Break out the sun dresses, deck shoes and whatever you consider to be your drinking pants, because we're about to do this al fresco, baby. The Beer Garden @ Harbor Point officially opens tonight in Stamford.
The brand new space sits beside a bubbling fountain in Stamford's rapidly gentrifying Harbor Point, and overlooks the canal. The open spaces of the surrounding boardwalk, aluminum facia, and large angular windows help to set it apart from the gleaming glass cubes of the surrounding commercial areas. The Beer Garden is designed to be as open as possible, with sectioned glass doors that fold away to let breezes blow through the large, indoor bar on the ground floor, and those large tilted windows - slightly reminiscent of a ship's bridge - let the beams of sunsets to come flood into the smaller, upstairs bar. But most people won't be coming here to hang out inside.
Sleek light poles dot the area just outside the main bar and illuminate several picnic tables on a broad boardwalk which extends well over a hundred yards south toward the end of the point, providing views of the harbor entrance and The Crab Shell across the canal. I heard talk of a water taxi shuttling revelers between the two locations as the weather warms. The easiest way for most people to head to this spot on the point is to drive down Pacific, but those who prefer to motor their way up from the Sound can dock at one of an eventual 14 boat slips allocated for The Beer Garden's patrons.
The interior of the approximately 6,000 square foot space is almost entirely done in natural wood reclaimed from shipping pallets, and quite a few standard table and chair setups can be found toward the rear. Succulents in wooden boxes and framed moss wall hangings act as accents. I walked directly past the outdoor tables into the main bar, but walk in through the formal front entrance - which looks like the facia of a standalone Apple store apart from the frosted glass featuring a giant beer bottle - take a hard right, and stairs or an elevator lead to the more private second floor and its patio. Several more tables and benches are set about this second outdoor area which directly overlooks the downstairs tables and provides an even better view of the point and surrounding waters.
The Beer Garden has a full bar for cocktail lovers, and I counted 20+ taps and a respectable number of bottles on offer. There will be food available at The Beer Garden, but it will arrive on wheels in the form of a rotating selection of local food trucks. Let's get it straight, people: this is a place where most of your calories will arrive in liquid form. The overall setup has an excellent flow throughout, and groups can rub elbows at tables or stroll the boardwalk as they get some Vitamin D with their Vitamin Booze. See you out there.The Beer Garden at Harbor Point.
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