Anything is Possible, Dude. Mets in World Series. A Queens Lager while Eating Bao Buns in Sunnyside.

photo (10)

#Kidfromqueens discovered Queens Lager while eating at Salt & Fat during last inning of Sunnyside Restaurant Week.

How did Queens Lager go with a Bao Bun?

Imagine Flores to Murphy to Duda for a double play.

Here’s how it played out:

Sat near the floor to ceiling window and looked out onto The Boulevard of Dreams while listening to Miles Davis on a sound system not like any other in Sunnyside. Stretched out the hammy’s on the pine wood floor. Thanked the friendly server when she brought over complementary popcorn seasoned with bacon fat “and a little salt.”

Whoa, baby. Take a look at that Queens bred lager. A light brown color with a white head. Not too carbonated. At first you’ll think it’s flat, then you realize that’s its edge. Starts off like Granderson in the lead off spot and finishes like a Familia third strike.

Who needs another bottle of beer? Queens Brewery is straight from a 16 ounce can.

Who needs another bottle of beer? Queens Brewery is straight from a 16 ounce can.

Now, mind if we talk Salt & Fat?

Listened to Miles and popped that popcorn in our wanting mouth while taking in the art work on the restaurant’s beige walls before their 18 tables filled. The art work is yours for the taking if you’ve got the buckaroonies and it’s impressive,too.

“So, are you ready to order?”

Go for the Bao Buns because it says right on the menu you need to ask the server about the day’s fillings and so you do ask because she’s as friendly as anyone in Queens thanks to our boys playing at Citifield. “Red cooked pork belly, pickled daikon, red onion and spicy mayonnaise.”

Better Bao Buns

A few regrets:

Sunnyside Restaurant Week concluded on Friday, October 23rd so you’re going to have to wait for the next one to come around. Three courses for $25 at 29 local restaurants.

And the other regret?

Salt & Fat lacks a bar and television, so if you do go to Salt & Fat, you’re going to look a little odd hoisting a Queens Lager and shouting ‘Let’s Go Mets,’ while raving about those Bao Buns.


Tuesday – Saturday: 6pm-11pm

Sunday: 5pm-10pm

Monday: Closed


41-16 Queens Blvd. Sunnyside, NY 11104

Nearest Subway:

7 Line / Lowery Street Station




Reservations not accepted.

Credit cards accepted except American Express

One spacious clean bathroom

Talking About an Ex at the Gantry Bar & Kitchen

“How about a corner bar?”

She calls from  Uber. “We’re on the Grand Central Parkway. What do you suggest?”

The Gantry.”

She gives directions to the driver. “47-02 Vernon Boulevard in Long Island City,” she says.

Twenty minutes later enters the Gantry Bar & Kitchen. Puts her travel bag in the corner and sits on the banquette.

“So how’s things?”

“He has a malignant tumor,” she says.


The waitress comes over; puts down menus. “Can I get you a drink?”

“And how,” she says and orders a Brooklyn Lager.

“A Brooklyn in Queens?”

“Think it matters?” she asks.

The waitress turns her head. “And for you?”

Eighteen draft beers. More varieties in bottles. Small varied menu. Modern day gastropub fare. She senses the waitress is antsy and pushes the menu across the table. She turns her head and looks around the bar. Red brick wall. Old-Fashioned tiled floor. Fifteen seat bar. High-def televisions over the bar. Wooden tables. High ceiling. Vintage wallpaper in the back near one of the three bathrooms. All the bar’s wide windows are open. The Citibank Building is seen through one of the windows. Its blue and red colors standout in the evening sky.

Inside gantry bar

Everything in place at The Gantry Bar & Kitchen. Beers on tap. High-definition televisions. Corner location.

“A Red Steel Ale, please.”

Red Steel Ale

Red Steel Ale served at The Gantry. Smooth distinctive taste. Sip slow and prolong the conversation.

The waitress smiles and greets a couple standing in the doorway.

