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Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Roosevelt Island East River Waterfront Restaurant Taking Shape, Riverwalk Bar & Grill Bringing In John Brown Smokehouse BBQ and Um Segredo Chef David Santos - Community Board 8 Reviewing Liquor License Tonight

You Tube Video of NYC Waterfront Skyline at Night

Last April, I asked:
... Will East River waterfront dining be coming to Roosevelt Island's Subway Pier this summer? Imagine being able to sit, relax and eat some good food right next to the East River with these stunning NYC Skyline, Waterfront and Queensboro Bridge views in the evening...
Good News - turns out the answer to that question is YES, at least for this summer season and on an experimental basis to see how it works out. As previously reported, following a Request For Proposal, the  Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) awarded the right to operate a temporary waterfront food concession at the Subway Pier to the owners of our local Riverwalk Bar & Grill.

Riverwalk Bar & Grill Co-owner Salvatore Hoo shares some preliminary plans for Roosevelt Island's new waterfront restaurant:
We opened Riverwalk Bar and Grill almost 3 years ago and took a risk on Roosevelt Island that few were willing to take.  From the first time we stepped foot here we thought that the West Promenade was a unique space with a beautiful view.   Living here and doing business here since 2009,  we have realized that although unique, the space itself is very run down and underused. The metal gates are rusted and the paint was coming away in many spots. The wood railing had lost the luster it most certainly once had, covered in bird droppings as well as the marble ledge and floor of the space.

We thought it would be a great idea to use the space as a waterfront cafe and call it The Pier NYC, serving great food and summery drinks. We are working in collaboration with John Brown Smokehouse and Chef David Santos formerly of PerSe and Bouley to give the residents of the island new food options that they have been desiring. Earlier this year, John Brown Smokehouse was named best brisket in NYC and we will bring that along with other great BBQ menu items. Chef David Santos will bring his expertise of seafood to The Pier NYC and we will be serving items such as raw oysters, shrimp cocktail and lobster rolls. The exact menu is not yet set in stone, but these are the types of things residents can expect from us in this new venture. Being a resident myself I know this can be a great addition and look forward to further serving Roosevelt Island.
Wow - I am certainly looking forward to BBQ from Long Island City's John Brown Smokehouse. I've been there several times over the last few months and the food is GREAT.

You Tube Video of John Brown Smokehouse

Equally exciting is the participation of Chef David Santos who, in addition to experience at Per Se and Bouley, has been holding extraordinary well reviewed Um Segredo private dinners in his Roosevelt Island apartment.

Here's what the subway pier space looks like in the daytime.

You Tube Video of Walk Around The Subway Pier

Certainly looking forward very much to the opening. I hope the Wi-Fi extends to the Pier. 

Later tonight, Community Board 8 will be reviewing a liquor license application for Roosevelt Island's subway pier waterfront restaurant:
h. Roosevelt Island Hospitality Group, LLC d/b/a Pier NYC, West Promenade Pier, Roosevelt Island - New application for an liquor, wine and beer (on-premises) liquor license
Below is a location map for the Subway Pier Area from Appendix A of the RFP

According to a RIOC spokesperson, the only other submission responding to the RFP for the Roosevelt Island Subway Pier Waterfront Food Concession other than the Riverwalk Bar & Grill was:
The second bidder for the West Promenade Waterfront Food concession was D/G Partners and its request was disqualified out of hand for failing to meet the RFP requirements.  If you would like further information concerning the RFP, please submit a FOIL request.
RIOC's original RFP for the waterfront food concession prohibited any alcohol and seating was limited to 30 all within the designated Area 1. That is not now the case. There will be alcohol served, seating for more than 30 (I was told 60 but that is unconfirmed) and tables outside Area 1 on the Boardwalk area 2. Picture below of subway pier south side with chairs and tables from yesterday is for illustrative purposes only and not necessarily how the area will be set up.

