The Absolute Best Restaurants in the Rockaways

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Make sure to get the halvah ice cream at Uma’s. Photo: Nitzan Rubin/Nitzan RubinAs we head into intolerably hot August in New York, the only real solution to surviving the heat is to spend every weekend at the beach. The beaches and neighborhoods that make up Queens’s Rockaway peninsula have developed, in recent years, a real restaurant scene, one that’s best to check out in the summer, before the outdoor-only spots board up for winter. Hop on the A train this weekend to try our favorite spots.

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Developers Break Ground on The Tides at Arverne By The Sea – $105 Million Oceanfront Rental Community

New York City’s largest residential development adds luxury seaside rentals to the mix- with lifestyle amenities, ocean view balconies and convenient commuting options to Manhattan
 
Rockaways, NY– July 2017 –  The Arverne By The Sea team recently broke ground on Phase I of The Tides at Arverne By The Sea, situated along the Atlantic Ocean in the Rockaways.
Phase I of The Tides, a 214-unit market-rate rental community, will consist of two mid-rise buildings offering a mix of commercial and parking on the ground floor and luxury apartments on the upper levels.  Units ranging from studio to three bedroom will feature contemporary upscale finishes including wood floors, quartz countertops in kitchen and baths, glass backsplashes and stainless appliances in the kitchens.  Many of the apartments will offer balconies and direct ocean views. The first building of Phase I is already 25% completed and will feature 126 units with ground floor retail.
Elevated lifestyle will be a key focus in the new development, with approximately 10,000 square feet dedicated exclusively to modern amenities.  A residential lobby with concierge services will be located in Building 2, along with a clubhouse which will include a state-of-the-art athletic center overlooking the ocean.  Tenants will have exclusive access to a 20’x40’ rooftop swimming pool and lounge overlooking the ocean, a game room with a wet bar and entertainment area for group activities, as well as a smaller lounge for individual tenant events. A dining room with catering kitchen will extend to an exterior dining area with tables and bar seating, and there will be a recreational area for children to play.  The buildings will have storage facilities to accommodate beach and surfing needs, as well as bicycle storage.
“Our vision was to create an urban oasis fitting for every lifestyle. Wall Street by day – surfing or art galleries at night… The Tides will be the ultimate lifestyle destination that will perfectly compliment the existing community” said Gerard Romski, Arverne By The Sea executive.
Located 13 miles from Manhattan, The Tides will offer a convenient commute via the A train, which stops at the dedicated Arverne By The Sea subway station, and the recently launched NYC Ferry service that runs between The Rockaways and Wall Street, Pier 11.
Designed by Urbahn Architects, The Tides will offer a new luxury mid-rise option for seaside lovers and beachgoers to live just steps from natural beauty of the Atlantic Ocean, and the recreation options it provides.  “We’re excited to see the design come to life,” said Natale V. Barranco, AIA, LEED AP, Urbahn Principal. The project’s design provides amenities that are rarely available in New York City, such as breathtaking views, beach access and surfboard storage,” he added.
Building 1 should be completed spring 2018.  Interested parties can sign up to join The Tides priority list at tidesnyc.com to receive first access to construction updates and availability or stop by the newly opened Tides Leasing Office at the corner of Beach 67th Street and Rockaway Beach Boulevard. Individuals that sign up for pre-lease reservations will be entitled to a complimentary two-year family membership to the state-of-the-art  Arverne By The Sea YMCA upon move-in.
The award-winning Arverne By The Sea development has dramatically transformed the face of the Rockaways over the past decade. It is considered one of the most successful large-scale urban renewal projects in the history of New York City and one of the largest revitalization projects in the Country. The pedestrian-friendly neighborhoods feature community parks, shopping, restaurants, surf beaches and walkable access to public transportation.  At its completion, Arverne By The Sea will have developed approximately 2,300 housing units, over 125,000 square feet of retail space including a 55,000 square foot Super Stop & Shop supermarket, and a 45,000 square foot YMCA which has multiple swimming pools and water features.  A new charter school is expected to break ground in the winter of 2017.

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All Aboard for Rockaway Beach

“The transformation of the heart is a wondrous thing, no matter how you land there,” Patti Smith wrote about falling in love with Rockaway Beach in her memoir, “M Train.” Landing there got easier last month when ferry service for $2.75 began, connecting Lower Manhattan and the Rockaway Peninsula in Queens. Adventurous types — surfers, cyclists, sun-seekers and food explorers — as well as those simply looking for an affordable day at the beach, are now lining up hourly at Pier 11, near Wall Street, for the hourlong ride.

