A shore escape is a godsend when city temps hit those oppressive 90s, but if a Jitney-bound getaway is out of reach, this South Street Seaport affair is a sunny saving grace. Named for the Lightship Ambrose, and sister to summertime staple Beekman Beer Garden Beach Club, the watering hole trades scratchy beach towels for cushy chaises and that too-close-for-comfort sunbather for a slick finance crowd. The space is split into three locales: a nautical-ish hall inside the historic Schermerhorn Row building, a revved-up surf club atop shipping containers and an easygoing outdoor beer garden. It’s a breeziness on par with a day at the ocean—sans sand at the bottom of your bag.
ORDER THIS: In the no-fuss mess hall, coastal lunch fare arrives humbly on paper plates. A classic lobster roll ($17) is deconstructed, broken down as a trio of buttered baguette slices topped with chunky Maine-lobster salad and juicy beefsteak tomato, though the bites could use a brightening spritz of lemon. Substitute the missing citrus with the seafoam-green Spruce Goose Summer ($14), which pins lip-puckering limeade against crisp crème de menthe.
GOOD FOR: Though the twinkly lights and sea-kissed air are intoxicating at night, avoid happy hour. With three bars and packed indoor-and-outdoor seating, the staff hustles to keep up at peak times; plus, a bustling beach house can feel more cramped than cool. Instead, sprawl out on cushioned white-wicker loungers at the surf club for a Saturday afternoon booze bender with friends. The splashy raised cabana deck—kitted out with kitschy surfboards and a driftwood bar—is prime for soaking up rays and people-watching from above.
THE CLINCHER: Barhopping is a breeze. Make pit stops at each spot to appease a picky group: Fill up on deli sliders at the hall, then cross the cobblestoned walkway to the 14,000-square-foot biergarten, where you’ll find a dozen seasonal drafts like Coney Island’s Tunnel of Love, a watermelon brew with a hoppy bite. Post up under an umbrella for a long, leisurely day of drinking—at this beachy oasis, you’ve got all the time in the world.