If you’re not among that privileged group of New Yorkers who head out of town for the month of August, not to worry: The Brooklyn Barge in Greenpoint is here to serve all your staycation needs. You may have heard that this bar-on-a-boat is prohibitively packed during the evening hours, and indeed, earlier in the summer the crowds were overwhelming. But on two recent visits in late July, the barge was perfectly pleasant, a relaxing riverside spot for slightly overpriced cocktails and a truly spectacular view of the Manhattan skyline.
The Brooklyn Barge is an actual sea vessel brought to the East River for a summer stint by marine industry vets Jim Gill, Thomas Morgan, and Matt Perricone–who built the barge with his own hands. Located near 3 Milton Street in Greenpoint, the Brooklyn Barge is a short walk from the East River Ferry landing as well as the Greenpoint Avenue G train.
Open seven days a week from 11am to 2am (weather permitting), The Brooklyn Barge offers cocktails, beer on tap, wine and tasty bar snacks. There is a generous amount of table seating on the barge itself, but naturally, those spots fill up quickly. The adjacent rows of patio tables and shaded round tables offer an excellent river view and easy access to the serve-yourself snack bar (and the ATM–this is a cash-only barge). Try the tacos–choose from four different meat or fish fillings (we recommend the garlic shrimp), all at $9 for two or $12 for three. The grilled and chilled corn in a cup ($7) is a refreshing lighter snack, and the heavily seasoned Old Bay fries ($5) are a perfect accompaniment to a cold beer.
Most of the action is at the barge bar, where you may have to wait a few minutes to place an order. The “signature” cocktails are slightly modified takes on classics like the margarita, rum punch, and Moscow Mule (recommended); all are $12 and can get watered down pretty quickly in the sun, so drink up–or order a beer on tap like the Goose Island Ale ($6). The port-a-potty trailer is perfectly serviceable, and don’t forget to bring ID; it’s a requirement for admission.
And if you are interested in a physical activity more strenuous than lifting a glass (or in this case a plastic cup), the Brooklyn Barge has got you covered: they’ve partnered with Manhattan Kayak to offer free stand-up paddleboard and kayaking lessons. There’s still a lot of summer left to enjoy on the Greenpoint waterfront.
The Brooklyn Barge
3 Milton Street
Brooklyn, NY 11222