She pats the banquette and places her hand on a cushion. “Nice here.”

“The tumor?”

“George,”  she whispers.

“How long has it been?”

She looks out The Gantry’s front window, which faces Vernon Boulevard. “We finalized seven years ago.”

“Any contact?”

The waitress brings over the beers. She lifts her Brooklyn Lager. “His mother calls me once a month,” she says.

“For seven years?”

She sips, puts down the stein and says something about George’s mother being a saint. She leans forward.

“You have a beer mustache.”

She wipes her lips with the back of her hand. “It’s nice to touch glasses with you,” she says.

After another round, she wants fresh air. “Can we walk to the water?” she asks. “I want to put the Pepsi Sign on Instagram.”

Later, she stood in front of a construction site for the future  Hunters Point Community Library designed by Steven Holl Architects.  “What a wonderful spot for a library,” she says, while playing with the handle of her travel bag.

Library LIC

To the right of the Pepsi Cola sign is a rendering of the Hunters Point Library on the water in Long Island City.

“What about George?”

“That was a very long time ago,” she says.

Her Uber arrives.  She opens the sedan’s door. Puts her piece of luggage on the floor of the car. “It’s difficult,” she says. “But, this has been a joy.”


Key Information:

The Gantry Bar & Kitchen

47-02 Vernon Blvd.

Hunters Point, Long Island City 11101

Telephone: 718-737-6309


Monday: 11:00 am-1:00 am

Tuesday: 11:00 am-2:00 am

Wednesday: 11:00 am-2:00 am

Thursday: 11:00 am-4:00 am

Friday:      11:00 am-4:00 am

Saturday:  11:00 am-4:00 am

Sunday:     11:00 am-1:00 am

Bathrooms:  Total of three. One upstairs. Two downstairs. Spacious.

Nearest Subway: 7 Line/Vernon Blvd./Jackson Avenue

Parking: Somewhat challenging

Website: (coming soon with link to their menu).


Happy Hour: M-F from 11am to 7pm



Texting From Mar’s. Oh Yeah, Astoria.

“So, it’s a guy?”

She is in front of  Kaufman Studios. She points to a corner restaurant. Black mesh tables and wooden folding chairs on a raised deck outside the restaurant. The building’s walls painted battleship grey. “You’ve been to Mar’s?”

Use Outside Mars

Ready for warmer weather ? Outside tables are at Mar’s along 34th Avenue in Astoria

Light turns green. She crosses the street. Strolls into Mars.

Marble top bar in center of room. Low concrete ceiling. Wooden floor. Candles on tables. Low lighting. Four large – framed color photographs against one wall. Hostess works the room. Waiters in white shirts attend to customers at tables. Low level rhythmic music. Bearded bartender comes over with drink menu. Puts down a list of oysters. Eight choices ($2.75-$2.95) along with special of the day.

Flips to list of Mar’s Classics . Reads three of the eleven specialty cocktails out loud.

Blood Moon. ($11) “Tequila, Cassis, lemon juice, ginger beer, bitters.”

French Western. ($12) “Bourbon, Kas Krunpnikas, Salers, lemon juice, bitters.”

Mar’s Manhattan. ($15) “Knob Creek Bourbon, Cynar, Busnel Calvados, Brooklyn Hemispherocal Black Mission Fig Bitters.”

Bartender returns. She looks up and down the menu. “French Western,” she says.

“And for you?” asks the bartender.

“Glass of Joel Bonnet, Muscadet, 2013.” ($10/$39).


Wine at Mars

“I like on the table, when we’re speaking, the light of a bottle of intelligent wine,” wrote Pablo Neruda.

Door swings open. Eleven of thirteen seats at bar taken.  Bartender knows most customers by name. “Hey, Mike, How you doing?”

His voice is polished. He asks about the drinks. Then greets another customer.

“So, what’s the problem?”

“We work together,” she whispers. Her voice sounds sad. “And, he smokes cigarettes.”

