The River Yacht Cafe Menu Options

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the river yacht cafe

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The River Café

the river yacht cafe

  • 1 Water St., New York, 11201, USA
  • $$$$ · Contemporary

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MICHELIN Guide’s Point Of View

With its stunning location in the shadow of the Brooklyn Bridge, complete with an eye-popping view of the Manhattan skyline, a visit to this landmark calls for dressing up (in fact, jackets are still required for gentlemen). While the atmosphere and service are formal by today’s standards, the professional waitstaff operate with such poise that the experience exudes an old-school charm, rather than feeling starchy. The setting makes this a perpetual favorite for romantic couples, and the ample prix fixe menu offers choices like gnocchi made from Brooklyn ricotta, sauced with beurre noisette and truffles, or wild sea bass with a lobster-studded potato croquette. The chocolate Brooklyn bridge is the iconic house dessert; but the goat cheese cheesecake is equally classic. 

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The River Cafe

Ratings and reviews, location and contact, michelin guide's point of view, top 3 reasons to eat here.

Location spectacular and excellent food BUT watch out if you’re offered a glass of champagne on arrival. The inference is that it is complimentary “from the chef” but it will be on your check - at a high price!! The service is assiduous but lacking... More

My husband and I had a meal here and really enjoyed it. The cocktails were lovely and such a nice atmosphere, definitely a place to visit for a special occasion, I would have given 5 stars but two things slightly let it down. I booked... More

Flying in from London for New Years Eve with some friends. Booked The River Cafe back in May. Called them to check some details late September and Rose advised that she was going to have to cancel, as the package they were planning was meant... More

While most of the menu is seasonal, the starter dishes (which come out before appetizers) were the same as the summer. The portions are ideal so that you comfortably nibble and eat over the duration of the entire meal. While I did enjoy my beef... More

The setting is magical, the view of the city incredible, but the restaurant is the star. Food menu offers unusual options to suit every taste. The special skate first course was wonderful, as was the foi gras and the octopus. Duck entree was amazing as... More

the river yacht cafe

Great view of the water from under the Brooklyn Bridge! This restaurant is worth the hype it receives. The staff is very attentive and friendly, from the valets to the table staff. The food was absolutely delicious and the drinks were great as well. If... More

My wife booked this restaurant on a whim and it was one of the best meals we’ve ever had. From the reception staff to the waiters to the atmosphere it was all faultless. It was anything but pretentious and the food was fabulous. Worth every... More

Must say The River Cafe hasn't been better ever! From arriving to departing nothing went wrong. The bar service, the service from all our Waiters and Sommelier were high level professionals. The food was excellent into any little detail. We have been to may great... More

Overpriced for such a experience. I requested a table next to the window and they didn't attend it. Even though the view is amazing. The food is not bad but don't expect a Michelin star level. The service is the poorest ever. Our table was... More

Came to this lovely spot with family as they wanted to dine here but only had free time today. The views are wonderful and the weather cooperated. We all decided to take cocktails and the tasting breakfast menu... excellent.. we opted for sweet but it... More

We were here with our 7 and 9 years old sons who were really excited about this experience. I should mention our arrival. Though I had shown the instructions on the web site of the restaurant to our driver about how to approach the entrance... More

the river yacht cafe

Wonderful location with just perfect views of the southern part of Manhattan, and Brooklyn Bridge. Did not like the fact they require men to wear jackets—that boat has longed sailed, and they need to get with the times. Table spacing was too tight for us.... More

The best part about the River Cafe its that located at the base of the Brooklyn Bridge with a beautiful secluded courtyard of mature trees and killer views of downtown ! Dress code is strict and prices are high! The actual restaurant sits on a... More

the river yacht cafe

We visited in 2008 having booked months in advance from South Africa. We had the menu degustation with wine pairing...What an gastronimic experience. The sommellier was a master. We even had Durban crayfish which we indentified. We live to eat and if this was our... More

Sublime experience! From the moment we stepped off the ferry to the walk down the cobblestones, to drinks at the bar and through our seating for dinner and dessert, our moments spent at The River Cafe were memorable. We arrived just before sunset and watched... More

the river yacht cafe

THE RIVER CAFE, Brooklyn - DUMBO - Restaurant Reviews, Photos & Phone Number - Tripadvisor

