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Too lazy to make it to the beach this weekend? It’s ok, the beach is coming to you.
What started as a joke between The Passenger co-owner and bartender Tom Brown and his buddies about bringing the beach to the city has now become a 70-ton pit of sand off New York Avenue with daiquiris, hammocks, and beach chairs.
New York Avenue Beach Bar opens today at 5 p.m.
Tom tells Y&H he and his partners Karl Graham and Robert Bailey had a long, heated discussion about the sand, which is spread across 5,500 square feet. Should it be the fine white stuff? The coarse contractor sand? They ultimately ended up with beach sand from Ocean City. Tom declined to say how much it cost to buy and transport so much sand.
A more pressing question: How do you keep 70 tons of sand clean?
“It’s like cleaning a bathroom,” Tom says. They’ll spray a solution of bleach and water and rake for debris every day. No glass will be allowed on the beach, so hopefully there’s no danger wearing flip flops.
For your added safety, there will soon be a lifeguard on duty. (That lifeguard will actually be hired security.)
The Beach Bar is also bringing in mixologists like Jason Strich and The Passenger’s Julia Hurst to sling drinks, and other top-level bartenders have expressed interest in working some shifts. But don’t expect anything fancy: “They’re here to have fun like everyone else,” Tom says, not invent new drinks and try crazy techniques. The Beach Bar will serve a simple selection of beer, rum punch, and daiquiris.
Shaw sandwich shop Sundevich will debut its new food truck at New York Avenue Beach Bar with chipotle-mayo corn, peel-and-eat shrimp, and smaller versions of its baguette sandwiches. Tom says Sundevich will remain a fixture at the beach and that he does not intend to rotate different trucks in and out.
So far, the weekend’s forecast looks good, but just in case…
“If it’s raining, it’s just like the beach,” Tom says. “You’re welcome to stay as long as you want, but if there’s thunder and lightning you probably want to take cover.”