Drinking is better outdoors, that’s just a fact, and while waterfront bars and rooftops are an essential summer rite, they’re missing the illicit thrill of drinking out in the open.
Now you can stop risking the NYPD’s wrath by sneaking booze into parks. The South Street Seaport just became a Bourbon Street-style open container paradise thanks to a self-pour beer station on Front Street.
The selection of 20 brews is curated by Clinton Hall, the popular Financial District beer hall known for its all-burger menu, towering waffle desserts and constantly changing list of international brews that just opened a two-floor seasonal outpost in the Seaport.
“Clinton Hall is known for their super craft beer, but this [station] will have much more recognizable beer brands, plus five or six that are not as recognizable,” explains Jeremy Lieberman, director of marketing at Lure Group, which is overseeing all of the new projects at the Seaport this summer.
To get started, you have to go inside Clinton Hall and hand over a credit card (and ID) to the staff, who’ll give you an RFID card. Tap that against the screen of the beer you want and select how much you’d like, anywhere between a one-ounce sample up to 32 ounces per brew.
Need a little guidance? The screens also display information about each beer. Once you’ve chosen your beer, enjoy it anywhere within the cordoned off area from South to Water streets and Front to Beacon streets.
The self-pour station isn’t your only summer drinking option. For those who prefer cocktails or wine, an outdoor Garden Bar draped with vines has popped up in the heart of the Seaport.
For that true New Orleans feel, you need outdoor music, and the Seaport’s free Summer Concert Series is already underway, bringing bands and DJs to the outdoor stage across from the Garden Bar on Thursdays (6-8 p.m.) and Saturdays (4-6 p.m.) through Sept. 30. Clinton Hall also brought outdoor games like a ping-pong table and cornhole.
As for some walking around food, Black Tap has stationed a milkshakes-only truck right next to the self-pour station and soon, another summer essential will return when Ambrose Beer & Lobster reopens.
“You’ll be able to get your lobster rolls and crab rolls and a few other awesome things,” says Lieberman. “What you’ll do is you’ll grab your roll, go to the self-pour or the Garden Bar, and you’ll have a good day.”