Ice cream fans woke to the shocking news Tuesday morning that the legendary Banana Boat on Revere Beach, known for its soft serve and banana split sundaes over the past four decades, will close for good.
“It is with a heavy heart that we have made the tough decision to close Banana Boat Ice Cream,” said owners Amora and Avri Schena in a statement Tuesday. “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.”
According to Amora and Avri, the Banana Boat property was founded in 1977 by Tony and Ann Schena along with Bobby and Maureen Fanara as an investment property when the two couples heard a casino was coming to Revere Beach.
When that didn’t pan out Ann and 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,” said the Schenas. “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 the Banana Boat represent the generations of family who have served. The last 43 years has truly been a family effort using each member’s strengths to get the store up in running each summer.”
The Schenas also paid special tribute to all the loyal customers that visited the Banana Boat each summer for over four decades as well as their staff and the community at large.
“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,” said the Schenas. “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.. It was you all that made it worth it. We will never forget the sense of relief everyone felt after a long hot shift on Sandcastle Weekend 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 Schenas say they look forward to their next chapter spending the summers with family and forever cherishing all the memories Banana Boat has given them over the last 43 years.
“We love you, we thank you, and we’ll see you at the beach,” they said.