We’ve been trying to get you to go out of town all summer via our Summer Fridays series, and this weekend, we bet the city will be quiet. If you’ll be around, check out our staycation suggestions, and consider another staycation idea — drinking on a boat.
This is about the time of year when the city gets the end-of-summer sads, and we all lament the coming end of beach weather, patio drinking, and a relatively lax workload. Perhaps it’s particularly poignant this year, since the glorious weather we’ve had in August means we’re not all thirsting for the chilly reprieve of fall.
It’s not over yet, though, and if you need a little pick-me-up to remind you that there are still warm days ahead, consider a little boat drinking.
This year saw a number of floating bars and restaurants enter the dining scene — you can go have a multi-course meal with the Water Table, head to the North River Lobster company for some shellfish, or down a dozen oysters at Grand Banks. If you’re willing to brave the line, you could also head over to the good old Frying Pan, where you can stare at the New Jersey coastline while you down a bucket of beers.
Our favorite floating bar experience of the season, however, was our night aboard the Honorable William Wall, a barge anchored in the New York Harbor that serves as the clubhouse for the Manhattan Sailing Club. This boat caps the number of people imbibing, making it a nice stop for a mellow evening with a good view of the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.
You don’t have to be a member of the club to enjoy the amenities, by the way, but if you’re friends with a member, that person will be able to get you on the boat ahead of the crowd if the bar is approaching capacity. Otherwise, book yourself a $20 ticket on the Admiral’s Launch, which gets you a boat ride from North Cove Dock F out to the floating bar. And if that price seems steep, know that fairly cheap drinks await you — beers hover around $5. Were we to do it again, we’d buy tickets for the earliest launch of the night — the top deck’s tables fill up quickly, and that’s the only way you’re going to be able to claim one. Otherwise, you’ll hang out below, indoors (though sliding doors open to the water).
If you go on a weekend, as we did, you’ll probably find a lot of adult birthday parties on board; this makes an ideal venue for that sort of event because you can bring your own food. You’ll want to put together picnic provisions, celebration or no, if you get hungry while you drink. Though William Wall says it serves simple bar snacks, we didn’t spy anything substantial. As a perk, however, you can also order food from restaurants near the launch, and the boat will deliver to you.
You can stay on the boat as long as you want; it opens at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and at 3 p.m. on Saturday, and closes at 9:45 each night.