Rockaway’s bustling bar and restaurant scene


Bolivian Llama Pary

Thanks to the amazing weather over the long holiday weekend, Rockaway’s bar and restaurant scene was quite bustling. The crowds were gladly welcomed by local businesses that are starting to recover from Hurricane Sandy.

The interior of Thai Rock is still under construction, but that has not kept the crowds away. The views of Jamaica Bay and the Cross Bay Bridge from the back deck are worth the trip alone.  There is full bar service and a Thai grill menu available. Thai Rock is also the home base of Rockaway Jet Ski, if you are feeling adventurous. Jet ski packages include an up-close tour of New York Harbor and the Statue of Liberty.

Next door at Bungalow Bar, the Tubridy family is really packing them in. Offering traditional American fare of steaks and seafood, this landmark family restaurant has bounced back quickly from the storm.

Over on the Beach 96th Street boardwalk, the Bolivian Llama Party was doing a fine job establishing their new beachhead selling saltenas, the Bolivian version of empanadas, while Indaculture played next door to a packed house at Low Tide Bar.

Playland Motel was host to a busy crowd, both indoors and on the rear patio. The crowd was enjoying cold beer, raw bar offerings, and ping pong tables from SPiN. Playland Motel also had a very friendly, but not-to-be-messed-with bouncer out front, which is another first for Rockaway.

A bit up the boulevard is the newly opened Sayra’s Wine Bar.  With a lower-key crowd than Playland, Sayra’s seems to have broad appeal both to locals and beachgoers alike. Offering a menu of small plates (the pork sliders were amazing, just the right bit of tang), wines and beer, Sayra’s is a welcome alternative to the Irish pubs that dot the peninsula. Owned by Rockaway native Rashida Jackson, and sculptor Patrick Flibotte, Sayra’s is the pioneer in shifting the Rockaway resurgence east along Rockaway Beach Boulevard. Soon to be joined by Uma’s Uzbeki restaurant, the block will become a draw of diverse food and drink.

Bar scene on flickr