Rockaway’s waterfront watering hole Bungalow Bar reopens after a month off on March 5, and soon it’ll have a neighbor. Rockaway Lobster House closed in 2009, and its tiki deck overlooking Jamaica Bay (which you could boat up to!) went woefully unused last summer, but a software engineer, Robert Kaskel, is aiming to revive the spot as a Thai restaurant and music venue, Thai Rock. He and his wife Metta, who owned a similar spot in Thailand and is now a bartender at Dojo, hope to open in late April or, more likely, in May (tomorrow they’ll start the process of giving the space a “beachy Thai” look). Kaskel says he plans to offer “real Thai cuisine, not watered down, Americanized Asian cuisine,” with dishes in the $8 to $18 range, and to ensure the food is literally home-cooked, he’s renting the apartments above the restaurant to three cooks who used to work in Manhattan. Four menus will change with the seasons (soups and stews during the winter, lighter fare during the summer): There’ll be lunch, brunch, dinner, and a “drinking menu” at the bar.
As for the music, the plan is to have performances seven days per week, with local acts on Mondays and Tuesdays (“maybe something burlesque-ish” as well), crooners of the Frank Sinatra variety on Wednesdays, rock and cover bands Thursday through Saturday, and jazz on Sunday. And the drinks? Nothing too cute, says Kaskel: “There’s a lot of staple drinkers out here and they don’t need a swirl in their drink to ooo and ahh about.” For more, check out Thai Rock’s website, where $50 gets you a gift card that’s good for $100 when the restaurant opens.