Since there’s no enforceable rule about not wearing white after Labor Day, there isn’t an immediate moratorium concerning drinking on rooftops, cracking lobsters and OD’ing on ice cream, the second that Tuesday rolls around. Still and all, the holiday traditionally represents the (unofficial) end of the summer, which is why there’s no shortage of celebrations providing a distilled immersion in the season, over in the span of a single weekend.
Surf Shack: Throughout the summer, patrons have been able to take in rooftop views of the sunset over the Hudson River, dip into baby pools filled with beer, and visit an oyster and rosé station helmed by chef Harold Moore, at this seasonal surf shack-themed bar atop the Arlo Hotel. And now that the festivities are drawing to a close, they’re upping the ante even further with Labor Day offerings like two-for-one drinks on Friday, followed by rum buckets over the weekend (filled to the brim with Zombie’s and Coco Loco’s), food specials like Carnitas Tacos and Whole Grilled Fish with tortillas, and an Afternoon Delight Package, which includes four pairs of sunglasses, sunscreen, six beers, and 375mL of Don Julio Blanco supplemented by limes and limeade, and served in a cooler.
231 Hudson St, (212) 342-7000
Maison Premiere: This James Beard award-winning stunner is always a prime Labor Day destination. So look forward to a backyard garden party thumping with the sounds of live jazz, and boasting a spread of à la carte oysters (plucked from the city’s best bivalve selection), seafaring delights like a 1 ½ lb. Whole Maine Lobster (served steamed with sides of pommes puree, summer corn and saffron butter, all on a silver platter), and world class cocktails courtesy of bar director Will Elliott. Don’t miss the “Maison Colada,” which is served in a whole young coconut, and features Santa Teresa 1796 Solera Rum, fresh lime, fresh coconut, fresh pineapple and coconut water ice cubes — which result from the sustainable practice of extracting water from discarded coconut scraps.
298 Bedford Ave, (347) 335-0446
Black Tap: It doesn’t get more unapologetically red, white and blue than this star spangled, $17 duo at Black Tap — a prime Pat LaFrieda burger, topped with lettuce, tomatoes, pickles, special sauce and a slice of American cheese, washed down with a Miller High Life, at all locations on Labor Day. What to order for dessert? One of the mini-chain’s Instagram-shattering Crazy Shakes of course, such as the strawberry ice cream-based Cotton Candy, crowned with blue, pink and pearl chocolates, a pink lollipop, rock candy, a puff of spun sugar and whipped cream.
529 Broome St, (917) 639-3089
Salvation Taco: In addition to keeping their regular hours on Monday (not a given at city restaurants), April Bloomfield’s Salvation Taco is opening up its roof bar for a DJ Prestige-soundtracked party, and celebratory menu additions such as cocktails made with basil, gin and black peppercorn, and a tomato salad enlivened with cilantro and lime.
145 E 39th St, (212) 865-5800
The Sosta: Stop by The Sosta (a fast-casual Italian spot from By Chloe’s Sam Wasser, and chef Ali LaRaia) for a board and a spritz for $28. Choose from an array of antipasto (focaccia, giardiniera, prosciutto, salsa verde and truffle gorgonzola spread), or a brunch collection (whipped ricotta, fruit, local honey, salumi, pecorino and pancetta onion jam), paired with a fizzy carafe of “Sterzata Spritz” — white wine, cappelletti, soda and lemon — or the Bianco variation, with cocchi americano, soda and mint.
186 Mott St., No Phone
Tavern on the Green: This Labor Day weekend, visitors can stop by the iconic Central Park restaurant for a Littleneck Clam special, featuring bivalves steamed in white wine and lemongrass and served with fingerling potatoes and corn on the cob, paired with a pitcher of Blackberry Mint Lemonade, and enjoyed in the courtyard overlooking Sheep’s Meadow.
Central Park West & 67th St., (212) 877-8684