The speedy 149-seat NYC Ferry features big picture windows and a roof deck, the views grand on both levels when passing under the majestic Verrazano-Narrows Bridge and skimming by sailboats, freighters and cruise ships in New York Harbor. There’s a stop in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, before docking at Beach 108th Street and Beach Channel Drive.

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The Fun Won’t Stop for Rockaway this Fall Season

In the past, Arverne By The Sea residents may have felt the waning summer season took the crowds away with it, but this year, some of the most prestigious and popular venues in the Rockaways are set to keep the party going. Thanks to some great waves and enthusiastic locals, places like Wildfeast at Riis and Playland Motel will keep on kicking as the weather gets colder. Grab some friends, loved ones, and neighbors, and head out to support your thriving community this fall and winter season!

 

Wildfeast at Riis

New life has been breathed into the historic, yet somewhat forgotten, Riis Park and Riis Park Beach Bazaar, and the fun is set to continue thanks to the popularity of the exceptional venue Wildfeast at Riis Beach. Visitors and Arverne By The Sea and Rockaway locals alike are thrilled to hear they can now treat themselves to this new restaurant’s menu anytime they like, located in the Iconic Bay 9 building at Riis Park. Offering up a delectable menu of local seafood, fresh produce, and pasteurized meats from their very own farm, the cuisine here is perfectly paired with craft cocktails and served under a heated grotto pavilion.

 

A major draw this summer for visitors from the big city and Rockaway, it had been more than two decades since Riis had seen so many visitors—thanks in part to the great weather, of course—but by and large drawn by the programming and high caliber of the food. With a year-long lease and a successful business model, the team decided to give it a go for fall and winter.

 

What makes Wildfeast at Riis so special? For one, the fish and game are all sourced locally, while the produce comes from their very own one-acre farm—which is part of the Peconic Land Trust of North Fork, Long Island. Expect to see summer favorites like North Fork lamb, clam chowder, and short rib sliders on the menu, as well as craft beer and cocktails. Patrons will be able to catch football and hockey games on the flat screen TVs throughout the fall season—the perfect way to cheer your favorite New York teams on to victory!

 

Oktoberfest at Wildfeast at Riis

This year, many locals attended the opening weekend of Wildfeast at Riis on October 10th and 11th. The venue was transformed into a Bavarian bazaar, and the menu included German classics such as schnitzel, bratwurst, hendl, charcuterie, and jumbo pretzels. Of course beer featured heavily on the day, with a special beer menu consisting of Oktoberfest classics such as Sam Adams Oktoberfest and pilsners.

 

If you missed Oktoberfest, don’t worry: there will be plenty of one-off events and programs run through the fall season. A Halloween dog costume party is in the works, as are plans for farmers markets, harvest fairs, Thanksgiving activities, and a crab boil.

 

Additional Information

Wildfeast at Riis will be open from 3 PM to 10 PM on Mondays, Thursdays, and Fridays, and host 10 AM brunches on Saturdays and Sundays, featuring a traditional Irish breakfast. Parking will be free in the fall and winter season. For more information, visit the website at http://www.feastatriis.com/.

 

Playland Motel

This art-boutique hotel is a local favorite, and has revamped itself this year for a more family-friendly approach. If you are looking for great atmosphere, and a place to catch football games this fall, head over for their $1 oyster NFL Sundays. On Halloween weekend they will be hosting an all-ages Halloween event. Friday fish fry nights and vinyl happy hours will also continue into the autumn this year.

 

For more information, visit the Playland website at http://www.playlandmotel.com/

Run for Fun and a Good Cause at Rockaway Beach this Fall

Are you ready to get running this fall? When the summer heat starts to dial down in the fall months, it is the perfect time to head out for a run on Rockaway Beach, or along the Rockaway Boardwalk. If you love a good jog, why not join your friends and neighbors, support a good cause, and get in shape too with the Rockaway Running Series? This extension of the Rockapulco Summer Series, which began in 2001, hosts and sponsors its very own set of runs on Thursday evenings in Rockaway, plus special races and runs. If you live at Arverne By The Sea, it is the perfect opportunity to enjoy boardwalk racing and a full calendar of annual events—including The Rockaway Marathon.

 

Upcoming Runs

So what runs are coming up for this fall? Try one or try to beat your time as you race them all with great options and good causes, such as:

 

Run for RETT

On Saturday October 24, 2015, put on your best running-friendly Halloween costume and join in the Run for RETT. Beginning at 12pm at B. 102nd Street and the Boardwalk, kids and adults will run to support Valentina Priolo. This charity event will benefit Valentina, who lives with RETT syndrome—a disease that exhibits symptoms of cerebral palsy, autism, epilepsy, and Parkinson’s. When you race, you become one of Val’s Pals!

