Since opening late last fall, Pier A Harbor House has proven to be quite the comeback space. Once home to the city’s docks department, the vacant, crumbling, 127-year-old building had never been open to the public before the team behind The Dead Rabbit set their sights on it.
“Pier A is a beautiful, unique Victorian pier and the last of its kind. The building itself is made for hospitality,” says Danny McDonald, a partner in the project who saw something special in the 28,000-square-foot space at the tip of Lower Manhattan. “The location represents a unique bit of geography-meets-history, where the Hudson River and its environment meet the New York harbor.”
Pier A’s first floor is already open as a beer hall and oyster bar, serving seafood from raw oysters to a noteworthy tuna tartare and a 1.5-pound lobster bake, among others. (There’s also a burger and other usual bar items, but really, get with the theme.)
The third floor is reserved for private events, while the second floor opens May 5. Here’s why we’re excited to drop by this spring.
The ultimate al fresco experience
There’s outside seating, and then there’s being right on the harbor, away from rush hour and sidewalk traffic. Pier A will really shine once these April showers dry up. Nothing against the 400-some indoor seats, but we’ll be throwing back Blue Points and brews on the deck, thank you. Look for cookouts and the occasional weekend festival, too.
Sunset happy hours
Any time of year, Pier A’s views are second to none: the Statue of Liberty, New York Harbor, the Financial District skyline. But now that the sun is setting as happy hour is dawning, we’re calling dibs on a window table. (To be fair, there will likely be enough room for everyone. The layout is extremely group-friendly, should you decide to invite the entire office.)
The second floor
Next month, you’ll be able to take things upstairs, where a more formal, Hudson Valley-inspired restaurant will be bookended by two bars. Feel like you’re drinking in the admiral’s quarters inside the dark-paneled Harrison Room. Helmed by Irishman Liam Hendrick, the beer selection is old world-meets-new (Pier A even commissioned its own lager from Brooklyn Brewery) designed to pair with small seafood plates, and a cocktail menu by the Dead Rabbit’s Jillian Vose. At the other end is the Commissioner’s Room, a lounge with waterfront views.