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Floating Beer Garden Dropping Anchor in Long Island City

By Ewa Kern-Jedrychowska | August 17, 2012 8:52am

LONG ISLAND CITY — A Long Island City company is hoping to turn an old ferry in the neighborhood into a into a floating beer garden in hopes of further reviatalizing the stretch of waterfront.

The company, Plaxall, which produces plastic packaging, bought the vessel a few months ago for about $70,000 and placed it at Anable Basin between 45th and 46th Avenues in Hunters Point.

Prudence Ferry, which until about 5 years ago was used to carry people and cars in the Rhode Island area, still runs, said Matt Quigley of Plaxall, a family-owned company that has been based in Long Island City for more than 60 years and owns properties around the basin.

The idea of turning the ferry into a floating beer garden — the latest beer hall to hit the borough — was inspired by the late John Krevey, the owner of The Frying Pan, a vessel turned into a bar and restaurant on the Hudson River.

Krevey, Quigley said, used to own Paragon Paints, one of the buildings along the basin, and had once considered opening a similar floating bar in the area.

“It will be a way of getting on the water without being too fancy,” Quigley said.  “We are trying to enliven the area.”

The ferry, which is about 100 feet long and 30 feet wide, could be used to get across the narrow waterway, Quigley said.

It would connect the southern side of the basin, which houses Gantry Plaza State Park and numerous high-rises with more industrial parts of Hunters Point along 44th Drive and 45th Avenue.

Anable Basin Café, an outdoor waterfront bar with grill, is located nearby as is the more upscale Water Edge Restaurant.

A tech incubator, proposed by Plaxall and The Coalition for Queens, would also be located in the area.

Quigley said the ferry requires some renovations, and so do pilings along the basin’s banks.

He said he expects the beer garden to be open by next summer.