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Why you should celebrate Cinco de Mayo in Patchogue

A Jack Frost margarita at Drift 82 in

A Jack Frost margarita at Drift 82 in Patchogue. Photo Credit: Marisol Diaz-Gordon

The Patchogue River might be the hottest — if not the most unlikely — place to spend Cinco de Mayo this weekend. Several of its waterside bars and restaurants are banding together to mark the Mexican holiday with a water taxi-powered barhop. And the fun will continue all summer.

The idea, says Drift 82 owner John Sarno, is to bring the energy of Patchogue’s long-running “Alive After Five” summer street fair series held at the stretch of restaurants and shops downtown (where he also owns The Village Idiot Pub) to the riverfront.

In a format not found anywhere else on Long Island, water taxis will ferry patrons to and from the five participating venues for $5 per trip or $10 for an all-day wristband covering trips 4 p.m. to midnight.

To get to the waterfront, visitors can park downtown and take the free shuttle to the river, or skip driving altogether and navigate to and from the Long Island Rail Road station.

The series debuts Saturday, May 5, with plans to continue on select weekends and holidays through summer. Venues are selling a 22-ounce souvenir glass for $10 that can be used for $7 Blue Point beer refills any day all summer.

Part of the appeal is journeying between venues. “Each place has its own identity,” says Lindsey Blakeslee-Chalifoux, general manager at the Oar.

For Off-Key Tikki owner Michael Bruemmer, the series is a collaborative effort to make the Patchogue River “the destination place it should be.”

WHERE TO GO

DUBLIN DECK

Where: 325 River Ave.; 631-207-0370, dublindeck.com

The scene: Dance and party between palm trees.

Cinco party: Live music by That ’70’s Band followed by DJ Jonathan Move.

 

OFF-KEY TIKKI

Where: 31 Baker Pl.; 631-475-1723, offkeytikki.com

The scene: Sandy courtyard with beach chairs, a fire pit and a soiree vibe.

Cinco party: Live music throughout the day; drink specials, $7 margaritas all day, free taco bar from 7 to 9 p.m.

 

HARBOR CRAB

Where: 116 Division St.; 631-687-2722, harborcrab.com

The scene: A restaurant with a lively bar and a full-size riverboat on which to hang.

Cinco party: Live music by country band Big Revival Band.

 

DRIFT 82

Where: 82 Brightwood St.; 631-714-4950, drift82.com

The scene: Dine and unwind (and drink wine) at this relaxed eatery.

Cinco party: Live music by James Lahey.

 

THE OAR

Where: 264 West Ave.; 631-654-8266, theoar.com

The scene: Recently renovated restaurant with a busy bar scene.

Cinco party: The Oar hosts “Derby de Mayo,” with bonus focus on the Kentucky Derby; horse race games, prizes, Derby-related best-dressed contests, live music by Keith Maguire.

ALSO TRY

Cinco de Cornhole

WHEN | WHERE: 1 and 4 p.m. Saturday, May 5 at Blue Point Brewing Co., 161 River Ave., Patchogue

INFO: nycornhole.com

The brewery’s tasting room is not on the water, but it plays host to a holiday cornhole tournament for solo players ($40) or doubles ($20 per team) to square off on the popular beanbag-throwing game. Register online in advance.

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