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An Old Flame Reignited

The Manhattan skyline, reflected in a glass of wine at a table in the River Café. The restaurant is sincere in a way that restaurants hardly ever are these days.

the river yacht cafe

You reach the River Café by traveling down a cobbled driveway that has  lanterns and a miniature forest of plants on either side. The entrance casts its fairytale spell on a good number of wanderers who follow the winding road to the restaurant.

the river yacht cafe

Michael O’Keeffe, the owner of the River Café. Mr. O’Keeffe paid for a museum-quality restoration after the damage inflicted by Hurricane Sandy.

the river yacht cafe

The River Café‘s bar. Most of the wine cellar and nearly everything else inside the restaurant is new.

the river yacht cafe

The pianist, Dom Salvador, spoons out ballads for hours on end without ever seeming to need a break.

the river yacht cafe

The dining room, white-limo elegant.

the river yacht cafe

So few New York restaurants today reach for elegance of any kind that the resurgence of this one is a gift to the city.

the river yacht cafe

The chef, Brad Steelman. He’s been in his post since 2000.

the river yacht cafe

Hand-chopped steak tartare with lines of mustard, chopped capers, onions and parsley radiating outward in a starfish pattern.

the river yacht cafe

A plate of branzino.

the river yacht cafe

Duck breast, seasoned with lavender and a trace of dried chiles, served with braised red cabbage and sweet potato spaetzle.

the river yacht cafe

A pair of plump shrimp with fanned tails.

the river yacht cafe

A dessert with a miniature chocolate version of the Brooklyn Bridge.

the river yacht cafe

A view of Manhattan. No place in the city combines spectacle with hideaway intimacy and undiluted romance the way the River Café does.

By Pete Wells

  • May 20, 2014

Back in the 1960s, when nobody except rats, longshoremen and gangsters needing to dispose of a wayward bookie saw much value in the Brooklyn waterfront, Michael O’Keeffe saw romance. He saw enough flowers for a year of proms, he saw a piano player massaging a Steinway, he saw a curtain of glass framing the Brooklyn Bridge and the lights of Fortress Manhattan on the other side. All of this he saw floating on a barge in the East River. After pleading for permits for 12 years, he persuaded City Hall to see it, too, and in 1977 the River Café dropped anchors.

Did Mr. O’Keeffe see men producing diamond rings from their jacket pockets? He has seen it hundreds of times since. So have I, sitting at the bar one summer a few years back when a young man talked his date into catching the view from the deck outside then dropped to one knee, right next to the swiveling mounted binoculars. I’ll never forget it, or the look in the couple’s dewy eyes when they discovered that the door to the dining room had locked behind them.

No questions were popped at the River Café for more than a year after Hurricane Sandy dished out a surge tide that even a barge couldn’t stay on top of. When the River Café opened again in February, the walls, ships’ deck floorboards, the grand piano, most of the wine cellar and nearly everything else was new. You’d never know it. Mr. O’Keeffe paid for a museum-quality restoration.

the river yacht cafe

As before, you reach the River Café by traveling down a cobbled driveway with lanterns and a miniature forest of plants on either side, as if Snow White’s cottage were at the end of the road. The entrance casts its fairy-tale spell on a good number of wanderers who follow the winding road only to be sent away because they don’t have jackets (for the men) or reservations (for everyone). Those who are allowed inside cross a short gangplank to the floating dining room, where captains in black tuxedos stand guard. On the right, flowers; on the left, a pianist who gently spoons out ballads for hours on end without ever seeming to need a break. He doesn’t sing, but memory dredges up the words: When I’m close to you, dear, the stars fill the sky. So in love with you am I.

This trickling brook of melodies babbling away in the background is more pretty than beautiful. Like many things about the River Café, it is white-limo elegant. But so few New York restaurants today reach for elegance of any kind that the resurgence of this one is a gift to the city.

Even harder to find are restaurants where tourists can go to gape at the view and New Yorkers can go without being embarrassed. Windows on the World, once straight across the river, is gone for good, and the return of the revolving dance floor at the Rainbow Room, scheduled for October, can’t come soon enough. No place in the city combines spectacle with hideaway intimacy and undiluted romance the way the River Café does.

