Water Shuttle from Pier 6 to Eastie First of a Kind Here

July 14, 2017
By

Shuttle Capt. Andrew Jean and service operator Tommy Ferguson on the boat in front of Pier 6 on Monday. The restaurant ownership – which owns Pier 6 in Charlestown and Reel House in Eastie – has established the first restaurant to restaurant water shuttle in Boston. So far, customers are coming in droves, they said.

Having a drink in Charlestown and dinner in East Boston might make sense on paper, but up to now, to do so would include an elongated and congested drive through tunnels and City streets – not to mention a dearth of parking when arriving in the Town’s close but inaccessible neighbor.
The same is true for Eastie residents wanting to come to Charlestown.
It could also be said of many places around Boston, where amenities from the neighborhoods are within eyeshot, but are nearly impossible to get to without spanning the water that separates them.
But that’s exactly what Charlestown restaurateur Charlie Larner, of the Navy Yard Hospitality Group, has done in establishing the city’s first ever private restaurant to restaurant shuttle – taking patrons from his Pier 6 Restaurant in Charlestown to his new Reel House Restaurant on the East Boston waterfront at The Eddy.
“We’re very excited to activate the waterfront with a complimentary water shuttle service,” he said. “We did it because we saw a lack of usage of the water. We thought if we could make getting to our restaurants a little more fun for people living or visiting Boston, we wanted to do it. The first weekend was very, very successful. It’s been really fun and exciting and if last weekend is an indicator, everyone is enjoying it. We encourage as many people from the neighborhood to  come down and try out the service while the weather is still warm.”
The ferry is complimentary for those who are dining at Pier 6 or Reel House or both, yet it is also complimentary to anyone who wishes to take it – even if they aren’t dining at the restaurants. Larner and service operator, Tommy Ferguson – who is a Charlestown resident and the vice president of business development for Navy Yard Hospitality Group, said it is the first such water service offered by a restaurant group.
“No one else around here is doing anything like this,” said Larner.
Ferguson said they made their first big effort last Sunday, July 9, and the 14-person boat was at capacity several times during that day.
“Frankly, I was shocked at how many people wanted to use the shuttle,” said Ferguson. “So far, it’s very popular and everyone is enjoying the service. The captain of the boat did very well and the response from the community has been really good. We’ll see where ti goes and where it takes us. Right now its pretty much a single operations, going from point A to point B, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it expanded extensively. This is only step one.”
It’s not wonder it has become so popular so fast.
First of all, the trip between the two restaurants by water is a mere 10 minutes, and the views of downtown and sailboats and the Bunker Hill/Zakim Bridge are stunning fodder for the beginning of a fun evening out. That certainly beats a 45 minute car ride that looks at the panels of tunnels and the hum-drum of city streets.
On Monday night, Charlestown residents Amy Branger and Andrew Klein were excited to use the shuttle to take their friends from Germany, Larry and Kim Underhill, over to Reel House from Pier 6.
The plan was to have a drink in Charlestown, dine in Eastie, and ride back over to Charlestown – with a pleasant walk back home afterward by foot.
“Driving to East Boston isn’t something we can do,” said Branger. “I saw it on Facebook that they had a complimentary water shuttle and we wanted to try something new on the water with our friends from out of town. So, instead of Pier 6, we decided to try this taxi. I think it’s excellent. Our plan was to come down and have a drink at Pier 6 and then ride over to Reel House to dine. I think it’s a great addition and I feel like it’s something Charlestown needs.”
Added Kim Underhill, “I can see how the restaurants can play off of one another using the shuttle, and really enhance the business with this simple amenity.”
The 21’ Crosby Launch shuttle will accompany up to 15 guests per ride, and will operate Monday through Thursday 4-10 p.m., and Friday through Sunday 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., weather permitting.
Larner said they would continue the service as long as the demand is high, perhaps even enclosing the boat and setting sail in the colder months if customers want it.