She lifts her French Western. Her fingers tap against the marble bar top. Gets up to use the bathroom.

A couple arrive. They take the last available seats at the bar.

She returns.  Sits and lifts the French Western. “We were texting.”

She looks left. A man is with a woman. He is drinking the beer. “You know him? she whispers. She doesn’t wait for a reply. “Tim Cornish,” she says. “Plays bass and sings vocals for The Gantry.”

The Gantry?”

“Astoria band…My guy’s a big fan.”

“So, he’s still your guy?”

Bartender draws the check. She goes outside. Sticks her hands in her pocket. Pulls out her cell phone. “Guess who I saw drinking a beer at Mar’s?” she texts.

Key Information:


Address: 34-21 34th Avenue, Astoria, New York 11106

Phone: 718-685-2480

Kitchen: 5pm-11pm

Raw Bar: 5pm-1am

Bar: 5pm-3:30am

Happy Hour: Monday-Friday 5pm-7pm


Bathroom: Clean and well decorated

Best Subway Line: “N”, “R”

Bus: Q 101

How a Wrong Turn Lead to a Good Ale at the LIC Beer Project

Sometimes a wrong turn leads to a good ale.

Wasn’t paying attention, Kiddo. Right turn off Queens Plaza North. A block screaming Quentin Tarantino. A bevvy of auto body shops. Cars jacked on sidewalks. ‘Flat Fix Here’ signs everywhere. Roar of cordless drills tightening wheel nuts.

And then? Quick glance to the left.

Garage door half opened. People sitting at wooden tables on steel stools.

Brewey outside

“Hey, Kiddo. You feel like hanging and downing a few?”

So, as the Ramones used to shout, “Hey, ho! Let’s go.”

Sheet metal ducts run the high ceiling. Wooden casks along the brick walls. Silver silos at far end of room. An immaculate stainless steel basin in a room behind a glass window. Exotic bottles of beer on the window ledge. Not far away people, toss bean bags at wooden boards.

Brewery Bean toss 1

“Don’t know about you, but tossing Bean Bags sure beats crunching numbers…You agree, Kiddo?”

Welcome to the LIC Beer Project, Kiddo.

Brewery Sunday crowd

“Talk about finds…It’s like somehow the Seattle craft brewery scene has come to Queens.”

Open six months. A former tobacco holding factory.

Ten taps. All Belgian style ales. Maybe a poet gave each ale its name and wrote the descriptions.

Ardent Core. ($6) “…The final result is softly contoured pale golden ale…The finish is super crisp and dry.”

Wonderlic. ($6) “…generously hopped with Amarillo and Saaz brewed with Abbey yeast….bitterness as well as a soft maltiness.”

Modern Aberration. ($7) “This beautiful, golden ale with a billowing white head, explosive hop, and yeast profile…Tropical pineapple, orange rind and mango dominates…”

You like poetry Kiddo, right? So, linger, ok? There’s space.

Seven seat sleek bar. Pandora selections loud and clear through hidden speakers. List of ale’s on a vintage mirror above the taps. Customers stare at the mirror with the focus you give a menu at a four-star restaurant.

“What are you going to have?” the bartender asks. Major league tattoos, red hair, and knows her stuff.

“Your best.”

You tell her your likes. She looks at the taps. Bites her top lip. “Got just the one for you,” she says.

Draws you a taste. “Ardent Core. Our flagship beer,” she says. “Lemon. Earthy and a blend of secret spices.”

Brewery beer 1

“Who names an ale Ardent Core? Whatever, Kiddo.  One sip and you’ll be talking about the LIC Beer Project for a long, long time.”

You sip the ale slow. Kiddo, if you were here, you would raise your glass and shout, “Here’s to urban renewal.”

The ale is finished. You put money on the bar top. The bartender thanks you and says to come around again.

Outside on 23rd Street, a cordless drill goes back to work. A red sky appears above the Queensboro Bridge and a woman leans against the brick wall near the entrance to the LIC Beer Project.