And if more customers will take photographs of the Brooklyn Bridge’s steel underbelly than of their plates, the food is still much better than you might fear if you’ve been to other restaurants with souvenir views. “The kitchen aims to please but not to shock,” William Grimes wrote in his two-star review 12 years ago , the last time the restaurant was assessed in The New York Times. That hasn’t changed. Neither has the chef, Brad Steelman, who has been in his post since 2000.

The sailor’s “steady as she goes” might be the River Café’s motto. An opening salvo from the kitchen, a single shrimp on a Southeast Asian papaya salad with crushed peanuts, makes it clear that flavor epiphanies are not in store. The rack of lamb I ate recently, which was inside a skinny ring of mint jelly zipped up with mustard seeds, appeared to be the same dish Mr. Grimes described. (We both liked it.) Radiating like spokes from a hub of firm, hand-chopped steak tartare are lines of mustard, chopped capers, shallots, cornichons and chives: the usual suspects.

Mr. Steelman doesn’t need his garnishes to provide hologram moonwalks, though. His main ingredients are almost always good enough to be their own special effects. For his shrimp Oscar, he sets hollandaise boosted with blood-orange juice against beautifully sweet Pacific blue shrimp and meaty white lumps of crab. In another appetizer called Three Shells, strips of abalone dunked in a yuzu-kaffir bath and firm little kumamoto oysters in a classic mignonette had the shining immediacy of great seafood, too, even if the third shell, Taylor Bay scallops ceviche, didn’t quite keep up.

And while poached lobster could probably find more exciting companions than celery root purée and slightly sweet-sour butternut squash dice, the lobster itself was tender and sweet enough to be a solo act. A duck breast whose skin has a terrific crisp shellac, seasoned with lavender and a trace of dried chiles, was better served by the cozy Eastern European comfort of glossy braised red cabbage and crisp squiggles of sweet-potato spaetzle.

Some of Mr. Steelman’s ideas can be questioned. His extremely good Barolo-braised oxtail appetizer would get along nicely with either polenta or pasta, but perhaps not with polenta stuffed inside pasta. And he piled too much breading on fried oysters, which were rescued from dryness only by their topping of smoked salmon and caviar. In general, though, he sticks to classic notions and we get the rewards; his mushroom Wellington turns the obligatory vegetarian main course into a real event.

Desserts, included in the three-course $115 fixed-price dinner, could use refreshing. Vanilla ice cream and vanilla ice milk turn up on several, with no noticeable taste of vanilla. But that didn’t hurt the milk-chocolate soufflé, already sweetened by a melting cap of toasted marshmallow, or the chocolate marquise straddled by a dark chocolate replica of the Brooklyn Bridge’s towers and cables.

Maybe a chocolate bridge is a little hokey, but so is dropping to one knee in front of the Manhattan skyline. In both cases what counts is not the originality of the gesture but its sincerity. In its desire to sweep us into its secluded, flower-strewn island, the River Café is sincere in a way that restaurants hardly ever are these days. At the end of a night there, I always regret that it’s time to come back to the mainland.

Email: [email protected]. And follow Pete Wells on Twitter: @pete_wells.

What the stars mean: Ratings range from zero to four stars and reflect the reviewer’s reaction primarily to food, with ambience, service and price taken into consideration.

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Where To Dress Up And Not Feel Stupid

If you want to take the '90s revival trend and translate it to your next nice dinner, you might as well do so at the River Cafe. The food at this special-occasion spot in Dumbo is prepared well, even if it’s a bit uninspired—but the real draw is the picturesque view from the main dining room, which is as close to eating in the East River as you can get.

Dinner is a fixed-price three-course situation, and the appetizers are by far the most interesting. We especially love the retro feel of the wagyu steak tartare, which is mixed tableside by one of several waiters who attend your table during your meal. (If there’s one thing besides the view that’s a real standout, it’s the service.) Mains like duck and black sea bass are enjoyable, even if they taste as though the top graduate of a very boring culinary school prepared them for their final exam. The desserts, sadly, are a miss. 

