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A new Harlem restaurant has opened on one of the world’s smallest aircraft carriers

The latest innovation in outdoor dining? A former Navy ship used in the Vietnam War.

Written by
Bao Ong

Restaurants and bars are popping up everywhere these days, from greenhouses to closed off streets to hidden backyards. Now New York can add a restaurant aboard what was once the world’s smallest aircraft carrier to the list.

The Baylander Steel Beach, a Navy ship used during the Vietnam War, is now stationed at the West Harlem Piers in Upper Manhattan off 125th Street. There’s a 4,000-square-foot outdoor deck where you can order lobster rolls, burgers and drinks. A lower level part of the restaurant is still closed while indoor dining is prohibited in New York.

The Baylander Steel Beach
Photograph: Courtesy of The Baylander Steel Beach

While it’s not as massive as the Intrepid—at 125 feet long, it’s nowhere near the 820 feet or so of the more iconic ship—the Baylander was used to train helicopter pilots who needed to learn how to land on a boat. According to the ship’s website, it moved around after the Vietnam War and the Trenk Family Foundation purchased it in 2012. It was moored in different locations in the metropolitan area before its current home.

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Michael Trenk, who also owns Prohibition on the Upper West Side, opened The Baylander Steel Beach in early July with a new set of rules. Guests have their temperature taken before stepping on the ship, masks are required and social-distancing rules are enforced. Once you settle in with your fish and chips or the Big Apple frosé, you’ll be rewarded with one of the best spots to catch a sunset.

The Baylander Steel Beach
Photograph: Courtesy of The Baylander Steel Beach

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