September, 2015. ExploringUSA for Exploring NY.
The area of Red Hook in Brooklyn is not a place that's known by many of those who aren’t from the city and for many that do, it is mostly known as the place that has an Ikea. Over the past few years this perception has started to change as this area which had primarily been a seedy neighborhood dedicated to shipping has slowly been changing its image with the opening of artist studios and restaurants. Hurricane Sandy did a number on the area but since then this area has been thriving as the trend of Brooklyn neighborhoods that has been out of favor are making a dramatic comeback. A big reason why Red Hook should be on your lists of places to visit is a fantastic seafood restaurant called Brooklyn Crab. Having opened in 2012, this seafood lovers paradise was modeled after a Maryland style crab shack built right on the New York harbor. If you are craving some delicious seafood and looking to get away from the craziness that is New York City without having to travel to far, then this is the perfect place for you.
The Brooklyn Crab is the antithesis of most bars and restaurants in the city in that its over three stories tall and could possibly fit around 500+ people inside of it at one time. With most restaurants in Manhattan being barely larger than a walk in closet, this place boasts not only a fantastic open air bar on the first floor, but a second one on the large back patio, and a third semi inclosed bar on the second floor deck. With three floors, this is a restaurant that really is unmatched in size. Brooklyn Crab resembles a bar you would more likely find on the beaches of Florida than on a waterfront in Red Hook. The food is what you would expect from a place called Brooklyn Crab, specializing in all things seafood from raw oysters and clams to steamed crabs and fried shrimp. Really having a wide variety of seafood options along with sandwiches and salads, this is a very casual environment that is perfect for shorts, t-shirts, and flip flops. This is a great place to don a lobster bib, get out your shell crackers, and feast on some delicious food.
The one downside of the bar is that it isn’t easily accessible for most people since Red Hook is one of those Brooklyn neighborhoods that doesn’t have a subway conveniently close. If you don’t have a car your only real options are to ride a bike, navigate on the bus, or to take the Ikea ferry from Manhattan. The ferry ride is a fantastic trip (giving you a great view of the lower Manhattan skyline as well as the statue of liberty) as it takes all of about 15 minutes to go from downtown Manhattan to the Fairway Market pier. Even with a slightly complicated trip, this is one of the best casual outdoor bars in the entire city. This is the opposite of the high end roof top bar scene with inexpensive drinks and cocktails and a wide range of outdoor games like shuffle board, corn hole, and even a small mini golf course. Very few bars can match the kind of activities or outdoor space that Brooklyn Crab has to offer and in a environment that makes you feel like you are very far away from one of the biggest cities in the world.
Brooklyn really can offer up a lot of different types of restaurants but Brooklyn Crab really is in a class by itself with its unique location, size, and food. Great for large groups of people or just when you are looking for something to do on a casual Saturday afternoon in the sun you really can’t have a bad time when visiting Brooklyn Crab!