Former fishing boat, rescue ferry reopens as restaurant

By Colin Mixson Brooklyn Daily

Emmons Avenue celebrated the grand opening of its first floating restaurant on Sunday, the Amberjack V. And if the locals have anything to say about it, the new seafood eatery won’t raise anchor any time soon.

“It’s perfect,” said Sheepshead Bay resident Monica Ciaramella. “I’m giving it a 10.”

The Amberjack V isn’t a new sight on the seaside strip — the 120-foot-long vessel has been part of the Plumb Beach fishing fleet for years.

During the chaos of September 11, 2001, Captain Vincent Ardolino used the charter fishing boat as an impromptu evacuation ship. He made dozens of trips ferrying hundreds of scared, trapped New Yorkers out of Lower Manhattan to the outer boroughs and New Jersey.

Now the Amberjack V has been refitted as a dockside café serving Mediterranean cuisine. The locals rave about everything from the view to the food.

“I love the seafood,” said Ciaramella. “I think it was a great idea to turn the boat into a restaurant. The view of the channel is stupendous, and it’s all very comfortable.”

Best of all, the luxury venue comes at economy prices.

“You think, ‘Oh, it’s a boat. It will be really expensive,’ but it’s not,” said Ciaramella, who enjoyed a meal with her husband and son for a total of $61. “The prices are like a regular restaurant.”

The restaurant is partly owned by Metin Turan, who’s been operating Anatolian Gyro, a Sheepshead Bay Road staple, for 19 years. Turan said he won’t be taking his new boat on many joy rides — for the most part it will stay docked in its berth at Pier 10. However, he will be offering party cruises at $70 a head, which covers a salad, appetizer, main course, and desert [sic] while the ship heads out to sea.

Now the only thing the restaurateur has to worry about is a rogue wave, and the chiding sceptics who say, since Hurricane Sandy a boat isn’t the safest of investments. Still, Turan thinks the risk will pay off.

“Nothing happened to the boat during the hurricane,” he said. “Anyway, there are no guarantees in life, but God willing, we’re going to do okay.”

Check out the AmberJack V at Pier 10 [2100 Emmons Ave. between Ocean Avenue and E. 21st Street in Sheepshead Bay, (718) 332-3200] Monday–Friday and Sunday, 11 am–11 pm, Saturday, 11 am–midnight.

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