Although there are plenty of riverside bars from which to choose throughout the five boroughs, there’s one in particular you don’t want to miss: The Crow’s Nest at The Water Club (on the East River, between 29th and 32nd streets) is now in full swing — for the first time since Superstorm Sandy.
Although the restaurant proper was ultimately able to repair its catastrophic damage, with dinner service returning in October 2013, the restaurant’s most popular feature, its rooftop bar and grill, is only just reopening to the public.
But that’s not the only reason you should make a point to check it out. Here are three more reasons to patronize The Crow’s Nest this summer:
Chef Aaron Bashy is behind a special dock-to-dish program in coordination with fishermen off Montauk, who bring their daily catches straight from the water to your plate in mere hours. The Water Club features these specials nightly on its menu, while The Crow’s Nest offers fresh grill and barbecue options from the sea on Thursdays from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. (learn more at www.thewaterclub.com).
2. Between two bridges
From The Crow’s Nest, you can watch the boats glide by from your bar stool, or choose a view of either the Queensboro or Williamsburg Bridge. Sun and shade seating is available to diners. In the event of a sudden turn in the weather, head inside to the indoor bar in the lobby, if not the spacious dining room with floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the water.
3. First to know
Because The Crow’s Nest has been out of service, many people don’t yet know it’s back in action. Impress guests by taking them to this unexpected outdoor gem, and get in the door before it’s too crowded to get a seat. While afternoons tend to be popular on the weekend, evening is a great time to slip in with a group. Emerging from the nautical decor and formal dining room downstairs to this surprisingly hopping, down-to-earth drinks spot is a must-have “Aha!” moment this summer.
The Water Club vs. Superstorm Sandy
Here’s a tease from Metro’s exclusive long-form read about the workers attempting to escape The Water Club on Oct. 29, 2012, as told by General Manager Martin Connor:
"I will never forget the image of standing and looking into the dining room where I had worked for the last few years, and just seeing East River water foaming up through the cracks in the wood and through the holes in the red carpet — the whole thing rocking and shaking.
The power was going off, and it was one of those moments when — your life doesn’t flash before your eyes, there’s not time for that. But it’s one of those moments where quite the opposite happens: You start to go blank.
All of a sudden it was like a disaster movie. All the emergency lights came on, and it was very creepy. The siren was going in the background; it goes when you turn the electricity off.
I sent [owner Michael 'Buzzy' O’Keeffe] out the service door, and I went out the bar door. I came to the water out front, and at this point it’s waist-deep. It was above my belly button, and I’m 6-foot-2.
I get over to the cars, and no one knows what to do now. We’re trapped."