May-Oct: Mon-Fri, noon-11pm; Sat-Sun, 11am-11pm
1, 2, 3 at 72nd St.
American Express, MasterCard, Visa
Riverside Park South has seen a lot of improvement, and for the neighborhood’s drinkers, this is the most exciting one: The folks behind Pier 63 Maritime in Chelsea have installed an outdoor bar and grill on the park’s modernist Thomas Balsley-designed esplanade. As if the couple dozen tables (accessible even to people who bring their own food) overlooking the Hudson and the forward-thinking grill aren’t reason enough to descend the stairway at 68th Street and pass under the West Side Highway, the tiny bar also delivers chaises longues (along with rum-and-fruit smoothies and Lehman Ranch burgers from the forward-thinking menu) to loungers anywhere in the park. Just pick a willow tree, a slope of grass, or a concrete overlook. Reggae ensembles do their best to lend a Caribbean beach vibe while tankers and cruise ships motor past the float bridge just off-shore, a remnant from when this pleasure stretch was a rail yard.
Picnics with a view, roller-skating nostalgia, and a party for gay headbangers.