Well it didn’t take very long for Rockaway to turn into a brand. With the opening of Far Rockaway Shoreditch in the heart of hipster London, our urban beach culture has gone global.
Opened by former New York resident George Dowling in October 2013, Far Rockaway Shoreditch is an “American style bar and restaurant inspired by urban street art and culture.” The sprawling 400-seat restaurant is a visually stunning space, with the walls covered in bright graffiti-style pieces of art. This paean to our surf and skate culture includes hundreds of hand painted skateboards. The seating is a multi-level mix of tables, lounges and sofas, and includes a reading room stocked with 4,000 DC and Marvel comic books.
The restaurant is located in Shoreditch, London’s equivalent of Williamsburg and the center of the creative and digital media industry. The menu is limited to typical American-style bar food of burgers, salads, pizza and wings. The staff, including general manager Stuart Snowden, was sent to Denino’s in Staten Island to learn how to make traditional New York City style pizza. While it would be unfair to compare Shoreditch to any New York pizzeria, they do serve a decent Margherita pizza by the slice. The crust is moderately thin and easy to fold in half without collapsing, but lacks a good char. The drinks menu is a bit more elaborate, and includes martinis, margaritas and classic cocktails.
The space is also being used to promote London’s street artists. Curators Ben Oakley Gallery and the Hoxton Gallery have been overseeing the design of the space, which includes the ubiquitous Rockaway Playland neon sign. Local DJs are also spinning records on most weekend evenings.
Check out more of the amazing art at Shoreditch here.