First Impressions: Luke’s Lobster

As you may have gathered from my anti-rally (but pro-firehouse!) tweets, I live near City Hall Park, so when a big rally is planned, I try to get out. Today’s FDNY rally, fortunately for me, mostly coincided with the opening of Luke’s Lobster in FiDi. I say “mostly” because the yelling-into-an-overamped-mic is still going on.

There are three other Luke’s locations in New York City (plus a truck and one in D.C.), but I’d never been to one. The FiDi outpost is at 26 S. William—the “South” is important—just down the street from Delmonico’s. It’s a small space outfitted with a little Maine kitsch: buoys, nets, lobster-claw salt-and-pepper shakers, etc. I think it’ll get quainter over time. There are counters and a few tables, but it’s nowhere you’d want to linger, especially with the lines already taking up much of the room.

In that sense, then, it’s a good thing that the lobster rolls aren’t all that big: Unlike the ones at Pearl Oyster Bar, they don’t require a fork—so you can stand outside and demolish one in minutes. (And you can order rolls from the front window, which is awesome for us dog owners. Tip: Buy chips and drinks at a deli beforehand, then use the express window.) Here’s how the Luke’s website describes the lobster rolls: “The seafood is served *chilled* atop a buttered and toasted New England-style, split-top bun with a swipe of mayo, a sprinkle of lemon butter and a dash of secret spices.” All I know is that the lobster itself was phenomenal: soft and buttery and altogether fantastic. You can also get rolls with shrimp or crab, soup, and some other stuff. (The liquor license hasn’t been approved yet.) I had a “lobster schooner”—a lobster roll with a bag of chips and a drink for just $17 (an à la carte lobster roll is $15). I also had a whoopie pie, from Big Whoop, because between Luke’s Lobster and Shake Shack, this week’s diet was shot anyway.

When I ordered, I asked if it’d be open weekends, and they said yes, but it was hesitant: There appears to be concern that there aren’t enough locals to support it being open. Prove ’em wrong, folks; it’s for everyone’s good, except maybe the lobsters’.

Luke’s Lobster is at 26 S. William (bet. William and Broad), 212-747-1700,


1 Comment

  1. Have you ever tried Homarus? I had them at a fair last weekend, it beats Lukes.