An after party will be heled at The Community House following the race. All race participants get one free drink, and prizes will be awarded in kid and adult categories for the best costumed runners. Festivities on the day are to include raffles, 50/50 draws, face painting, pumpkins, and a DJ for the kids. The kids race will be a 200-meter run, followed by a 5k run or walk.

Race day registration is available at 10am at The Community House. The donation amount to participate is $10 for children and $25 for adults. Further information is available at valspalsrett@gmail.com.

 

Turkey Day 5K

On Thanksgiving Day, get nice and hungry by starting the holiday off with the Turkey Day 5K in Rockaway Park. To be held at 10:30am on November 26, 2015, this event is sponsored by the Rockaway Gliders. There is a race day registration fee of $25. Number pickup will be held from 9:30am to 10:15am at 114-06 Beach Channel Drive

 

Santa Shuffle 5K 

On December 19, 2015, head to Beach 95th Street and the Rockaway Boardwalk to run like Santa—or at least in his suit. When you register for the Santa Shuffle 5K, you receive a Santa suit to be picked up on the day of the race at Connolly’s Bar between 10am to 10:45am. The race begins at 11am, and there will be plenty of holiday cheer to go around—plus goodies for all participants. The post-race party is sure to be a blast!

 

The Rockaway Gliders

The local running club, known as The Rockaway Gliders, works to support local events and encourage runners of all ages and abilities to keep moving. There is plenty to do, and runners from all walks of life find a way to get involved and participate in events. As a community-minded group, they use their runs to benefit everyone. To learn more, visit the website at http://www.rockawaygliders.com/.

For more information about upcoming runs, and to learn how you can register to run or otherwise volunteer or get involved, please visit the Rockapulco Run website at http://www.rockapulcorun.com/.

Family Fun at Rockaway’s Fall Festivals

This fall, Rockaway will be filled with fun fall festivities. With plenty of activities for community members of all ages, gather your friends and loved ones and head out for food, crafts, and fun! If you live at Arverne By The Sea, these great festivals will be happening virtually in your backyard, so save the date and take your kids and their friends to participate in these wonderful community engagements.

 

The 9th Annual Rockaway Fall Festival

The 9th Annual Rockaway Fall Festival is to be held on Sunday October 18, 2015 from 12pm to 3pm. Activities on the day will include pony rides, a pumpkin patch, hayrides, and live seasonal entertainment. There will also be plenty of Halloween festivities, such as arts and crafts and games for children and families. Sponsored by Councilman Donovan Richards, this free event will take place in Bayswater Park, Queens at Bay 32nd Street and Beach Channel Drive.

 

Fall Surfing and Ramen Pop-up Ramen Shops at the Rockaway Shore

This fall, the swell has kept surfers in the water well into the autumn season, and local businesses are loving the opportunity to offer local Arverne By The Sea and Rockaway residents something just a little different from the busy summer season’s offerings. Last week, Noodle Beach came to the Rockaway Beach Surf Club, and locals and visitors alike could not be more thrilled to see this fall shaping up to be so much fun both in and out of the water.

 

The Fall Warm Up

The Rockaway Beach Surf Club is an exciting cultural event space, bar, and restaurant geared at promoting a love for surfing, the environment, and Rockaway Beach. This unique convergence of urban culture and surf culture was designed to inspire the community in every possible way. For years now, it has been a popular place to hang in the summer—but get ready for a new wave of excitement this fall with Noodle Beach, a pop-up ramen shop and true culinary treat for the neighborhood, as well as a weekend food market. The idea is to bring delicious and fresh eats to not only hungry surfers, but their friends and families, too. Expect the ramen to last as long as the swells and surf crowds do.

Known as the Fall Warm Up, ramen by Noodle Beach is served every weekend from 2pm to 8pm on Saturdays, and from 11am to 5pm on Sundays. Drinks are served at the Rockaway Beach Surf Club starting at 2pm on Saturdays and go to 10pm, while on Sundays drinks are served from 11am to 8pm.

The new food market is the perfect place to try some tasty bites, or pick up some fresh veggies, coffee, pies, and hot sauces for meals at home during the week. Held every Sunday from 11am to 4pm, special market events dot the calendar for this fall, including the recent Fall Harvest Market, held on October 18th, and the upcoming Holiday Market to take place on December 13th.

 

Location and Information

The Rockaway Beach Surf Club is located at 302 Beach Street and 87th Street. For more information, please visit the website at http://www.rockawaybeachsurfclub.com/.

The Pampered Chef with Christine Powers

If you have a brand new home at Arverne By The Sea, then you need the perfect inspiration for enjoying wonderful, home-cooked meals in your new designer kitchen. There is no better way to welcome yourself to the neighborhood than with The Pampered Chef with Christine Powers. For more than 15 years, she has been serving the needs of friends and family by inspiring satisfying and stress-free meals that flatter their New York lifestyles.