But you’re not really at the River Cafe to have exciting food. You’re here to celebrate your 85-year-old grandpa’s birthday, propose to someone, or simply revel in the strangeness of watching kindergarteners in Gucci polo shirts toss back mocktails. Servers in matching cropped white jackets will perform a choreographed dance to simultaneously drop plates on your table as you gaze out at the Manhattan skyline, feeling fancy. The other thing we love about the River Cafe? The garden. It looks like it was airlifted from a Thomas Kinkade painting, complete with fairy lights in every tree. 

Photo: Carmen E. Lopez and A.J. Wilhelm

The River Café

The rating scale of 0 to 100 reflects our editors’ appraisals of all the tangible and intangible factors that make a restaurant or bar great — or terrible — regardless of price.

  • Fine Dining

Four decades in, this New York institution is as elegant as ever.

1 Water St., Brooklyn, NY, 11201

718-522-5200

http://rivercafe.com

Reserve on OpenTable

  • The Absolute Best Waterfront Restaurants in New York
  • Outdoor Dining
  • Private Dining/Party Space

The lowdown

In its 40th year, the River Café maintains a kind of upscale elegance that’s become extremely uncommon in the city. The attention to detail is stunning — fresh flowers at every turn; crisp white tablecloths with tiny lamps atop them; a jackets-required, ties-preferred dress code; a grand piano; a dessert topped by a chocolate replica of the Brooklyn Bridge, so you can eat the bridge while you gaze out the windows at it. The prices are high: Try to have dinner here when someone else is paying, or when you can truly afford it. It’s a special-occasion restaurant, and having to worry about about whether you can swing the $20 supplement for a Madeira pairing with dessert would kill the experience.

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  • Wine & Food

The River Café (Brooklyn)

By Thierry Dessauve

the river yacht cafe

First opened in 1977, legendary Brooklyn waterfront restaurant, The River Café, continues to impress. A pioneer of seasonality and the primacy of fresh, local ingredients, the menu’s modern American cuisine takes in dishes such as Hudson Valley foie gras three ways and black sea bass sautéed with lobster brown butter.

Wine has always played an important role in The River Café experience, and, according to the judges at the World’s Best Wine Lists awards, it remains a cut above its rivals. “It’s a quite extraordinary array of wines, with huge choice and loads of impressive iconic collections,” the judges said. “Very smart presentation too. Excellent.”

Wine director Joseph Delissio is a big fan of Madeira, and that shows in a wide-ranging selection of the great Portuguese fortified. Few places offer a more impressive roll call of big name European producers, among them Château Reyas, Château Pétrus, Domaine Ramonet, Neillon, Vega Sicilia, and Domaine de la Romanée-Conti. And then there is the collection of Californian wines: as the River Café website points out, many of the established greats of West Coast wine made their New York debuts at The River Café, but today’s list also features some of the state’s most interesting rising stars.

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Baltimore marina, restaurant fuels first responders working at Key Bridge collapse site

A s first responders work around the clock in the fallout of the Key Bridge collapse , the Baltimore community is stepping up and standing by their side during this new wave of unknowns.

From food to fuel, Alex Delsordo and his team at the Anchor Bay Marina and Hard Yacht Cafe in Dundalk, Maryland jumped into action when they realized they were needed.

"We all rushed down here," Delsordo told 7News Lianna Golden. "It’s been nonstop ever since."

READ MORE | 2 bodies recovered from truck after Baltimore Key Bridge collapse; salvage efforts begin

The marina and restaurant combo are a mile down the river from where Key Bridge catastrophically disappeared Tuesday morning.

At 1:48 in the morning, one of our mechanics who actually lives on a boat right here at the marina said he heard something crazy. He said it was like a train rumbling through a town... In that moment of panic, everyone really didn’t know what they were doing. By the end of the day, you could see the rhythm.

As thousands of specialists and first responders continue to clear the channel of debris, most of them come to Delsordo's dock to reset and refuel not only their ships and vessels but any other resources they need during this extremely exhausting effort.

"Fuel is really important for all these people out here. We are servicing the fire department, police, Coast Guard has been through here, Army Corps of Engineers, and a handful of EMS individuals," said Delsordo.

Delsordo also has bathrooms, showers, a place to sleep and do laundry all on-site, if needed.

He said hundreds of first responders have come through his marina in the first 36 hours since the collapse, with hundreds more expected.

