A New Beach Club Is Opening On Governor’s Island:GITANO ISLAND


GITANO is place to see, be seen, have fun and connect in Tulum, NYC and Miami Beach. Spanish for gypsy, GITANO captures the essence of who we are, free spirits, wanderers and wonderers, bohemian, diverse, inclusive, conscious and creative. GITANO started as a small Mezcal Bar & Kitchen on the Tulum Beach road at the end of 2013 and is today a fresh, global hospitality and lifestyle brand with 5 locations and more on the way.

A new beach club is opening on Governor’s Island — and its owner is shipping in 350 tons of sand in an ambitious bid to create a tropical paradise in the middle of New York Harbor. Gitano Island — a seasonal restaurant and beach club based on the iconic Gitano restaurant and bar in Tulum, Mexico — is slated to open next month with more than 500 tropical plants and palm trees on the premises, including fire brush and hibiscus.

“Logistically, it’s pretty complex. We’re shipping in 12 truckloads of sand in on a ferry and a barge,” said James Gardner, founder and CEO of Grupo Gitano.

“At the end of the season, we’re donating the plants and trees to the island or local schools,” he added. The sand, however, will stay. Gitano Island has signed a five-year contract to run from Memorial Day to the end of October. “The opportunity presented itself and it all happened very quickly,” said Gardner.


The restaurant and beach club will be elevated, by the water, with stunning views of the Manhattan skyline — and outdoor showers to rinse off. Still, there won’t be any swimming as the city fences off access to the water.

“We are thinking this is more of a dress up beach club than a dress down, bikini club, but we’ll see what happens,” Gardner said.

This first season for Gitano Island follows four successful summers of “Gitano, Garden of Love,” in between Tribeca and Soho, where diners like Maisie Williams, Paris and Nicky Hilton and Honey Dijon kicked off their shoes to feel the sand through their toes. But the site — an empty lot at Canal and Varick that Gitano transformed each summer into a magical piece of Tulum — was no longer available.

The Soho pop-up was 400 seats over 24,000 square feet, but Gitano Island will be 600 seats over 27,000 square feet.

“I’ve lived in New York for more than 20 years but had never been to Governors Island. I fell in love with the magic of the island, as if I was transported out East, after a five-minute ferry ride,” Gardner said.

While Gardner is taking a chance on Governors Island, he says the 173-acre preserve’s proximity to Casa Cipriani, the private club and hotel at 10 South Street, helped seal the deal.


The decor includes a black dining tent with a marble bar, twin dining pergolas, and an open-fired kitchen. The menu will feature Gitano classics — Mezcal cocktails and a modern Mexican menu — from Grupo Gitano executive chef Antonio Maldonado.

Signature dishes will include guacamole, watermelon salad, crab tostada and branzino in banana leaf, with new additions like a Mexican lobster roll and a new taco and frozen margarita bar.

A tent for two over Memorial Day weekend on Governors Island will cost anywhere from around $350 a night to $1,200 a night, said Vanessa Vitale, the Collective’s chief hospitality officer, adding that a community lottery system also opens up tents for $75 a night.

There will also be a giant disco ball reflecting the water from New York Harbor, a tented stage with local and international DJs, and live artist performances. Membership will include preferred access and reservations along with special event invites, said Gardner.


Governors Island 

New York

Reservations can be made at link above

Article from NYPOST

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