One of NYC’s former fireboats will soon embark on a new journey as a floating eatery. The Governor Alfred E. Smith, renamed simply “The Governor,” was purchased at auction earlier this month and its new owners have ambitious plans to transform the boat into a unique dining experience. The 97-foot vessel is said to be in ‘museum quality condition’ and while details haven’t been shared about what type of restaurant will occupy the boat, it’s sure to make for some unforgettable meals on the water.
The fireboat’s new owners are no strangers to the floating restaurant experience. The new venture is backed by the proprietors of Grand Banks, the oyster and cocktail bar aboard the historical F/V Sherman Zwicker schooner. Brothers Miles Pincus and Alex Pincus partnered with Adrien Gallo to enter the winning bid for the Governor at a recent auction run by NYC Citywide Administrative Services. The fireboat had been decommissioned after decades of service, dating back to 1961. (You can watch a video tour of the boat, filmed prior to the auction, right here.)
The restaurateurs purchased the former FDNY fireboat in “as-is” condition for $34,800. While “as-is” can often be code for “needs work,” the Governor is reportedly in decent shape. The fireboat has been housed at Brooklyn Navy for most the past decade, waiting on reserve, and was last used about a year ago. At the time of the auction, the boat was listed in “fair” condition but reportedly “recently completed a ‘stem to stern’ restoration, [and] is in museum quality condition.”
The boat’s namesake was a four-time governor of New York who also ran for President in 1928. Smith opposed prohibition, so anyone who dines at the floating restaurant next summer should be sure to raise a glass in his honor. What could make a more appropriate tribute?
When the Governor opens for business next summer, its seaworthiness will be key for completing the floating dining experience, but the boat (which can cruise up to 11 knots) will remain docked for service. It’s too soon to know what sort of restaurant fare will be on the menu, or where the Governor will be in the city’s waterways, but it’s not out of bounds to expect the restaurant owners to release more details in the coming months.