Via Tribeca Citizen:
Grand Banks, the raw bar (and more) on the Sherman Zwicker schooner docked at Pier 25, is magical. I honestly can’t remember a more delightful dining experience in the area.
You board via the gangplank nearest West Street and hope you can score a seat at the main circular bar, smaller oyster bar, or the tables along each side. (To the woman who told me the stool next to hers was reserved: Grow up.) I went last night at 5:30 p.m., and there were various options available; as the evening went on, things got busier. I sat at the oyster bar, which suited me fine. Grand Banks doesn’t take reservations, but you can leave your phone number to be texted when a table is ready.
Last night was sticky and still in most of Tribeca, but at Grand Banks there was a lovely breeze. The boat rocks quite a bit, which you may or may not enjoy. (I loved it.) The service was warm, with zero of the attitude you might fear from a place with this much style. I ordered one of each of the four types of oyster and a Narragansett beer, which came in a can with no offer of a glass. Right now, the food is more suitable as nibblybits than a meal (the menus are below), but I understand that the more extensive food service kicks off this Thursday.
Via Tribeca Citizen:
When I said that Grand Banks would be “the coolest spot in Tribeca this summer,” I wondered whether I might be overstating it. With these first images of the bar—aboard the Sherman Zwicker, docked at Pier 25—I think we can agree I didn’t. They’re from the Instagram account of artist Johnne Eschleman (some came via the Ace Hotel on Twitter).
Grand Banks opens Thursday, and is hosting a party on July 4, after which it’ll be open through October.
Via Tribeca Citizen:
The liquor-license application for the Sherman Zwicker boat coming to Pier 25 proved to be far more interesting than the Community Board 1 Tribeca Committee agenda let on.
The foundation that has owned the boat for 20 years is offering to give it to Grand Banks Schooner Foundation, whose leaders are Miles and Alex Pincus, the brothers behind Upper West Side sailing school Atlantic Yachting; Miles also restored Clipper City, a passenger sailboat now in the Seaport. The foundation is bringing it to Pier 25 this summer for (a) a “robust” lecture series; (b) two exhibitions, one on New York maritime history and one on the vessel itself; and most intriguing, (c) a raw bar called Grand Banks run by Mark Firth of Brooklyn’s Diner and Marlow & Sons—his first establishment in Manhattan—and Adrien Gallo of the (now closed) Palais Royale and Double Happiness on the Lower East Side.
No offense to the lectures and exhibits, but the idea of a boat bar is pretty appealing. The proprietors say they believe that the boat’s legal occupancy is 199, but they’re working with the Hudson River Park Trust and the FDNY to determine an official number, and at the meeting they said they’re imagining “substantially” fewer people than that. The application mentions 20 to 26 tables in the dining area (with a total of 62 seats), and 20 seats in the bar area—so more like 80 people actually eating and drinking. If all goes to plan, the boat will open for business on June 1, staying around through October 31.
The hours requested on the application were 12 p.m. to 12 a.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 12 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday, but the committee persuaded them to accept 11 p.m. closing on Sunday through Thursday, at least for a trial period. Music will be background only, at a lower volume than is currently at the pier’s miniature golf course. Noise was a concern, but the boat will be docked at the far southwest corner of the pier.
Pier 25 is a “designated pier for historic vessels,” and normally there has to be an RFP process, but the Hudson River Park Trust is allowed to do short-term tests, of which this is one. (So it’s only for this summer, and then there will be a full RFP for next summer.) The Sherman Zwicker will be the largest wooden boat in New York City, and the only one folks can access for free.