READ MORE | Clearing Fort McHenry Channel top priority after Baltimore bridge collapse

"You’re going nonstop. This is not something that you clock out at 5 o’clock. You’re there nonstop all day all night," said Delsordo.

The focus is not only on feeding and fueling first responders during these long days and nights on the river, but also offering a sense of calm and comfort to the Baltimore community as they navigate a new normal in the days, weeks, and likely years ahead.

"There’s folks that their living is fishing. Their living is being on the water. By having that bridge disrupted in the middle of the harbor, your whole life adjusts and changes,: said Delsordo. "The impact to this community is forever. I mean, it’s gonna be forever."

The dock is open 24/7 as various agencies come to fuel up.

The restaurant is open from 6:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. with 50% off for first responders.

Delsordo said the community has already donated thousands of dollars in the day since the collapse, so most first responders are eating for free as they continue to navigate the waters and the many challenges ahead.

Baltimore marina, restaurant fuels first responders working at Key Bridge collapse site

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DINNER MENU

Wednesday through Sunday

5:00 p.m. – 10:30 p.m.

River Café Oysters warm lemon glazed Beau Soleil oysters, caramelized sweet onion, Speck ham, Pacific sturgeon caviar

Hot Foie Gras sauteéd duck foie gras, Sauternes poached rhubarb, pistachio pain perdu, rhubarb gastrique, confit onion

Foie Gras Terrine Hudson Valley duck foie gras, warm griddled toast batons, duck prosciutto, shallot jam, spiced maple cider reduction

Wild Shrimp Pacific blue shrimp, Alaskan King Crab, leek fondue, whipped corn hominy, smoked shrimp jus

Chilled Shellfish sea scallop ceviche, mango and lime, Australian abalone with citrus ponzu sauce, Kumomoto oysters on the half shell, cucumber Champagne mignonette

Nantucket Bay Scallops seared Bay scallops, cauliflower purée, uni emulsion, black truffle vinaigrette

Rabbit California rabbit loin, rabbit and fig sausage crispy squash blossom, roasted cipollini onion and smoked ricotta filling

Composed Salad red endive, Castelfranco and fennel, white balsamic vinaigrette, Cara Cara citrus, crispy artichoke, Spanish sheep’s milk cheese, toasted pine nuts

Gnocchi handmade Brooklyn ricotta gnocchi, chanterelle mushrooms, truffle beurre noisette, fresh Perigord black truffles, shaved tableside

Wagyu Steak Tartare hand cut Kobe style beef with quail egg, Cognac gelée, traditional garnish, toast points

Octopus Portuguese octopus a la plancha, black garlic, basil emulsion, zucchini, crisp potato

Caviar Service Caspian Golden Osetra, Acipenser Gueldenstaedtii, (Germany) $180.00 per ounce

Siberian Sturgeon, Acipenser Baerii, (Germany) $95.00 per ounce each served with traditional garniture, toast points, tiny corn pancakes

MAIN COURSE

Lamb roasted Colorado rack of lamb, merguez sausage, “stuffed” baby eggplant, English pea purée, natural lamb reduction

Beef char grilled Niman Ranch strip steak, red wine braised prime beef short rib and marrow, smoked shallot Béarnaise

Venison pan roasted venison loin, roasted King Trumpet mushrooms, glazed carrots, spinach spaetzle, lingonberry jus

Duck Crescent Farms duck breast, spiced cider crust, confit risotto cake, pomegranate gastrique, foie gras sauce, baby squash, roasted pearl onion

Branzino Mediterranean sea bass fillet, wild shrimp crust, lemon, olive oil and saffron nage, classic Romesco sauce, Romanesco cauliflower

Lobster poached Nova Scotia lobster tail, Vacherin baked lobster gratin, Tuscan kale, crisp salsify, fondant potato, Meyer lemon sauce

Dover Sole sauteéd fillet, sunchoke purée, brussels sprout leaves, toasted almond, winter black truffle sauce

Sea Bass wild bass, lobster brown butter, white asparagus, fennel lobster croquette

~Vegetarian Menu available on request~

Goat Cheese Cheesecake Honeynut squash curd, wild huckleberry sorbet, candied pepitas, squash chip