She bends one knee and presses the sole of her shoe against the wall. A goblet filled with an ale in one hand. Cell phone and cigarette in the other.

“You okay?”

She shrugs.

“A guy?”

The electric drill goes silent. Wheel nuts hit the sidewalk.

Tears well in the woman’s eyes. Her lip quivers. She sips the ale and looks away.

Yeah, pure Tarantino, Kiddo.


Key Information:

LIC Beer Project

Address: 39-28 23rd Street, Long Island City, NY 11101

Phone: (917) 832-6840

Taproom Hours: Thursday:      4 pm-11 pm

Friday:           4 pm – 11 pm

Saturday:      1 pm – 11 pm

Sunday:        1 pm – 9 pm



Bathrooms: Spacious and Clean

Nearest Subway Station: Queensboro Plaza

Parking: Easy after 6 PM and on weekends




Why You Should Waze Up Zip Code 11101 and Discover Mundo Inside The Paper Factory Hotel

Punch Zip Code 11101 into Waze. Get yourself to The Paper Factory Hotel  in Long Island City. Enter the hotel’s lobby. Up the stairs and a quick right into Mundo. A restaurant/bar like nothing you’ve see in Queens.

Wow meets Swank. Blocks from the Queens Plaza subway and just off Northern Boulevard.

Arriving at Mundo for the first time is like channeling Giovanni da Verrazano upon his discovery of New York Harbor.

Both the hotel’s lobby and Mundo are like a wonderland. Oversized multicolored fire hydrant. Multicolored mailbox. Thirty-foot high column encased with books. Instagram ready. All that’s missing is a spot on the floor that says, “Place 2 Kiss.”

And exactly how did we get from “How do you get to Long Island City?” to Long Island City as a “Go-To destination?”

Ninety-four years ago, the building at 37-06 36th Street housed a couple of companies. One manufactured radio parts. The other functioned as a paper mill.

Now, flip forward.

Today, the site is home to a 122 room hotel and a restaurant/bar that serves cocktails with names like L’al, Mateina, and Zen.

But, the real Zen lies with the site’s real estate developer.

Kudos to Gal Sela. He brought the property in 2012. Put $27 million behind the renovation and hit the bullseye. Achieving goals? Don’t put down Sela if he shouts B-I-N-G-O.

As for Mundo? It’s like something you’d expect to see inside The Salvador Dali Museum in Figueres, Spain.

Multicolored Turkish gourds wired with electricity provide light above Mundo’s twelve seat bar. A thirty foot column swathed with books. Candles on tables. An industrial ceiling and leanforwardbabyIwanttotellyousomething friendly acoustics.

Mundo gords 1

Got a light? Turkish gords wired like never seen before above Mundo’s bar.

Seven specialty cocktails. Five white and red wines by the glass and maybe more on some nights.

This visit it’s a Portillo 2014 Malbec from Argentina. Deep red color. Scent of plums and blackberries. Starts smooth and finishes like a John Coltrane solo, which is to say memorable. ($11/glass).

Mundo gords and wine.JPG

Friday glass of wine? How about a Portillo 2014 Malbec from Argentina?

Two sips into the Portillo and your eyes wander.

Round high top tables with leather stools in middle of room. Brown rectangular tables along the side of the room, in front of a vast window. The window’s covered with something like lattice. You feel like you are in a foreign country. White and red lights of cars driving Northern Boulevard cut through the lattice and give the room a distinct look.

Mundo windows

Sit inside Mundo. Look beyond the room’s windows and you’ll never think of Northern Boulevard the same again.

In time, the customers fill the bar. Collars up. Cellphones in hand.

One asks if the bartender knows how to make a cocktail called Penicillin. The bartender snaps out the drink’s ingredients as though he were taking a test. Not bad. Then one customer asks another, “Where did you first drink Penicillin?”

SoHo,” he replies.

And that’s when the thought hit: “So long Zip Code 10012.”


Info: Mundo is located on lobby floor inside The Paper Factory Hotel.