 In a reply to this question submitted to the RFP,:
Question and Answer 2 states that no alcohol will be permitted or sold on the site. Question and Answer 6 states that seating is limited to 30 patrons. However, question and answer 11 states that alternative operational plans or elements will be considered.
RIOC provides an explanation for the discrepancy:
The specifications per the RFP are clearly stated that there will be no alcohol and the seating is up to 30 seats. However, the prospective bidder may, in addition to submitting a bid per the specifications in the RFP, submit an alternative operational with changed elements as part of their proposal. This does not mean that the alternative will be approved. The seating is limited to area 1. Area 2 is open to the public.
Whatever difficulties and problems involved in the issuance of this RFP, it will be wonderful to have a waterfront restaurant at the Roosevelt Island subway pier and the plans announced by Mr. Hoo sound terrific.

RIOC Directors and staff have said if all goes well and the community likes this use of public space, RIOC will issue another RFP for the location next year.

UPDATE 6:40 PM - Riverwalk Bar & Grill co-owner Jonathan Hoo adds that chef Alyssa Gangeri of Ally Cakes:
will also be creating new desserts especially for Pier NYC. The menu should be similar to what is attached.


Anonymous said...

So riverwalk bar and grill are at it again. When AND where doses it end

Anonymous said...

Do we Have another howard Hughes here

Susan Shields Arcelay said...

couple questions. 1) where are they cooking this food and how will it be delivered? I envision hoards of servers running back and forth from RWB&G which seems inefficient.  
2) what WILL they do when the seagulls and pigeons arrive in droves to annoy customers? As it is now people feed the damn things from that spot so they are trained to hang around Starbucks and the pier waiting to eat.  That said, I would be VERY happy to eat there if they pull off what they are promising. 

Anonymous said...

Why is trellis not giving these guys a fight.trellis has been here much much longer then these 3 carpet baggers. Trellis needs to Get more involved. Us oldtimers will always go to trellis.the hell with these new comers to the Island

Westviewer said...

I don't know anything about John Brown's Smokehouse (although I like the name,) but Dave Santos is a terrific chef.  I hope they let him do what he is capable of.  This is GREAT news! 

Anonymous said...

How much rent will they be paying

Mark Lyon said...

Perhaps we need to start the riverwalk shotgun club.  Line the perimeter with urban hunters. :)

Cari Ellen O'Connor Bak said...

John Brown delivers to the might check them out... they are terrific!

bakgwailo said...

Excited - hopefully it doesn't fall as flat as most BBQ I have had in NYC. I mean really, how can Boston beat NYC in BBQ (Phantom Gourmet party notwithstanding). Also a +1 to the liquor license - pretty key for the location, can't wait to have a nice, legal drink on the promenade with the wife as the sunsets! BTW, go Celtics (yes, I know, heresy here in NYC)!   

Rose Brannon said...

 Ooooooo........  I'm excited about beef brisket having spent 6 years in the Carolinas. I've been really missing good bbq. Thanks for letting us know that they already come to RI.

Salvatore Anthony Hoo said...

The BBQ will be cooked off site and kept AT Temperature in hot boxes. The seafood will all be kept on ice at the Pier.  We will be implementing a bird deterrent system including spikes on the lights and running wire lines overhead. Trust me we've put a lot of thought into this. The fences and railing have all already be refurbished and repainted. We also have removed the grafitti. Go down and take a look.  It looks great.

Mark Lyon said...

Looking forward to it.  What will be the final seating capacity?  I'm bringing some co-workers to play softball on the 22nd.  If there's enough space for all of us, perhaps the losers can be forced to buy brisket and beer.

Anonymous said...

Where did you Say The restrooms were at mr.hoo

Salvatore Anthony Hoo said...

60 seats total, there will be 40 at low tops on the higher portion and 20 at hightops on the boardwalk lower part. Still in the process of getting our liquor license. Fingers crossed.

mpresident said...

Anything for the vegetarians? Good sides?

YetAnotherRIer said...

Is this going to be a sit-down establishment with waiters, hostess, etc. or more like "cafeteria" format with open seating (you know, get your food, pay for it, find a seat). I'd love to walk by at times and get some food to go....

Jeffrey Shaw said...

I think this is an AWESOME idea! I know we'll be regulars. What a great way to take in the scenery and beauty of what make Roosevelt Island a unique place to visit and live

Salvatore Anthony Hoo said...

Thank you Mr. Shaw. We are going to try to make it as great as it can be for the residents of the Isle.

Salvatore Anthony Hoo said...

It will be sit down, with a hostess, waiters etc.

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