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 Amsterdam 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!)
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.
“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.