Two new waterside oyster bars are on the way from Grand Banks co-owners Alex and Miles Pincus, the team that specializes in them. First up is Island Oyster, a 32,000-square-foot raw bar restaurant on Governors Island, followed by Pilot, another oyster bar on a boat, this time near Brooklyn Bridge Park. Both are set to open this month.
Governors Island is the new home for Island Oyster, in a huge space that is set to serve raw oysters and small plates alongside a full bar — and a stunning downtown Manhattan view. For now, though, it’s drinks only, with food to come. The open, completely outdoor area is leased through The City of New York and The Trust for Governors Island in a partnership with Eric Cheong, formerly the director of building for Ace Hotel. Cheong broke the location up into a few separate areas, with a 36-seat white marble and mahogany bar, a 44-seat waterfront banquette, and a 100-foot bar next to the water, plus another 80 seats at communal tables.
When there is food — cooked out of shipping-container kitchens — Grand Banks executive chef Kerry Heffernan is continuing the easy, breezy small plates menu with a sustainable raw bar, burger, lobster roll, and more.
Island Oyster fully opens the week of July 10, with drinks available at the bar starting at noon daily until then.
Just like Grand Banks, Pilot will be a party on a boat, but this time in Brooklyn. The Pincuses found a 1924 wooden racing schooner to dock at Pier 6 in Brooklyn Bridge Park for a similar small plates seafood spot with plenty of drinks. Expect a softshell crab po’boy alongside the rum-based Spirit Animal with Aperol, coconut, lemon, and strawberries.
Since the boat is a restoration, there is also a museum portion and area for public programs. It sounds similar to another Pincus project, The Governor, which is on hold until further notice. There’s no set date on Pilot’s opening yet, but July is the month.