The Coolest Spot in Tribeca This Summer

Grand-Banks-Schooner-SZThe 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.

Grand Banks menuGrand Banks deck

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  1. This sounds fantastic! Can’t wait….

  2. Dear Miles:
    Joe and I will make a special trip to New York be with you with your new project and also to see Joe’s new great-grandchild Guiliana!
    Keep us posted on when you are actually in operation!
    This is a great project.
    We are so very proud of you!
    Rosemary James

  3. Congrats to Miles and Alex.
    Beautiful boat, great venue.

    Much success to you both!!

  4. Looking forward to the visit. Never realized there were any
    Grand Banks Schooners left, after the demise of the S/V Polynesia
    and the Windjammer Barefoot Cruises. I was privileged in the
    1990s to have the helm ( had to stand on a box ) of the
    Polynesia at sunset out of Anguilla.

    Have new camera. Will shoot rigging. Especially with sailors aloft.

    Br. Hal Weiner, OUM
    Visual Journalist to the Congregation of St.
    Saviour at the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine
    Volunteer photographer, Working Harbor Committee
    and sometime Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance

  5. I hope the occupancy is high, it sounds great!

  6. A fitting tribute to the man for whom the vessel was named. Although her working days are a mere memory, to be used as an oyster bar is appropriate as my father loved oysters.

    Good luck!

  7. Seeing as Zwicker is my last name and I love a good raw bar, I’ll have to check this out!

  8. Been trying to find contact information in regards to the opening but I cannot seem to locate anyone working there. Any info?

  9. I spent 14 years as a docent aboard the Zwicker when she was tied up for the summer at the Maine Maritime Museum in Bath, Maine. I was very sad to see her go but feel reassured that she has found a home that will preserve her tradition of offering the bounty and history of the sea.