After a bit of a delay, Rockaway Beach BBQ (RBQ) is finally up and running in the site of the former Playland Motel, which was sold to investors in 2017. Officially opened earlier this week in time for the 4th of July, this offshoot brought to you by the team behind Swingbellys in Long Island is sure to whet any famished beach-goer’s appetite.
Two of RBQ’s business partners, Ryan Moroney and Jacob Marlin, are from the area. Marlin, who’s also the head chef of RBQ, spoke fondly about returning to his native roots. “Oh, it’s a great feeling. Between friends and family and the community board, everyone knows us.”
Joe’s Pub Block Party returns to Astor Place this Thursday afternoon. It touts a pretty incredible lineup of immigrants and performers of color, featuring the mambo and North African beats of the Yemen Blues Duo and the classically-trained voice of Treya Lam, among others. This event is part of Make Music New York, which “energizes the shared social spaces that make NYC a cultural capital” through city-wide music festivals on the summer solstice, per their website. More details on this year’s block party here.
Stuck in town this Memorial Day weekend? You’re better off avoiding the mile-long airport lines anyway, so consider yourself lucky. But just in case you’re tired of hitting up to Smorgasburg for the third weekend in a row or staring at your computer screen as you Netflix your life away, Bedford + Bowery has put together plenty of options to keep you entertained over the long weekend.
Chef Carlos Varella and his wife, model Andressa Junqueira, at Beach Bistro 96. (Photo courtesy Andressa Junqueira)
I’m not on many models’ speed dial, so I was surprised when New York-based Brazilian model Andressa Junqueira called me to tell me about a new restaurant that she and her husband chef Carlos Varella just opened in Rockaway last week.
Called Beach Bistro 96, it’s taking over the space previously occupied by Anna Bow (and before that occupied by Veggie Island) to offer “Brazilian internacional fusion” fare, with dishes ranging from Brazil’s national dish feijoada (black beans with pork meat, rice, kale, orange slices and farofa), served on Wednesdays and Saturdays, to ratatouille and temaki sushi hand rolls.
We’ve already gotten wind that Rockaway is getting a beer garden, surf museum and bakery, and new food vendors at Riis Park Beach Bazaar, but what about the boardwalk concessions that made the peninsula such a summer destination to begin with? We’re told that the Rockaway Beach Club will return May 20– just three weeks from now.
Rockaway Brewing Co. co-owner Ethan Long visits the site of the new Beach 67th Street and Beach Front Road pop-up location. (Photos: Rockaway Brewing Co.)
For several summers now, Rockaway Brewing Co. has been a fixture at the beach. Now the budding brewery is fixing to build a beach of its own, with a sandy oasis set to open near the Ridgewood/Bushwick border. Tentatively called Playa NYC, it’s one of three major projects in the works, the other two of which will be right on the brand’s namesake peninsula.
From left: Jeff Schroeder and Christopher Williams (Photo: Nicole Disser)
Shaking hands with Chris Williams and Jeff Schroeder immediately made me feel not only very un-tan but also very un-rad. The two friends recently moved from California and have opened up Union Surfboards in their new neighborhood, Greenpoint. We met inside their studio that’s just big enough to sand off a board and drink a few beers in the process. The place is dusty, but in a clean beachy sort of way and is by no means a faddy showroom– it’s a real workshop. As we spoke, Williams, despite having a broken hand, would compulsively polish one of the boards propped up on a saw horse.
It’s hard to get accepted by the South by Southwest film festival — especially if you’re not from New York. This year’s festival features eight films, chosen from 1,324 submissions, and more than half of them have roots here: The Heart Machine, directed by Village Voice film critic Zachary Wigon; Wild Canaries, Lawrence Levine’s Brooklyn-based film; The Mend, set in Harlem and directed by John Magary, who attended Columbia University’s graduate film program; Brooklyn resident Leah Meyerhoff’s I Believe in Unicorns; and the world premier of Fort Tilden, about two girls’ “needlessly complicated” bike ride from Williamsburg to Rockaway’s Fort Tilden beach, co-directed by two NYU MFA film candidates. More →
The Macy’s fireworks may have permanently decamped to the Hudson, and the city’s slowly bleeding out to the Hamptons, so it might seem that Bedford + Bowery’s neighborhoods have nothing to offer for Independence Day weekend. Au contraire! Herewith, a round-up of events and on-goings to keep you celebrating our great nation through the weekend. More →