The Community House: Rockaway’s stunning new gastropub


Community House, Rockaway Beach

With the opening of the Community House on August 4th, the peninsula bar count is now up to 30, and the restaurant scene in Rockaway takes a serious, and elegant step up.

Occupying the old Irish Circle, which was shuttered in 2014, the design of the new gastropub relegates any memories of that watering hole to the dustbin. While the footprint of the bar itself is the same, nearly everything else is new and stunning.

The bar is the brainchild of Belle Harbor resident Kelley Brooke. Brooke, the founder of The H20 Generation, a paddleboard manufacturer, is also the proprietor of the Beer Garden at the Randall’s Island Golf and Entertainment Center.

IMG_1555.JPGFinished in dark wood, the bar still maintains a casual beach feel. Monitors overhead project vintage surfing footage. The main serving area has a mix of seating to meet any mood: bistro-height tables at the open windows on Rockaway Beach Boulevard, suitable for patrons who want to watch the world go by, or to receive visitors. Along the Beach 102nd Street side, there are some comfy leather sofas. The interior of the bar features three high-backed banquettes suitable for more private encounters.

IMG_1553.JPGThe rear dining room can accommodate 143 patrons. The real wow factor, however, is saved for the 3,000 square foot covered deck adjacent to the dining room. There is another bar in this area, where patrons can enjoy the ocean air with their libations. Brooke plans to use this space for live music and DJs every weekend.

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The head chef is Fernando Feites, formerly of The Smith in the East Village. The menu features a raw bar, flatbread sandwiches, and small plates (sliders, chicken wings, fried calamari). The entrée selections consist of seared tuna, marinated chicken, boneless rib steak, as well as grilled shrimp and salmon.

The drinks menu features a varied and very accessible selection of wines. The signature cocktail is the Blood and Sand, which is made of blended scotch, cherry heering, vermouth and orange juice.

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Brooke also confirmed plans to convert the second floor of the gastropub in hotel rooms, which will be available for rental in spring of 2016.

Community House
101-19 Rockaway Beach Boulevard
Rockaway Beach, NY 11694