Via Forbes, written by Lisa Kocay
Always have a hard time getting a seat at Grand Banks?
The owners of the popular Manhattan oyster bar—located on a historic wooden boat on the Hudson River—are opening two new seasonal oyster restaurants: Island Oyster, a 32,000-square-foot site on Governor's Island featuring a 100-foot bar, and Pilot, set to debut at Brooklyn Bridge Park's Pier 6.
"We're taking what we do at Grand Banks and trying to make it a little bit more accessible," says Alex Pincus, who co-owns the bar with his brother, Miles.
Customers can expect a "pretty easy-going summer menu" at Island Oyster, with highlights including fish tacos and of course, sustainability harvested oysters. Grand Banks chef Kerry Heffernan—inventor of the Shake Shack burger—will be the head chef at Island Oyster, where he'll get his second-go at creating another "fantastic" burger, Alex says. (The kitchen at Island Oyster, which had a soft opening Fourth of July weekend, is set to open later this month, but the bar is open for now.)
The Pincus brothers secured the Governor's Island space after winning a bid for the spot, which they discovered through their work with Billion Oyster Project, a Governor's Island-based project aiming to restore one billion oysters to New York Harbor.
The second restaurant, Pilot, is set to open toward the end of the month and will be located on a historic wooden schooner the brothers found "wasting away in a shipyard" and decided to restore, Alex says.
"The food at Pilot will be quite a lot like the food at Grand Banks, with a couple of twists sort of pushing a little bit harder on the end of New American Brooklyn cuisine, and pushing a little bit harder on some of the influences from the food we grew up on in New Orleans," he says. Pilot's signature dish, the soft shell crab po' boy, was created on a whim at Grand Banks years ago, and the crew had been holding onto the recipe ever since, waiting for the perfect opportunity to serve it.
"[At Pilot] we're having different cocktails and different menu options, but it's a very similar experience with a different view, a different boat and a different location," Alex says. "We basically took what we did at Grand Banks and tried to find a way to do it better."