The Palms, Rockaway's long-awaited cafe/spa/boutique/bar/art gallery on Beach 96th Street in front of that old yellow house, was supposed to be up and running this past weekend. But as was immediately evident at last night's invitation-only grand opening party, the key components of the whole Palms experience—namely the food and the mud bath—are still not ready. They promise it's all coming this Friday. Should you go, be sure to pay special attention to those palm trees, which were imported from Florida and cost around $5,000 a piece.
Frank Traynor's mud bath—which is less a spa treatment and more a "hang out with your buddies in a thick pit of mud"-type of thing—sounds especially worth the wait. It'll cost $7 to get neck deep into the gloppy stuff for 15 minutes (four people can fit in the pit at a time, Traynor told me), then you all retire to an adjoining space to a) let the mud dry and stiffen all over your body, and b) drink some of his just-made seltzer. There's no shower on site; to get cleaned off you have to parade a block to the beach and jump in the ocean.
Also not ready at The Palms was the O Cafe's Brazilian-style snack shack, but presumably they will serve solid rice bowls and smoothies, as they did during their stint at Summer Shift across the street.
The art gallery part of The Palms—called Topless, and curated by Brent Brinbaum—was ready for visitors, and it's particularly cool because you get to go inside that decrepit yellow house. In addition to the art on display, there's also a secret crucifix embedded into the chimney, which was uncovered during the (very minimal) renovation. Another fun yellow house fact: lore has it that this used to be a brothel, semi-hidden behind the "main house" which stood in what is today the expansive front lot.
The Palms has plans for a Saturday morning yoga class, a movie series curated by Greta Gerwig, and other surprises as the summer winds down. Last night hosts and curators MP-Shift gave out free cocktails and coconut water, and provided music by the 10-piece New York Brass Band as well as a DJ set by Andrew of MGMT.
The Palms is located at 1-89 Beach 96th Street, between Rockaway Beach Boulevard and the Atlantic Ocean, and will be open... well, probably this coming Friday?