Founded in 1980, parent company Pampered Chef is a larger network of everyday cooking quick tips that highlights the techniques, kitchen equipment, and powerful tools that make cooking at home a faster, fuss-free experience. Many people in NYC feel they barely have time to enjoy eating a meal, let alone make one from scratch! With a little help from Christine Powers, you too can slow things down and savor those scrumptious recipes and important moments with everyday cooking for the modern family.

When following the Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/pamperedchef.christinepowers/timeline), you instantly receive all of the tips, updates, and product information you need to plan and make meals that fit your lifestyle. The kitchen is a room that brings people together, and the art of cooking together is one that builds lifelong bonds. As a seller of quality kitchen tools, the regular cooking shows and independent consultant sessions held by Christine Powers show guests how to unlock their inner culinary potential, while enjoying some delicious recipes too!

If you would like to learn more about The Pampered Chef with Christine Powers, or attend a product demonstration in the Rockaways, simply visit her website, at: https://www.pamperedchef.com/pws/christinepowers.

Sayra’s Wine Bar

For great wine, beer, food, and friends, head to Sayra’s Wine Bar. At Sayra’s Wine Bar & Bier Garden, guests will find the Rockaway’s first wine bar—a beautiful example of upscale dining located at the heart of the peninsula. Regular occurrences and special events such as happy hour, live jazz, weekend specials, and outdoor cinema evenings are wonderful excuses to share a fine glass of wine with that special someone, and late-night summer hours frequently see the kitchen open until 3am for the after-hours crowd.

As the brainchild of Rashida Jackson, a local surfer, and Patrick Filbotte, a local artist, this hip shore-side spot showcases seasonal wines from surf-minded regions around the world, including California’s Sonoma Coast, New Zealand’s Sandy Cove, and Spain’s Catalonia. A concise yet impeccably edited wine list and drinks menu features select bottles of wine, and bottled and draft beer, served over the establishment’s earthy oak and steel-built bar. An ever-changing tapas-style food menu always offers something new and exciting, and is best enjoyed in the 1,200-square-foot garden decorated with wooden picnic tables and beach rocks.

The ambiance is pure class and style, and is matched by the vibe of the both the crowd and the ultra-friendly and knowledgeable staff, always ready to walk you through the current wine, beer, and food selections. It is best to order with patience, allowing for time to soak in the environment they have so carefully crafted. While it may be possible to have an unpleasant evening here, it would certainly take some trying, as this favorite local spot is one of the most recommended spots in the Rockaways.

If you live at Arverne By The Sea and have not yet paid Sayra’s Wine Bar a visit, you can find it at 91-11 Rockaway Beach Boulevard. Open daily from noon, closing times varies by season, so please call ahead for current details. For more information, please visit them online on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/pages/Sayras-Wine-Bar-Bier-Garden/129645637243728, or Twitter https://mobile.twitter.com/SayrasWineBar.

First Annual Rockaway Oyster and Music Festival

The premier New York Irish film and music event, the Craic Festival, will expand into the Rockaways for the first time this year. The first annual Rockaway Oyster and Music Fest, presented by Stella Artois, will take place on September 19th for one night only. As a neighborhood with heavily Irish roots, the community could not be more thrilled to be hosting this celebration of food, music, and culture.

Attendees from Arverne By The Sea can expect to enjoy Irish bands performing live, including Brothers Yee, the Narrowbacks, JahStix Band, and the Lost Tribe of Donegal. Local foodies will be well aware that the Rockaway Oyster Festival is a part of New York Oyster Week, and are eagerly awaiting the delicious gourmet delicacies that will be served at the Empire Oysters raw bar during the event. As the co-founder of NYOW and OysterHood, Master Mermmelier Kevin Joseph will be at the helm. The palette can certainly expect great things from his tastings, happening at the beer and oyster tent (116th Street lot) between 2pm and 7:30pm.

Held in NYC since 1999, this year Craic Fest producer Terence Mulligan says that the strong Irish connection and the enthusiasm with which locals embrace this annual festival are the main reasons they have decided to branch out and bring the enjoyment a little closer to home here in the Rockaways. This is the perfect way to celebrate the final days of summer while spending time with friends and family. The Billion Oyster Project and Harbor School are even onboard with the festivities, collecting the shells to be reused for the reef.

Tickets

General admission tickets are available for this event ($20). VIP tickets were already sold out at the time of writing. Guests will be able to order beer and oysters on the day at festive prices.

More Information

To purchase tickets or get more information about upcoming Craic Fest and NYOW festivities, visit the website and Facebook page at, respectively: http://thecraicfest.com/ and https://www.facebook.com/TheCraicFestNYC.