Spring is really coming: Boston’s temperature hit 60 degrees this week, Castle Island fast-food icon Sullivan’s is opening for the season in a little over a week, and now the news is out that Navy Yard Hospitality will reopen its seasonal floating bar and entertainment venue, the Tall Ship, this spring, having just signed a five-year lease for the East Boston pier where it debuted last year.
The Tall Ship isn’t just a cutesy name; it’s actually a tall ship. Navy Yard Hospitality — which is behind waterfront restaurants Pier 6 in Charlestown and Reelhouse in East Boston and Quincy’s Marina Bay — introduced the floating oyster bar at the start of summer 2021, although it was first approved for a summer 2019 stint in Charlestown’s Navy Yard, which didn’t come to pass.
When it finally opened at the East Boston location, the Tall Ship served a simple menu of cocktails, raw bar items, charcuterie boards, and dessert platters onboard. Additional seating spread across the pier, with food also available from onsite food trucks and refurbished shipping containers. Live music and other entertainment drew big crowds all summer long and into the fall. (The incredible views East Boston’s waterfront offers of downtown Boston didn’t hurt, either.)
The pier, which is owned by the Massachusetts Port Authority (Massport), was originally slated to play host to a residential development, but the New Jersey-based firm that got the rights to build on it way back in 2000 terminated those rights this month; estimates to rehabilitate the structure for residential use — especially now, with pandemic-related construction cost increases — proved too expensive. While Massport figures out a long-term plan, it has approved the return of the Tall Ship for the next five years.
Navy Yard Hospitality is targeting a May 1, 2022, reopening, but watch social media for updates as the date approaches.