Address: 37-06 38th Street. Long Island City, N.Y.,N.Y. 11101

Phone for Mundo: 718-706-8636

Website for

Restrooms: Clean.Compartmentalized.Multi-faucet shared sink.

Phone for The Paper Factory Hotel: 718-392-7200

Website for The Paper Factory Hotel:

Nearest Subway Stations:

M at 36th Street Station on Northern Blvd.

E-M-R at Queens Plaza (Short walk)

Parking: Metered parking near hotel. Free parking along surrounding blocks.





Dutch Kills Bar-Find it. See it. Hear it.

Bitch of a wind blows on Jackson Avenue. Desolate sidewalk. Metal gates pulled over most store fronts except one. That store? Vacant stationary store. Dusty windows. Sign above entrance. “Jules. Serving You Since 1933.”

Can’t do this one straight, so follow:

Zoom in on a white neon sign flashing above a black Triumph motorcycle parked on sidewalk. Single word on neon sign blinks: “Bar.”  Now zoom in on a red brick building. Plywood covers a window. You’re not sure if you’ve got the address right. Your heart pumps.

Dutch Kills Front

You got it right. Dutch Kills Bar entrance along Jackson Avenue in Long Island City.

Suddenly, a cop car spins out from a dead end street. You’re so freaked you pull the bar’s door open and hope you’re somewhere good.

You are.

Dutch Kills Bar.

Railroad flat shaped room. Dark wooden walls. Dim lighting. Booths with red curtains. Couples chat. They look at you. You look at them. Everyone looks away on cue. Notable sound system. Music’s got a good beat. You walk in a straight line because that’s all you’ve got.

Bar area at far end of the room.

Dutch Kills Inside 1

View from inside of Dutch Kills Bar. Long and narrow and  like something from a Martin Scorsese movie set.


Think secret hideaway. Mismatched chandeliers hang above varnished bar counter top. Bartenders in long sleeve striped shirts and vests. When customers leave money a bartender rings a copper bell. Against bar above a juke box an antique American Flag.

The atmosphere is something you’d expect from a Martin Scorsese movie, but it’s real.

Very real, too.

All seats filled except one. You navigate length of bar. Tight squeeze. Maybe eighteen inches between bar seats and wall. You pass Friday nighters.

“Hey, how you doing?”

She ain’t talking and who really cares anyway.

So, you look at the photographs on the wall until the bartender notices you. Photos showing refrigeration and blocks of ice. You don’t get it, but know there’s a reason for it.

Bartender’s got you in his scope. Tall thin with a deep voice He pours you a glass of water with cucumber in a pewter shot glass. His voice is drop dead duplicate for Bela Lugosi. Absolute baritone like nothing you’ve ever heard. You compliment him on his voice. “I got born lucky,” he replies. Call the man with the magical voice Jamie. He dreams about being a baseball announcer. Meanwhile, everyone knows him as Jamie and he dreams about sitting in the radio’s announcer’s booth at Citifield. “I want to be the next Howie Rose,” says Jamie.

He presents the Dutch Kills Bar menu. Heavy plastic with a blue border. Greek diner motif for those who care.

Eight house cocktails ($13) with names that make you smile.

Bleecker Street Tonic. Cavendish Kiss. Cock N’ Bull Special. Diamondback. Manzana Malvada. Old Vermont. St. Charles Swizzle. The Voorhees.

You pick Old Vermont. Maple syrup on ‘roids. A mixture of gin, maple syrup, fresh juices of lemon and orange. Shaken and served straight up.

Dutch Kills drink

Old Vermont Cocktail served at Dutch Kills Bar. Think Maple Syrup on ‘roids. Goes well after a work week.


Your drinks finished. Edge comes off work week. You drop money on the bar. The bell rings. You push the drink menu forward and that’s when you see it:

Bottom of last page of drink menu:

“*Bela Lugosi’s Dead.”

Can’t make this stuff up. Pure Scorsese.

