4 New Warm-Weather Spaces, Plus Another for Fall

By Anna Sekula June 15, 2009, 1:36 PM EDT

Palace Gate

Photo: Frances Janisch

Spring brought a handful of new outdoor venues and since then several more have popped up. Here are four suitable for open-air events and business entertaining, plus one that will officially debut in the autumn.

1. Palace Gate, the 75-seat outdoor lounge of in the courtyard of the New York Palace Hotel, opened earlier this month. Sitting beside the ornate wrought iron gates with a view of St. Patrick's Cathedral, this casual spot serves a menu of bites—including chilled oysters on the half shell and truffle potato fries—from the adjacent Gilt restaurant, as well as summer cocktails like Pimm's cup and punch. Paved and dotted with plants and trees, this area of the hotel is suitable for late-afternoon entertaining or can be used for events.

2. In May, West Side performance venue Terminal 5 added 4,900 square feet to its existing 40,000 by opening its rooftop deck. Offering city views, the rooftop can be accessed by elevator or a staircase and also has a private V.I.P. entrance. Among the amenities in this section of the building are six unisex restrooms and, like the rest of Terminal 5, theatrical-grade lighting. The roof holds a maximum of 280 for receptions or can accommodate approximately 270 seated.

3. The Harbor Experience Companies opened its second beach venue in the South Street Seaport on Memorial Day Weekend. Known as the Water Taxi Beach South Street Seaport, this 18,000-square-foot site sits at the north end of Pier 17, at the edge of the East River. Although it doesn't have access to the water—no swimming is allowed—the beach does provide plenty of diversions, including a nine-hole miniature golf course, ping pong tables, and Skee-Ball. For food there's a seafood shack that dishes out fish and chips, clams, and other casual fare.

4. On July 4 a third Water Taxi Beach will open on Governors Island, set up in the former parking lot adjacent to the Governors Island Ferry landing at the north end of the island. Like its sister sites in Long Island City and the South Street Seaport, this public recreational facility on the waterfront will have tons of sand and some sports activities, plus a stage for concerts.

5. Although chef Charlie Palmer's new incarnation of Aureole—the New American restaurant moved from the Upper East Side to the newly minted Bank of America tower by Bryant Park—is scheduled to open next month, the venue's outdoor area won't be available until fall. Anita's Way, a covered breezeway between 42nd and 43rd Streets, will have 20 seats for alfresco dining; the event limitations of this area have not been determined yet.

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