Good thing I drink an occasional beer. This column practically runs on beer (which is pretty obvious as I stagger and stumble my way through. Publisher Susan Locke usually has me take a breathalyzer before I put this in the paper).
I’ve written about Mormons and beer. I’ve written about the need for the Dome on Beach 94th Street to find a new use as a beer tent and be called the Foam Dome. I’ve even gotten column material out of finding a local place that charges $6 for a Budweiser. And the answer is: It’s on the east side of Beach 116th Street.
And now beer does it to for me again.
Last Friday, the musical merry men called The Grayriders were playing a benefit gig in lower Manhattan. Someone came up with the genus idea of taking the 4:30 Rockaway ferry into the show. Fifty or sixty people thought so, too, and hopped onboard for the floating happy hour. Actually it’s a happy 45 minutes because the ferry is a fast one.
You owe it to yourself to take the ride. It’s only $2. You read that right. Two bucks for the ride. So, it costs you six bucks for a beer on 116th Street but only two dollars for a ferry ride to Manhattan.
Anyway, the 50 or 60 revelers who came aboard the ferry did what any Rockaway crowd does. It went to the bar. The crowd was a happy bunch when it set foot on the boat and even happier to find 16 ounce Heinekens for $3. Three bucks for a Heiney? Same thing for Stella. Woo-hoo! And if old habits die hard, you could still get a Bud for the same $3.
Three buck pint beers? Wow, someone riffed on the line from Jaws: they’re gonna need a bigger boat.
But that didn’t last long. Before you could say captive audience, before you could say price gouge, before you could say
I’ll have another, they raised the price to $4 by the time we went under past Coney Island. Yes, they raised the price
DURING the trip. Classic.
Of course, this pricing strategy should’ve occurred to the ferry operator long ago. The trick is getting people on the boat. Then soak em. Of course, the uptick in price didn’t slow down sales. They ran out of beer on the ride home.
Boyleing Points: Many BP readers have asked the whereabouts of Kevin Lunny. Happy to report he is almost back in his house and has weirdly asked to borrow an MVP trophy I won years ago to put in his front window.
**Here’s a shout out to Lando, my original letter carrier. He never forgets the little people (me) even though he’s working uptown these days.
**Someone said hipsters and visiting Europeans like Rockaway because it’s “gritty.” Oh boy, if that’s the lure, we’re gonna be packed this summer. Oh and that reminds me, there’s a growing legend that some dude named Atticus is the reason Rockaway got cool. He was taco before taco, if you know what I mean. Not sure why. So far he sounds like Banksy without the art. Will try to get the low-down, if there is one.