Info: Dutch Kills Bar

Address: 27-24 Jackson Avenue, Long Island City




Hours: 5 pm ‘ till 2 am (or later)

Bathrooms: Spacious.

Nearest Subway Stations:

E-M-R at Queens Plaza

E-M-G at Court Square

N-Q-& at Queensboro Plaza

Parking: After 7 p.m. it’s all yours along Jackson Avenue 

How to Find M.Wells Steakhouse While Forgetting Much and Enjoying a Glass of Wine.

Left the taxi at the intersection of Northern Blvd and Jackson Avenue.

“Seven dollars,” said the driver.

Passed the driver ten dollars and said keep the change.

Pockets of snow remained on Jackson Avenue. Lights illuminated a construction sight along Jackson Avenue. Workers dragged a hose through mud and you felt sorry for the men because they worked with their boots in the mud. But, you knew they were happy for the overtime and didn’t feel sorry for long.

Not many people walked Jackson Avenue.

You noticed the Manhattan skyline. Mid-town building lights looked pretty against the night sky. You walked Jackson Avenue until you reached forty-third street. There you turned right and continued straight in the direction of M.Wells Steakhouse.

All for your Friday glass of wine.

You walked in the street because the sidewalks remained impassable. On both sides of forty-third street you saw construction sites. One site bigger than the other. You turned left on Crescent Street. Another two construction sites. Across the street from one site stood a converted loft building. You saw an advertisement for apartment rentals but knew the price was beyond your means. Now, however, the wind blew off the East River and you were happy to afford any glass of wine that you wanted.

The wind was perfumed with the scent of BBQ smoke and the scent became stronger the closer you came to M. Wells. The air smelled sweet and that made you smile while you walked.

It’s easy to miss M. Wells Steakhouse. No shingle. No welcoming sign. A silver metallic garage door pulled down in front of the restaurant. To the right of the silver door is a red brick wall. White graffiti on the top half of the brick wall. To the right of the bricks is a six-foot-high wooden fence. A string of white lights run the parameter of the fence. In the background lights from apartment buildings in Long Island City. For a moment, you couldn’t find the entrance to the restaurant, but then you found the opening. You walked a few feet inside a mini-courtyard until you found the restaurant’s door.

M.Wells Outside 2

Entrance for M.Wells Steakhouse, Long Island City. To enter: Push the near left wooden fence section. It’s that easy.


A hostess stood behind a velvet curtain.

“Do you have a reservation?” she asked.

“A drink at the bar.”

The hostess smiled and pointed you to the bar.

A thick dark colored stone served as the bar’s top. The bartender brought over a cocktail menu. He wore a long sleeve black shirt and black pants. A cook stood behind a raw bar. A black and white silent film played on a small screen on the far left of the bar. Otis Redding sang ‘Sitting By the Dock of the Bay’ over the sound system. The sound level loud enough to put a smile on your face, but not so loud that you couldn’t converse.

“What would you like?”

Ten specialty house cocktails. ($13). Seven beer and ciders ranging from $6 to $16. Assorted whiskey, rye, scotch, vodka and gins. Two Sparkling Wines by the glass. ($13-$18). Five white/Rose selections by the glass. ($ 11-$15). Five reds  by the glass. ($12-$21).

You choose a Sonoma Valley Cabernet. 2012 Bucklin “Old Hill Ranch,” ($21) because you wanted to feel better than the words printed out off an e-mail that you carried in your back pocket.

The bar tender poured you a taste.

Bartender Steve

Steven, the bar tender at M. Wells Steakhouse, pours a glass of the 2012 Bucklin “Old Hill Ranch” Sonoma Valley Cabernet Sauvignon.

The Cabernet’s color so dark the wine looked more blue than red. You swirled the glass and smelled Oak wood and a scent that made you think of fruit, but you weren’t sure which fruit.

“It’s starting to open, isn’t it?” asked the bar tender.

He poured the wine into your glass.

