get hungry at the pool. Maybe it's from lounging around or splashing or whatever, but I would absolutely buy a burger or ice cream or something at the pool. Or even if there were a vending machine, I'd buy a Coke or something. Now you can't even bring in food -- in my experience, if they see you they make you put it away. They're even supposed to do that for water bottles and Nalgenes, which seems kind of silly if you're in the sun for hours.

To me it's very strange. I remember when I was a kid, the public pools I'd use had snack bars with the usual grub you'd expect -- burgers, fries and so on. It would be a great way for the city to make more than $31.85 from their pools, and would also give young people or others some summer jobs. What's to lose?

The only drawback I could see would be making sure the food doesn't get in the water (Caddyshack style) and people don't get cramps from swimming after eating, but then that's what life guards are for, to make sure people don't do dumb stuff and to rescue folks.

I suppose there are also permit issues, but I hope those could be surmounted.

What do you think?


  1. Generally it seems that teh Dept of Parks & Rec would prefer to not even allow PEOPLE into the pools, with their very particular rules, so I htink food & drinks are pretty far down the list.

  2. I live in DC, but stopped going to DC pools. I joined a pool in Maryland that encourages everyone except the kids to drink beer, BBQ and be merry.


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