Seaport Report, Sept. 12, 2013

As I write this Monday, Pier 17 is being emptied — shops closing, doors locking. Hundreds of people put out of work while small businesses that have been struggling are now gone. Many of the small shops and restaurants beyond the Howard Hughes Corporation’s  grasp are still struggling or closed.

Meanwhile, Fulton St. is alive with Astroturf and shipping container-contained businesses. The Seaport Museum is defunct. The tall ships are being shipped out; some can’t even be given away! It seems as if our seaport/seafaring history doesn’t matter. Does it get any more surreal?

My colleague Terese Loeb Kreuzer had a good article in last week’s online edition of Downtown Express (and on P.7 of this edition) on the H.H.C.’s “secret” plans to transform the Seaport

In it, she details the museum areas H.H.C. is now able to purchase or lease, including Pier 16 where the ships are docked.

If you haven’t read the piece, check it out

Restaurant recovery roundup… Meanwhile, back on the ranch, or this case, the cobbled/uncobbled/or being cobbled, hobbled and decobbled then recobbled again streets of South Street Seaport area outside of Howard Hughes Corp. clutches, construction continues.

On and on  and on…
Here’s a quick look at the status of some of the restaurants:

Bridge Café (Water & Dover Sts.): Construction is underway. The basement was completely flooded while kitchen and dining room were under four-feet of water during Hurricane Sandy, effectively destroying the centuries-old infrastructure. Now the historic wooden treasure is in the process of rebuilding.

“We’re doing what we can,” owner Adam Weprin told Seaport Report. “We’re dealing with a 1794 building so we have a lot of work to do.”

Both levels are being repaired together. “We ripped out the main floor to work on the basement, and then we’ll work to the roof of the dining room,” he added. “June opening became July, August was pushed to October. We’re now looking at November, December. I’m not even putting a date on it.”

Paris Café (South St. & Peck Slip): They’ve redone the basement, electric and floors and moved the 1873 bar. Owner Peter O’Connell has said it was a major restoration. He’s hoping for a reopening before the Sandy one-year anniversary next month.

Nelson Blue (Front St. & Peck Slip): The bar/eatery’s resident Kiwi Pauli Morgan has posted on their website that “we are planning a bigger, badder, bolder and just as beautiful comeback to N.Y.C.’s #1 Kiwi bar/restaurant.” Seaport Report will try to get a “bite” from the jolly man from Down Under ASAP with more juicy details.

SUteiShi (Front St. & Peck Slip): Work has been underway for more than a month to rebuild this lovely space with its garage door sidewalk seating. Their Facebook posting announces a late September relaunch. Meantime, get your sushi fix from them to go.

But until the doors of these fav places reopen, several of the neighborhood spots have banded together for a block party celebration on October 19. Look for more tasty details in the next Seaport Report.

Last blast of summer… Haven’t had enough summertime fun? Then join the gang from Cigar Landing (150 Beekman St.) for the last booze cruise of the summer, Thursday (Sept. 12). The 3-hour tour ($120 per person) includes unlimited beer and wine and an open bar on return at Fish Market Restaurant (111 South St.) and three cigars. The ship sails from the Seaport piers at 7 pm for a sunset cruise. About 30 people shipped out on the last adventure with no one overboard and all reporting they had a terrific time. Email Andy Oh at [email protected] to reserve a spot and tell him how many are in your party.

— By Janel Bladow