Chocolate Brooklyn Bridge dark chocolate Marquise, passion fruit ice cream, banana~macadamia ganache, banana spuma

Grapefruit Soufflé warm grapefruit soufflé, Ruby Red grapefruit sherbet, pistachio financier, pistachio cream

Artisanal Cheeses five American cheeses and seasonal accompaniments $25 additional

Blandy’s Madeira Dessert Flight

5 Year Verdelho *10 Year Bual *5 Year Malmsey each paired with petite sweets $24 additional

Handmade chocolates and confections

Fixed Price $195 per person

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Local news | key bridge collapse live updates: chesapeake 1000 crane barge at recovery site, local news | a mile from key bridge collapse, a dundalk marina offers first responders a place to refuel and recharge.

From left, Sr. Ofc. Chad Dunnigan and Ofc. Seth Wynkoop, Maryland Transportation Authority (MDTA) Police, fuel their boat at Anchor Bay East Marina in Dundalk, as Scott Small, who works at the marina, walks toward them. The officers are stationed at the Port of Baltimore. Anchor Bay East is where many first responders fuel their vessels. (Kim Hairston/Staff)

Alex Del Sordo got the call early Tuesday.

Del Sordo, owner of the Anchor Bay East Marina in Dundalk, heard an employee’s voice on the other end of the line: “You’ve got to get down here.”

The worker, who lives on a houseboat at the marina, was awakened by a roar that sounded like a “rumbling train ripping through town.” It turned out to be the sound of the nearby Francis Scott Key Bridge collapsing into the Patapsco River, just seconds after it was struck by a cargo ship.

Del Sordo was at the marina by 5 a.m., and that’s where he would stay for the rest of the day, as Baltimore County firefighters, divers, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers workers and other first responders cycled in and out.

By water, Anchor Bay East is just about a mile from the collapsed bridge, now the site of extensive salvage and cleanup efforts . Normally a hub for pleasure boaters grabbing crabs or a crush at the on-site Hard Yacht Cafe, the 55-slip marina has in recent days become a headquarters of sorts for some of those spending hours on the water by the bridge, diving, scanning with sonar and planning for the massive undertaking to come.

Del Sordo, who took over the marina from founders Art and Tina Cox less than two weeks ago, adjusted services to meet the first responders’ needs. The marina’s fuel dock is now open and staffed with attendants 24/7, and the cafe is open for warmth and coffee from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily, with food service starting at 6:30 a.m. The marina’s bathrooms and showers are open to first responders, too.

A truckful of snacks, donated by the North Point-Edgemere Volunteer Fire Department, is on hand when divers, firefighters and others get hungry. The cafe also discounted meals by 50% for first responders, who have lately been able to eat for free thanks to the generosity of local businesses and customers, who donated money to the marina to cover the remaining cost of the food.

Del Sordo said he’s raised about $8,000 so far to support the emergency crews. With months of work ahead, he said he plans to offer extended hours, shelter and half-priced meals to first responders “indefinitely.”

Mar. 28, 2024: Alex Del Sordo, owner of Anchor Bay East Marina and Hard Yacht Cafe, talks about their efforts to support the first responders working at the site of the collapsed Francis Scott Key Bridge. The Key Bridge fell into the Patapsco River early Tuesday morning after a container ship struck a support column. The cafe already offered a 50% discount on meals to first responders. Community donations are paying for the other half. The marina's fuel dock is open 24 hours for two weeks. Showers, bathrooms and boat slips are also available, (Kim Hairston/Staff)

Wednesday afternoon, a Coast Guard cutter pulled up to refuel. Earlier that day, the marina’s mechanics raced to fix a Baltimore County fire boat with a broken propeller. The vessel was back on the water in less than three hours.

“It was like a NASCAR pit crew,” Del Sordo said.

His business is one of several in the Dundalk area that have rallied to help after Tuesday’s disaster, even as the impact of the bridge’s collapse on the communities directly surrounding it remains unclear.

Kimberly Scroggins, the president of the Greater Dundalk Chamber of Commerce, said the business group was in the process of reaching out to members to see how they’ve been affected. On Facebook, the organization encouraged followers to donate to the local fire department’s food drive.

