As if you needed another reason to visit the city’s favorite summer day trip destination.
Oyster and Wine Pairings
Credit: © Lisovskaya Natalia / Getty Images / Alloy

While Governors Island plays host to a number of food events throughout the spring, summer and fall, the popular weekend destination for New Yorkers welcomed its first permanent restaurant over the weekend: Island Oyster. This massive new project from the team behind Grand Banks and the soon-to-open, New Orleans-inspired Pilot can accommodate upwards of 600 oyster-seeking guests between its 100-foot bar, tables and banquettes.

“We weren’t expecting to win the bid, so it was very surprising,” co-owner Alex Pincus told Grub Street. “But it’s an amazing opportunity — the site is stunning. You look at both rivers, you see all of downtown, the harbor, the Brooklyn Bridge.”

Much like Grand Banks, the group’s first restaurant, which is located on a schooner moored in the Hudson River, chef Kerry Hefferman is running the kitchen, which in Island Oyster’s case means a collection of four shipping containers retrofitted to serve that purpose. The menu itself will include a full raw bar with lots of oysters, lobster rolls, fish tacos, seaweed-salt fries and burgers.

Besides actively opening seafood restaurants across the city, Grand Banks co-owners and brothers Alex and Miles Pincus are active supporters of the Billion Oyster Project, a nonprofit organization on the island that aims to restore oyster beds to a population of one billion live oysters around New York Harbor by 2030. While those oysters will not be safe for human consumption, you can satisfy all of your oyster cravings with a wide variety of perfectly safe to eat bivalves at any of the Pincus brothers’ seafood-centric establishments.

Island Oyster is now open next to the main ferry landing on Governors Island. To find out more information, you can contact them at

If you aren’t able to make it to Governors Island this summer, check out some of our favorite easy oyster recipes here and our recommendations for some of America's best oyster bars here.