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Governors Island to Open Early With New Seafood Restaurant, 'Island Oyster'

By Irene Plagianos | January 17, 2017 4:59pm
 Governors Island is adding about a month to its public season when it opens on May 1, 2017.
Governors Island is adding about a month to its public season when it opens on May 1, 2017.
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The Trust For Governors Island

GOVERNORS ISLAND — The city's quirky, leisure oasis in New York Harbor is extending its public season.

Governors Island is slated to reopen on May 1 — about a month earlier than its usual Memorial Day weekend launch — marking the first time in its history that the Island, a former military base, will be open to the public throughout the month of May, officials said Tuesday.

Along with a new opening date, officials announced a new "oyster garden" on the Island. 

The new restaurant, called Island Oyster, will serve up craft beer, wine, cocktails and other locally-sourced summer fare, the Trust for Governors Island said in a statement.

The sustainable seafood-focused outdoor eatery near the Island's main boat landing will be run by the team behind Grand Banks, a seafood and oyster-focused restaurant and cocktail bar aboard a historic ship docked in TribeCa, officials said.

Island Oyster's "oyster garden" — like a beer garden, but with an emphasis on seafood — replaces a beach-themed waterfront eatery, Governors Beach Club, which had a sandy, outdoor area. 

The new restaurant will be sand-free, a spokeswoman for the Trust said.

The sustainable seafood and oyster theme also reflects a longtime initiative based on Governors Island  called the Billion Oyster Project. The New York Harbor Foundation program aims to restore and clean the city’s harbor by installing oyster reefs.

“An expanded season in 2017 opens an exciting new chapter for Governors Island, and we invite every New Yorker to take in the Island’s surroundings for an additional month this spring,” Michael Samuelian, president of the Trust for Governors Island, said in a statement. 

“Island Oyster will truly complement the spirit of Governors Island by expanding dining options for visitors and promoting the health and sustainability of New York Harbor."

The Island, which has opened acres of new parkland in recent years, including its series of man-made waterfront hills last summer, is moving towards staying open year-round.

For now, the car-free island will continue to keep its usual close-date at the end of September.

Governors Island is open seven days a week during the open season, Monday though Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and until 7 p.m. on weekends and holidays.