Restaurant Opening This Week on a Retired Aircraft Carrier at 125th Street

Practically pandemic proof, totally awesome.

By Carol Tannenhauser

A restaurant that its owner calls “practically pandemic proof” is opening on the upper Upper West Side on Thursday, July 9th, and it’s taking an aircraft carrier to do it.

How Michael Trenk’s family came to own the USS Baylander — the world’s smallest aircraft carrier — is a story WSR told here. The news now is that Trenk and his partners in Prohibition, the long-standing lounge on Columbus and 84th Street, are launching a “sister” spot called Baylander Steel Beach, on the deck of the ship. The Baylander served in the Vietnam War and is now docked at West Harlem Piers, on 125th Street and the Hudson River. (That’s what that is!)

Fresh air and room to spread out.

A “steel beach” is Navy talk for the deck of a ship, where sailors have traditional “steel beach picnics.” The new restaurant will pick up the theme, with about 20 picnic tables spread out across 4,000 square feet of open outdoor space on the upper and lower decks of the ship. The bar and kitchen are contained in cargo containers purchased from the Army that were used in Afghanistan.

Back at you!

“In this day and age, it’s practically pandemic proof,” Trenk (right) said. “It’s got a nice breeze; it’s completely outdoors; and it’s a large venue where people are not on top of each other. We’re allowing them to come on board and social distance. They need to wear masks if they’re walking around the boat, but at the tables they can take them off. There’s no takeout or delivery. Everybody has to sit down.

“When it is safe and permitted, we will utilize the musicians that have graced Prohibition’s stages for the last 24 years on the Baylander,” Trenk added. “Unfortunately, due to the pandemic and the safety restrictions preventing live music in an indoor venue, Prohibition cannot re-open until further notice.”

What diners at Baylander will find is American fare with a focus on seafood. Here are the menus. (Click to enlarge.)

Trenk may consider the Baylander Steel Beach pandemic proof, but it’s not weatherproof. Thursday’s grand opening is weather permitting. For further information, check out the website here. Open Wednesday – Sunday, 3 – 10 p.m. Behaved dogs are welcome on leash. Accommodations for bicycles.

FOOD, NEWS, OPEN/CLOSED | 26 comments | permalink
    1. Nelson says:

      Fantastic! Congrats to them and I can’t wait to try it out. I run past there several times a week and it’s perfect for a concept like this. The adjacent park is usually full of litter, so hopefully this will help improve the environs, too.

    2. AC says:

      Mike and his partners run a good operation. Looking forward to this new venture. See you there!

    3. CAROL says:

      OH MY GOD!!!!THIS IS GREAT NEWS!!!!

    4. wombatNYC says:

      Excited for this. Should be a big hit .

      I hope whoever is in charge of this section of the park adds more rubbish cans and signs. On Mondays, this stretch looks like everyone just left their blanket and BBQ and walked away .. I’m always blown away by human behavior around trash.

    5. Kevin Lucia says:

      Excellent place! I am a helicopter pilot, flying first for the US army and now for an EMS hospital! Looking forward to stopping by!! Are reservations required? And do you sell wine in addition to your drink specials? Please let me know, I pass the ship every time I visit my girlfriend!

    6. Susan says:

      How about a veggie burger (Beyond is GREAT)

    7. Thomas Hallinan says:

      Great news! Thank you!!

    8. This is a great spot and Richie and Mike are fantastic restaurateurs. The menu looks great! Perfect timing and now extra parking where Fairway used to be.
      Congratulations.

    9. Frank says:

      Pl;ease – get it right. Baylander is not an aircraft carrier, “the world’s smallest” or otherwise. She is, in fact, a Helicopter Landing Trainer. Big, big difference

    10. Jackson says:

      Terrific news can’t wait to stuff my gob and guzzle.

    11. Wijmlet says:

      gimmicky, and too soon

    12. Ryan says:

      Looks great! My wife has Celiac, so we can only come if you have gluten free options. That would be great.

    13. Louisa Cabot says:

      This is so Exciting!
      Will you take American Express?
      We can hardly wait.
      Is access easy? I use a cane.
      Louisa Cabot

    14. Patricia Gilman says:

      Sounds fabulous, can’t wait to try it.

    15. Ponald J. Plump says:

      Wow, only 15% negative comment ratio on something new/interesting in the neighborhood!

    16. ritagazarik says:

      wonderful! creative and possible!

    17. Kevin Bernhardt says:

      Does baylander serve SOS? It is a traditional navy dish

    18. Judy Wise says:

      MY BFF AND I WERE JUST THERE LAST WEEK AND I SO ADMIRED THE GREEN COLOR LIGHT BEAMING THE SHIP. WE MEANING ALL MY LADIES LOOK FORWARD TO PARTAKING IN ALL THAT YOU HAVE TO OFFER. THANKING YOU AND YOUR TEAM IN ADVANCE FOE TAKING ON THIS PROJECT TO OFFER THY NEIGHBORS
      BLESSINGS
      JUDY WISE

    19. Melanie says:

      Love this! Menu looks good with fair pricing as well. I wish them much success and look forward to checking it out

    20. Susan Day says:

      Is there parking?