Pilot House Opens in Arverne by the Sea

 Pilot House Opens in Arverne by the Sea

By Katie McFadden

The crew behind Rockaway Tiki Bar is steering a brand-new ship—Pilot House. The new sports bar and grill is now open at The Tides in Arverne by the Sea.

Sit back and catch the latest baseball game or EURO soccer match, grab a beer or cocktail and let the pilot house burger steer your stomach towards fullness as you enjoy the hearty 8oz patty covered in mozzarella cheese, avocado, pickled peppers and a chipotle mayo on a Martin’s roll, cooked just how you like and bursting with flavor. Maybe the Philly cheese steak with grilled ribeye, peppers and onions, melted cheddar on a hoagie roll has your mouth watering. If you have room before that, start it off with crispy fried jumbo wings in a homemade sauce of your choice, a giant Bavarian pretzel with mustard and beer cheese, or maybe a truffle mushroom flatbread. Looking for something lighter? Try a kale salad, a house salad or a wedge or a vegan treat like an oyster mushroom po boy. Those are only a few of the choices on Pilot House’s menu with plenty of elevated American cuisine choices that pair perfectly with sports. Plus, there’s a kid’s menu at this family-friendly establishment. But for the adults, there’s a full cocktail menu with some summertime favorites like a Surfside Sipper starring Surfside Iced Tea and Tito’s vodka, buck drinks with Tiki’s signature ginger syrup, a selection of wines, seltzers and ready to drink favorites, as well as beers on tap, in cans and bottled.

On both floors of Pilot House at 190 Beach 69th Street, you don’t have to look far to find a TV. After all, they have 18 of them, with access to almost any sports event you can dream of, from the latest boxing match to a surfing competition, with the Olympics coverage right around the corner, and a sound system that can make you feel like you’re at the game. On the ground floor, you’ll find a retro arcade to keep the kids busy or to relive some nostalgia with games like Pac Man. But the rooftop is adults only as a 21+ spot with an outdoor bar for ready to drink beverages and a limited menu to enjoy as you take in the views while enjoying a Miami-like vibe, surrounded by small palm trees.

It’s smooth sailing at Tiki, so when an opportunity opened with the closing of Bar Marseille across the street, the partners of Beach Boulevard Hospitality Group, Amy Tichenor, Eddie Velez and Joe Herron, were interested. “We saw Bar Marseille was closing, and we know while Tiki is successful, it can only fit so many people, so we wanted to make use of this bigger space and wanted it to be in the hands of local people,” Tichenor said. So they jumped aboard and started putting work into their next dream as they build their hospitality brand.

Inspired by Xfinity LIVE in Philadelphia, the idea of bringing a good sports hangout that gives tailgate vibes before, during and after games, was at the back of the mind for the business partners. “I grew up in Philly and we went there for Game 7 to watch the Phillies and my partners said, ‘this is insane, this is so fun, why don’t we have this?’” Tichenor said. “So we wanted to open a sports bar but wanted it to have this feeling where you can tailgate and watch the game and get this group excitement about it where people are cheering on their teams, and they play good music during commercials to keep the vibes up. It’s hard to find something like that unless you go into the city.”

So they brought it home. Acquiring the lease in late February, the partners got to work, transforming it from a formal French dining establishment into a family-friendly establishment for sports fans, with a comfortable, Rockaway vibe. Paying homage to Rockaway’s boaters and fishermen, as the restaurant sits a block down from the ocean, the crew christened it Pilot House, named after the area at the helm of a ship where a captain steers and navigates. Though, some of the airline pilots that call The Tides home or visit Rockaway during layovers from JFK, might stake some claim to the name. But the crew aboard Pilot House are mostly made up of locals, from some well-known bartenders from around the neighborhood to local kids home from college, bussing, hosting and serving tables.

On Saturday, June 29, Pilot House held its grand opening. “It was amazing. It was great to see so many people from all over the peninsula come out. We did over 400 tickets and everyone was saying how beautiful it is and how different it is, and the food got a lot of compliments,” Tichenor said. She added that they’ve opened with their lunch menu, but there’s more to come with entrees, including more seafood specials, a raw bar menu, wraps, and brunch in the future, and takeout and delivery coming soon. But they’re happy to open their doors in time for July. “It feels amazing to be open. Everything happened pretty quick, and we had four months to turn this around and I think people are impressed with how we transformed the place. We didn’t cut any corners with the quality of the TVs, the sound and the menu,” she said. “The opening gave everyone a good idea of what this place is and what’s to come.”

And so far, it seems Pilot House is and will continue to be a welcome new addition. “We want everyone to feel welcome here. It’s family friendly, but it’s nice that we offer a 21 and over spot where people can be with friends. We want this to be your go to place to watch your favorite teams and enjoy that high-energy sports bar vibe,” Tichenor said.

Pilot House is open daily at noon until midnight, unless a sporting event goes later. They plan to open at 11 a.m. for brunch, and early mornings for the Olympic events taking place in France. They’ll also be available for private parties and catering and will regularly have live music and DJs, with Lauren Jaimes, DJ Dylan, Dj Poppa D and Brian Ripps kicking things off this holiday weekend. Make sure to follow @pilothouse_ny on Instagram for updates on daily sports features and entertainment. For more info, call 347-727-7033 and check out Pilothouserbny.com. For any inquiries or bands interested in performing, email pilothouserbny@gmail.com

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