The room filled. The crowd ? Call them Hipsters Plus. Black turtle necks, Woolen sweaters. Petti bone glasses. You watched the head waiter work the room. Smooth. Enthused. Passionate. He made everyone forget they dined inside a former garage. You looked at the restaurant’s maroon brick walls, the low antique chandeliers and how the light bounced off the metallic gate. So cool, you thought.

Inside Metal Gate 1

Here’s how it’s done. The headwaiter at M. Well’s greets diners.


An open kitchen on the right side of the room. Cooks with tilted baseball caps and focused gazes worked. You lifted your ‘Old Hill Ranch’ Cabernet Sauvignon and sipped the wine. You remembered what it was like to work in a kitchen and wondered if you could ever again have the same focused gaze as the cooks at M. Wells.

Open Kitchen 1

Under the watchful gaze of others…Cooks at work in the open kitchen at M. Wells Steakhouse.

When you finished the wine you asked for the check. Steven, the bar tender, asked what you thought of the Cabernet. Wonderful, you replied and promised to return soon.

You stood on Crescent Street. The wind calmed. The Mid-Town lights looked brighter than when you arrived. Cars still waited to get on the Queensboro Bridge. You watched four people struggled to find the restaurant’s door. You showed them where to push the wooden fence and all of you laughed.

You didn’t wait long for a taxi. Just before the taxi arrived you read the print out of the e-mail one last time. The taxi pulled to the curb. You tore the paper in half and tossed it in the trash.

Dear Robert,

We regret that we are unable to use the enclosed material. Thank you for giving us the opportunity to consider it.


The Editors


M. Wells Steakhouse

(718) 786-9060
Open 5:30 PM – 11:00 PM
Trains: Short walk from Queens Plaza.
Parking: Very,very easy.
Bathrooms: Large and clean.





So Long Status Quo Pubs, Hello Bierocracy.

Outside night

Bierocracy. Where the standard for beer halls reaches a new level along Jackson Avenue in Long Island City and beyond.


Here we go, again.

The status quo is taking a hit.

The market is rattled. The debates are frazzled. But one thing is not changed. A suit reaching for headlines with his rhetoric.

So, tell me Tex… Do you really believe New Yorkers lack values?

Really ?

Okay, if that’s how you feel then we need to do the old democratic heave ho and lift a few sterns. You’re a good old Ivy Leaguer. Sure you know how to tilt back a stern.

First choice ?

Bierocracy along Jackson Avenue in Long Island City.

Interesting name, huh?

Well, if you want interesting Bierocracy is the place.  Almost half a block long with a corner location. A large oval white marble bar. Good lighting, too.

Bar shot 2.png

If there is an award for marble top bars then the counter top at Bierocracy gets first prize on the Queens side of the East River.

Floor to ceiling glass windows that look out on Jackson Avenue. Dark stained wooden floors. Brown ceiling fans hang from the stucco white ceiling. Black and white silent films run on screens against walls. And the noise level?  Bearable.

Four seating areas. Some with varnished wooden communal tables. Long comfortable tables, too. Who knows? If you’re lucky you might sit between two people that comprise the melting pot we brag about in Queens.

Communal table 1

Communal tables. A pleasant respite at Bierocracy.

Listen Tex, you’re going to have to cross the boulevard at some point, so you might as well start  at Bierocracy. Understand that the demographics at this ‘bierhall’ might leave you speechless and that’s not be a bad thing for the rest of us. If anything after lifting a few at Bierocracy you might just come to your senses and realize how nonsensical your remark was about New Yorkers and values.

Imagine this:

Hipsters lifting beer sterns with Hipsters. Women sitting with women. Asian Americans sitting with Asians and non-Asians. Latin men wearing New York Yankee caps tilted to the side. Latin women laughing and mingling with Latins and non-Latins. African Americans in sport jackets speaking to Caucasians. Men sitting with men. Overweight bald gents laughing loudly. And–can you imagine anything more valueless than a person sitting alone and reading a book?

