There will be days soon when the summer sun is so punishing, the still air of the underground subway station so menacing, that your thoughts will conquered only by only visions of relief. It is then that walking down Smith Street, your eyes hazy with the reflective heat of the blacktop strangling the city, you’ll spot what is surely a mirage of an oasis chipped off the side of a building. It’s not much: just some picnic tables, umbrellas, pitchers of cold beer poured into plastic cups while hot dogs and burgers conga line off the grill, but it is real, and its relief is powerful. It’s no mirage and it’s no longer a fantasy of a summer to come: The Gowanus Yacht Club, summer’s advance rider, banging loud on the drums of war against cruel memories of winter, is back open for the season.
It’s easy to mistake the Yacht Club for a mirage: its lack of social media presence make it an ephemeral thing to track, and its opening and closing dates are carried on the whims of the weather. But Twitter reports indicate that yes, the best outdoor dive bar in New York City, is already back up and running for the season.
People love Gowanus Yacht Club (323 Smith St. at President) for its simplicity: it’s a slab of concrete with some simple furnishings and a tinny radio emitting sounds from above the grill, a gritty combination of doing the best with what you have that feels so very New York. It’s the kind of place you go to let the sun bake into you and the sweat run down your tank top to remember, as hot as it gets, at least you’re outside, not wearing that dumb fucking parka any more.
They don’t serve Duff any more, but they do still have reasonably priced pitchers, so let’s all toast one before it’s too late. Combine this with the reopening of Habana Outpost this month, and summer outdoor drinking season is officially here.
Spring is officially here: Gowanus yacht club is open
— James (@jprctr) April 16, 2016
🚨Gowanus Yacht Club is open🚨
— Todd Olmstead (@toddjolmstead) April 16, 2016
Gowanus yacht club is open, so I can put away my parka, right?
— Michael Farley (@mfarleyNYC) April 9, 2016