Is Bikini Bar reopening?

I never never go on Facebook unless forced, and while there this morning I saw a post that indicates that Bikini Bar — the Hawaiian themed café and coffeeshop on Duane and West Broadway — is reopening this summer. They cited the “First Impressions” post from the TC in 2012 and noted that they had been closed by construction three times since 2015 but would be open for Staycation Summer 2023.

When it opened in 2012, the TC awarded it the title of “Coolest, Cutest Business in Tribeca.” Over the next several years it would open and close and open and close again; as far as I know it’s been shuttered since 2017 — but preserved in amber with the the vintage surfware and Hawaiiana visible in the window. (The pictures below are from 2017.)

The website doesn’t add a lot of clarity: they are retailing skateboards and maybe paddle boards too, and repping a community boathouse in Hoboken. But owner Aileen Oser got back via email to say that she is indeed working towards opening and will keep me posted, And she also explained the captions in the bar’s few Instagram posts — an account started just a few months ago — “Surfing the Waves of Real Estate Development in New York City!” She’s writing a book and that’s the title.

Bikini Bar had been used for private events originally and there was a horrible tragedy that delayed its public opening: in the summer of 2011, owner Stuart Smith (and Aileen’s husband) died when he fell off the roof of the building. Aileen still owns the business; in 2017, she still had 14 years on her lease.

I cannot wait to get inside — it looks like a total delight. It sure would make for a great bar bar, but to my knowledge (via the SLA website) they have not applied for a liquor license.


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