Scroggins said she recently spoke with one business owner who had chosen to open in Dundalk because of its proximity to the Port of Baltimore.

“We have a lot of members who rely heavily on import and export,” she said. “The biggest inconvenience will be going around the Beltway.”

Businesses in Northern Anne Arundel County, on the other side of the bridge, face uncertainty, too.

Beth Nowell, CEO of the Northern Anne Arundel County Chamber of Commerce, said the extent of the fallout is, for now, unclear.

“This is a devastating incident, especially due to the human extent and financial impact of this tragedy that is going to hit businesses and residents,” Nowell said. “I think this is the tip of the iceberg. We haven’t seen the immediate impact; the impact will come and it is coming.”

Shipping companies located in the county will undoubtedly be affected. So will bars and restaurants who drew traffic from both sides of the bridge.

“People who would have blown across the bridge for dinner might not go,” Nowell said.

Anne Arundel County-based customers of Key Brewing Co., a craft brewery located a short drive from the bridge that shared its name, will now have a much longer trip if they plan to pay a visit. But on Wednesday the brewery was focused on a fundraiser for longshoremen and other workers impacted by the bridge collapse and subsequent closure of Baltimore’s port, said Molly Korman, who along with her husband Nick Volk was helping to plan the benefit event.

Korman and Volk, who own Old Eastern Ink Shop, a Timonium-based screenprinting company, linked up with the brewery, which was looking for a way to help in the wake of the collapse. The couple, who have connections in the local music scene, are pulling together a concert Friday evening at the brewery, with a donation table and proceeds from a T-shirt with a Key Bridge design raising money for dock workers’ unions.

“It’s a silly little T-shirt, but the proceeds can help you do big things,” Korman said.

“When you feel helpless, you want to do something,” said Volk.

At the Anchor Bay East Marina, Del Sordo said he’s heartened by the opportunity to help.

“I could never do what they do,” he said of first responders. “But what we can do is fix stuff. What we can do is provide 24-hour fueling and a place to have a nice hot meal that for the most part they don’t have to pay for.”

“That’s a pretty cool way to support everyone around here.”

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Baltimore businesses are trying to figure out how the bridge collapse will affect them

  • Baltimore's Francis Scott Key Bridge collapsed after it was struck by a ship on Tuesday morning.
  • The bridge is close to several major distribution centers, including Amazon and FedEx.
  • A local business owner said he expected to see traffic disrupted for weeks.

Insider Today

The collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore could have major effects on distribution and deliveries for businesses in the area.

Baltimore's biggest bridge collapsed early on Tuesday morning after a cargo ship crashed into one of its support beams, prompting Maryland Gov. Wes Moore to declare a state of emergency.

Several vehicles were on the bridge at the time, Kevin Cartwright, the communications director for the Baltimore Fire Department, told the Associated Press.

The collapse prompted the immediate close of the Port of Baltimore, which is one of the US' biggest ports by volume and value of cargo and the biggest US port for cars and light trucks, according to Bloomberg .

It may also delay companies' deliveries by road because they have to find an alternative route to cross the harbor.

Around 11.3 million vehicles drive over the bridge each year, according to the Maryland Transportation Authority , and Amazon, Home Depot, FedEx, BMW, and Volkswagen all have distribution centers and warehouses just east of the bridge at Sparrows Point.

"This is a huge issue that is going to motivate an all-hands-on-deck response to offset the financial hit," Dave Marcotte, a longtime retail and supply chain expert from Kantar, told Business Insider.

"It's going to snarl container seaboard, train routing, and East Coast trucking for a while," he added.

Neil Saunders, managing director of the retail division at data analytics and consulting company GlobalData, told BI via email that the collapse could "have a negative impact on journey times and costs for both incoming and outgoing goods from those centers."

He said the "main impact" would be local but added, "There might be a slight regional impact as other centers have to increase volume to compensate, but this should not be too onerous as most retailers can divert delivery traffic via other routes."

Related stories

The bridge was one of three routes for vehicles to cross the harbor alongside two tunnels. The MDTA is advising drivers on alternative routes to take.

The bridge is near major distribution sites

Tradepoint Atlantic, the logistics hub at Sparrows Point, is home to distribution sites for various retailers and delivery companies, including Amazon, Home Depot, FedEx, Under Armour, McCormick, and Floor and Decor. BMW and Volkswagen also have sites there.

