Wednesday, September 3, 2014


{all images via Grand Banks on Instagram }

When I first moved to New York, in the blistering heat and humidity that was #summer2010, I thought that The Frying Pan was the end-all-be-all of outdoor drinking spots. For those who haven't yet experienced this floating frat party—think of it as your own Murray Hill West. To be fair, it's breezy, big and their food is not half bad. It's fine.

Grand Banks is everything you want a bar and restaurant on a boat to be. It's nautical without being trite, laid back but sophisticated, and tucked so far out on a pier in TriBeCa that the riff-raff has no idea it's there. Not to mention, the Sherman Zwicker is a gorgeous, vintage schooner with an interesting history.

Tully, Amanda and I ventured out to Grand Banks on Labor Day after reading little bits about it here and there, from the NYTimes and Eater. It was an incredibly hot and humid day, so as soon as we stepped aboard and felt the lightly rolling Hudson below us and the breeze on our sticky skin, we knew this was our kind of watering hole.

Under the yellow-and-white canopy, you can perch at the bar watching boats come and go as you sip on specialty cocktails and bottles of sparkling rosé—or be seated for a full meal towards the bow.  (There's an oyster bar up there, too.) Waiters and bartenders wear striped t-shirts and wayfarers and the crowd is well-dressed and mellow. Not surprisingly, most of our fellow passengers appeared to be on first or second dates.

Fair warning: Grand Banks is not cheap. But, it shouldn't be. The restaurant is run by Mark Firth of Diner and Marlow & Sons. In my opinion, the atmosphere and attitude of the place (not to mention that breeze) are worth every penny.

Grand Banks is located at Pier 25 Hudson River Park @ North Moore Street (take the 1 train to Franklin) and they don't take reservations, so just show up and relax. (Also, they plan to stay open until October 31.) 


  1. This place is amazing. From the first step in, I felt nothing but positive vibes. We were here for a charity event on St. Patricks Day and it was absolutely amazing.

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