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Now Open: Norman’s Cay in the Lower East Side

The recently opened Norman’s Cay — a Caribbean-themed restaurant and bar — brings rum punch, dance parties and an island feel to the Lower East Side.


Norman's Cay

The interior of the bar (Photo: Courtesy of Norman’s Cay)

The Story: Co-owners Callum McLaughlin, Gavin McLaughlin and Ryan Chadwick opened the New England-styled Grey Lady seafood shack and bar last year, inspired by their experience on Nantucket Island. Norman’s Cay, their second venture, is a very different sort of island vibe.

“I lived in the Exumas [in the Bahamas] for two winters,” Chadwick told us. “Norman’s Cay is on the northern Exuma Island chain and has a lot of history tied to it. We would spend the afternoons spearfishing for dinner and sipping rum drinks on the beach. I wanted to open a spot similar to what you find at a fish fry in Caribbean.”

The Look: With a stylishly-shabby beachfront look downstairs, and a loungier feel upstairs, Norman’s Cay features all the nautical paraphernalia you’d expect, and then some –a 10-foot hammerhead shark mounted on the wall, a 1966 Cessna Skyhawk hanging from the ceiling.

The Drinks: In true Caribbean fashion, rum is the name of the game here, whether a classic Dark & Stormy or Painkiller, a pineapple-rum Goldeneye, or the “Rum Dum,” a shaken egg white-lemon-rum drink with a Blackwell rum float.

The Scene: Expect a bar-restaurant vibe earlier in the night — look out for fried lionfish and lionfish ceviche — which gets progressively livelier as the night wears on, the Painkillers are poured, and, on weekends, the DJ appears; a 4am full liquor license means the beach party doesn’t have to stop.

74 Orchard St.

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