A couple of weeks back, a FaceBook friend posted the innocent-but-completely-clueless observation, “What happened to summer?” into her newsfeed. And I was like, “(Friend’s Name) summer has been over for awhile now.” Because, fall. Fall! It’s not hot out anymore, but it’s also not really cold yet: it’s just time to unpack all the comfy sweaters and light outerwear from wherever you store it (me = the closet). Wearing shorts and flip flops is heretofore declared inappropriate!
If you are one of those folks who must be dragged kicking and screaming into the seasonal weather transitions, you can try keeping summer alive for a bit longer by visiting a fun and rather “hidden away” venue that I experienced for the first time just last night, called The Beekman Beer Garden Beach Club. Located on the north side of the Pier 17 mall, this unique outdoor establishment, which opened in June 2011, has maintained the “sandy beach” motif of its predecessor (the confusingly named Water Taxi Beach), and it also features a covered area where you’ll find long communal tables for dining and drinking, Pool and other and games. But let’s get real: the beach is where it’s at.
Grab a beer, cocktail or glass of wine from the recycled driftwood bar (they also have a delicious hot apple cider with rum that I will recommend), find a place to sit, and just relax from your long day. Views of the Brooklyn Bridge are spectacular and you can even keep track of how long you’ve been drinking courtesy of the digital clock attached to the glowing red Watchtower sign just across the river. Convenient! Now that a wee chill is in the air, clusters of illuminated, white plastic love seats (quite sturdy, and not entirely dissimilar to this thing here) have been strategically arranged around crackling fire pits to keep you warm and smelling like a campfire once you head home. We enjoyed a variety of passed party snacks courtesy of our host that included burger sliders, gooey cheese puffs, mini bratwursts, tiny crab cakes with mango salsa and something involving puff pastry, warm brie, toasted almonds and apricot jam that was just out of control.
While I am not much for hanging out in the bright sun, the beach at night is magical. And the beach at night in NYC on the edge of the river is like another world. I mean, how cool will you sound when you tell your friends that in the middle of October you went to an outdoor bar/restaurant with a little beach where you sat around a campfire on chairs that lit up like lamps while drinking hot spiked cider, eating delicious snacks and looking at all the pretty lights reflecting on the water. You will sound so cool! As an aside, I also really enjoyed the Classic Rock Radio soundtrack which took me way back to the good times with gems like “Baby Don’t Do It” (!!!) by The Band and the Rolling Stones’ “Can’t You Hear Me Knocking” – a song with an insane saxophone solo that just takes off on its own little journey. Holy cow, I love this place. Treat me right, and I’ll bring you along next time. Because there will be a next time.
Update: This Restaurant has closed for business.
Beekman Beer Garden Beach Club is located at 89 South Street (South Street Seaport at Beekman Street) on the North Side of Pier 17.