Tradepoint Atlantic said it had been "in constant contact" with emergency response officials and leaders from the city and state.

When asked about the impact of the bridge's collapse on its operations, a BMW spokesperson told BI it expected only "short-term traffic delays."

Volkswagen said its operations were unaffected as its Baltimore facility was "located on the sea board of the bridge collapse." But said there "may be trucking delays as traffic will be rerouted in the area."

Both Home Depot and McCormick, which manufactures spices and seasonings, said their distribution centers in the area were open and operating.

And, a spokesperson for FedEx said they have contingency plans in place to "lessen any potential impacts on service," without specifying what these are.

Business Insider contacted the other companies for comment but had not heard back when this article went live.

When the Volkswagen Group vehicle terminal opened in 2020, the automaker said it would import and process about 120,000 Volkswagen, Audi, Lamborghini, and Bentley vehicles from Europe and Mexico each year, serving about 300 dealers in the mid-Atlantic region.

The BMW vehicle distribution center, which opened in 2022, was designed to support more than 125 BMW and Mini dealers in central and eastern US, the company said in a press release when it opened. BMW said the 35-acre site would act as a distribution hub for vehicles from manufacturing facilities and be used for vehicle inspections, repairs, and maintenance.

McCormick said in 2020 that it expected its site at Tradepoint Atlantic to become its biggest distribution site.

"This is going to be catastrophic for many reasons," one resident told local CBS affiliate WJZ . "Number one, the harbor's blocked. Number two, we're not going to get any more new car deliveries at this time. Amazon is just on the other side of the river and you can forget your same-day, next-day delivery packages."

"The beltway is going to be a parking lot. The tunnels are going to be over-jammed," he added.

Local businesses prepare for ongoing disruption

The Hard Yacht Cafe, located about a mile from the bridge, told BI that it wasn't yet clear how the collapse would affect its business.

"The area of destruction is a major artery for traffic. We can't be sure what kind of impact this is going to have on our business but this will for sure disrupt all travel both auto and boating for weeks to come," Alexander DelSordo, majority owner of the café and Anchor Bay Marina, told BI via email.

"It's going to take weeks to get back to some kind of normalcy with regards to travel," he added.

A worker at Royal Farms, a convenience store at Hawkins Point on the southwestern end of the bridge, told BI at about 7:30 a.m. local time that it was open as usual and all its staff had been able to get in so far.

Has your business been affected by the collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge? Email these reporters at [email protected] or [email protected].

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COMMENTS

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    Casual jeans, athletic attire and footwear (like sandals) are not permitted in the restaurant. Tables are available for reservations Wednesday through Sunday from 5:00pm to 10:30 pm. The prix-fixe three course dinner will be priced at $195 per person and feature your choice of appetizer and main course. The dessert course will be classic River ...

  20. Baltimore marina, restaurant fuels first responders working at Key

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  22. Dinner Menu

    Speck ham, Pacific sturgeon caviar. Hot Foie Gras. sauteéd duck foie gras, Sauternes poached rhubarb, pistachio pain perdu, rhubarb gastrique, confit onion. Foie Gras Terrine. Hudson Valley duck foie gras, warm griddled toast batons, duck prosciutto, shallot jam, spiced maple cider reduction. Wild Shrimp. Pacific blue shrimp, Alaskan King Crab,

  23. A mile from Key Bridge collapse, a Dundalk marina offers first

    The marina's fuel dock is now open and staffed with attendants 24/7, and the cafe is open for warmth and coffee from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily, with food service starting at 6:30 a.m.

  24. Dundalk's Hard Yacht Cafe steps up after Key Bridge collapse

    The new owner of a Dundalk marina and restaurant jumped into action when the Francis Scott Key Bridge collapsed Tuesday.. Alex DelSordo, who owns the Anchor Bay East Marina and Hard Yacht Cafe, is ...

  25. Baltimore Businesses Figure Out How Bridge Collapse Will Affect Them

    The Hard Yacht Cafe, located about a mile from the bridge, told BI that it wasn't yet clear how the collapse would affect its business. Advertisement "The area of destruction is a major artery for ...