THE PARTY: The grand opening of Watermark Bar
THE PLACE: Pier 15 at South Street Seaport, NYC
THE DEETS: There's nothing more tranquilizing than a place by the pier, especially in New York City where concrete outnumbers nature's finest niches 10 to 1 (at least, according to our calculations). The Lure Group and Merchants Hospitality's latest venture, Watermark Bar, capitalized on that theory Wednesday night with the launch of its modern oasis right on the East River front. The South Street attraction boasted a cozy indoors bar with rooftop access, and outdoor seating that extends so close to river that you can literally walk on water. Setting the mood for the serene escape was DJ Cory Kennedy, who matched the atmosphere with familiar, chill beats that let guests really soak in the moment and the glorious Brooklyn bridge—no fist-pumping here. As the crowd sipped Absolut cocktails, Sutra liqueur snow cones, and feasted on surprisingly flavorful hors d'oeuvres (succulent jumbo shrimp, smoked salmon bites, spicy spring rolls, and chicken skewers complemented with savory sauces), the night's main attraction, Rosario Dawson, arrived. The star and her half-shaved head maneuvered through the mellow crowd to a waterfront VIP lounge, soon to be joined by designer Katie Gallagher, NFL star-turned-talk show host Michael Strahan, and his fiancée Nicole Murphy. In any other setting, guests would have probably clamored for Instagram snapshots to brandish their proximity to the discreet celebs, but they were all to busy taking in the setting sun on Watermark's oversized, wooden lounge chairs.