Why You Should Make the Fishing Village Your New Watering Hole
In some ways, Greenport could be considered the Brooklyn of the North Fork, with a hip and casual restaurant scene, eclectic vintage stores, and a surrounding landscape of vineyards that keep the ambiance cooler and calmer than neighboring scenes in the Hamptons. As to be expected, then, is its buzzing bar scene, which foregoes any fancy beach-lounge getup for more handcrafted, creative atmospheres, focused on what’s grown, distilled, aged, and brewed locally. Here are four bars worth a quick trip from the Hamptons, or even the two-hour Long Island Rail Road ride from Manhattan.
Brix & Rye (308A Main St., Greenport)
Look for an antique mailbox and sand- covered shuffleboard table behind the glass windows in lieu of a sign marking Brix & Rye, then head down the stairs to the dimly lit speakeasy-style bar where some of the North Fork’s best mixology holds court. Divided into ‘shaken’ and ‘stirred’ and constantly changing based on available ingredients, the cocktail menu is full of modern renditions of traditional recipes, such as Negronis made of sherry, aquavit and Cynar and aged in a whiskey barrel; whiskey sours doused with red wine; or a summery version of a boulevardier that trades the red vermouth for spicy ginger, lemon and soda. Bartenders are also willing to improvise on the spot based on your palate, and a small menu of excellent Italian appetizers – burrata, salads and wood-fired pizzas – solidifies its position as the type of bar that will keep you in its seats all night.
The Halyard (58775 County Rd 48, Greenport)On the grounds of Sound View – a charming hotel with modern nautical style, viewsover the Long Island Sound, and activities such as biodynamic farm tours and vineyard walks – The Halyard accordingly maintains a menu that can best be described as quirky-luxe: Russian Osetra caviar scrambled eggs, seared foie gras and Hamachi sashimi on the same plate, summer truffles shaved atop scallops, and chocolate chip cookies for dessert. It’s fitting, then, that Manhattan’s Death & Co. cocktail bar – equal parts Wes Andersen and Gotham City style-wise and considered to be one of the world’s best bars – installed itself here this summer for a temporary residency. A limited, beach-inspired version of its menu includes about one cocktail made from each type of liquor, pouring only the finest quality booze. There’s the Radio Flyer of Monkey Shoulder Scotch, Aperol, watermelon, lime, and chili; the Beach House of gin, green chile vodka, and absinthe mixed with banana and lime; and the Palm Dreams, a rum punch with two types of rum, kalamansi and lime, lightly sweetened with honey.
Greenport Harbor Brewing (234 Carpenter St., Greenport; 42155 Main Rd., Peconic)
Now more than a decade old, Greenport Harbor Brewing is widely regarded as one of Long Island’s best breweries, having grown from producing small-batch beers in a renovated firehouse to now having a second location with a full beer garden and restaurant in Peconic. Despite its success, it still remains focused on remaining regional, with its brews sold on shelves and taps only in New York, Connecticut, and New Jersey. But a trip to its original tap room in the small Greenport fishing town is still worth it for the freshest batches of its seasonal beers. For summer, look to the Otherside IPA, made with three types of West Coast hops; the crisp and citrusy Light Work Ale; and the Lucha Lager made with flaked maize and New York malts, and detailed with sea salt and key lime. If you wish to set your drinking experience to live music, head to the Peconic location instead.
The Lin Beach House (455 NY-25, Greenport)
Concluding what is now a trio of hotel bars to visit in Greenport is The Lin Beach House. Opened in 2018 in a beautiful old Victorian manse, redesigned by a group of young artists and investors, the five-room hotel glows with inspirations from around the world, from Bali to Scandinavia, mixing the old and the new, the bohemian and the contemporary. The black-top bar is lined with only a few high stools, keeping the crowd inherently small and intimate, and drinks come as fine wines from small producers and beautiful cocktails made with spirits from bespoke distillery Matchbook Distilling Co., also a project from the same group. The menu is constantly changing, but always remains full of delightful surprises; the Sunset, for instance, was once a botanical gin martini rinsed with ginger and olive oil, while a blood orange aperitivo stands perfectly alone over ice. For a romantic date, a long conversation, or simply some time alone with a drink and good book, the Lin boasts the type of hotel bar that will lift you out of time and space, washing all of your problems away with soft light, discrete service, and a perfect dream of a drink.