If you find yourself in New York between now and October 15th, I highly recommend you check out Grand Banks, a floating oyster bar parked on Pier 25 in lower Manhattan.
Started in 2014 by a few friends who were more sailors than restauranteurs, they got the idea from the 19th century oyster barges that would park along the Hudson years ago and sell their wares to hungry passers-by, directly from their decks. The owners of Grand Banks thought it’d be a great idea to do a modern take on this by-gone tradition.
Above photos courtesy of http://www.grandbanks.org
So after finding a boat that fit the bill and teaming up with some scions of the NY food industry, Grand Banks was born. The boat is called the Sherman Wicker (and at 142 feet is New York’s largest wooden vessel). A 1900’s schooner, the boat was the last of a fleet of wooden schooners fishing the Grand Banks that would move cargos of fish and salt from the North Atlantic to South America. This was her trade until 1968, when the boat was retired from active duty and entrusted to the Grand Banks Schooner Museum in Maine. Then, after a stint on display at the Maine Maritime Museum, the boat was finally turned over to the Maritime Society in 2014, where it was eventually renovated and repurposed into the restaurant/bar it is today.
For the renovation, the crew quarters below deck were turned into a kitchen and two bars were built on the deck. The ship is open until midnight everyday and serves up a variety of local seafood and shellfish. However, you better visit soon because it closes for the season in mid-October … when it sails south in search of warmer temps.