Many restaurants may have already shuttered their patios and backyards post-summer and removed their chairs and tables from the sidewalks, but at the recently opened Brooklyn Barge Bar, al fresco season is just beginning. And then, well, ending, effective October 31st.
Originally slated to open in May, an even stickier than usual jumble of red tape (including a number of environmental permits from the city) kept Greenpoint’s highly anticipated floating bar firmly docked until Sept 26th, when it debuted for a few days, and then promptly closed again in the face of incessant rainstorms, 40-degree temperatures, and, ah yes, even a hurricane watch. “It’s a lengthy process to launch any new establishment, but we would have liked to have been at least somewhere in the ballpark when it came to our opening date,” admitted co-owner Tommy Morgan. “So Halloween will be our closing party, and I hope to have nothing but clear skies and 70-degree days until then.”
That kind of lingering summer weather would be great, but we think it’d still be worth it to pile on the sweaters in order to take full advantage of Brooklyn’s very first bar on a boat, conveniently accessed through Transmitter Park, with unparalleled, panoramic views of the waterfront and skyline. Flanked by bright red shipping container kitchens, which serve pub grub basics like burgers, zucchini sticks and chicken sandwiches (expect more ambitious fare, such as slow-smoked barbecue, to emerge next year), a ramp leads the way to the gently undulating bar area, which dispenses nautical cocktails like Rum Punch and the Barg-O-Lotta—pilsner, hot sauce, tomato juice and lime—as well as wine by the glass or bottle, buckets of beer, and a trio of local drafts.
But Brooklyn Barge Bar isn’t exclusively about open-air boozing—Morgan and team have partnered with a variety of educational and environmental organizations as well, such as Clearwater, NY Harbor School and the Billion Oyster Project, in order to contribute to the conservation and restoration of the East River. They’ll also offer a variety of maritime-themed programs to the public, in hopes of creating a true waterfront community for the neighborhood, such as kayaking and sailing classes, catch and release programs, scuba lessons, paddle boarding, and historic boat tours. Although sadly, much like the barbecue, they’ve all been put on hold until the spring. “We got started way too late in the season, but there’s a lot in the works,” Morgan assured. “Next year, we plan on coming out of the gate hard.”
3 Milton Street, Greenpoint