And you want to hear something else, Tex?

Bierocracy has eleven standard beers and ales on tap along with a rotating selection of IPA’s, local and seasonal brews. They also have a vast selection of bottled Ales, IPA’s, Wheat beers, Lagers, porters/Stouts along with Cider/Sour and Lambics.

Too many choices for you, Tex?

Well. here’s your takeaway while deciding on what beer to order. It’s called farblonjet in Yiddish, which is to say confused. (Can’t imagine Yiddish rings a bell for you).

Eric #1

Eric, a bartender at Bierocracy, puts a B-Dark on Bierocracy’s marble bar top.

So, to ease you’re confusion, we’ll throw you a bone:

Go with the B-Dark on tap.

Brewed off premise by a contractor. Similar in color to a Coca-Cola. Smooth first taste. Easy finish. Hint of molasses flavor. Somewhat effervescent, but in a good way. A good chice with most of the  items on Bierocracy’s menu, which is described as spin on a “Central European bierhall cuisine.”

So, what do you say Tex?

Think you’re ready to drop your theocracy and champion democracy at Bierocracy ?

And if not?

Just take note of how we vote.



12-23 Jackson Avenue

(at 47th Road)

Long Island City, Queens, NY 11101

(718) 361-9333

7 to Vernon Blvd.-Jackson Avenue

G to 21st 

Hours of Operation

Monday-Wednesday: 4 pm-1 am

Thursday: 4 pm- 2 am

Friday:       3 pm – 4 am

Saturday:  11 am-4 am

Sunday:     11 am – 1 am

Live Music Thursday Nights




Service:   Efficient. Friendly. Dressed in black and white long sleeve shirts and black pants.

Bathrooms:  Vast. Well-lit. Clean. Modern amenities.









The Alcove–Where to Go While Waiting for Your Powerball Numbers to Hit.

Knock wood, Princess.

Tonite’s the night. You gotta knock wood and not just any piece of wood. A lot’s on the line.

Knock your knuckles on the bar top at The Alcove in Sunnyside.

No, nothing’s wrong. Why you ask?

Just Powerball crazy.

Six numbers that’s going to change it all. Once those numbers hit got a future that’ll make Mr. Morgan Stanley’s heirs jealous.

Why these numbers? Not important. Just go put two dollars down on: 30,45,48,49,56 and 18 before it’s too late.

Sharing is caring, you know. Got no problem splitting a zillion Benjamins with you.

So, what’s this got to do with The Alcove?

Here’s the story, according to John Cordeiro, who owns and operates The Alcove along with his wife.


John Cordeiro, owner and operator, of The Alcove.

The bar top is made of oak. Loaded with history. Measures sixteen feet in length. Maybe a hundred twenty or a hundred thirty years old. Hauled from Pennsylvania to Sunnyside. Sanded and finished by John’s cousin.

People at Bar

True craftmanship. The sixteen foot long hand sanded and varnished bar top at The Alcove.

You know that Stevie Wonder line?

“Very superstitious, nothin’ more to say.”

That’s my reason for knocking wood at The Alcove. Needed to find something old and authentic in Sunnyside. Though The Alcove is a newbie to Sunnyside, the bar top fits the specs for old and authentic.

And if the bar top doesn’t do it for you, knock on The Alcove’s bathroom door. Tall, sturdy and austere. Comes from a monastery. Clouded glass on the top half. What else you need while waiting for your numbers to hit?

Still not feeling it?

Knock on the The Alove’s chalk boards against the bar’s brick walls. Those boards come from a school and another era. You can almost hear a teacher’s voice. “Sit up straight. Pay attention. Do the right thing. Put in the time and everything works out.”

Chalk Board

Authentic elementary school chalk boards list a variety of beers served at The Alcove.

Think so?

That’s John’s story.Busboy to bartender to bar/restaurant owner. Now, he created the perfect drink to sip while waiting for your numbers to roll down the shoot.

John’s contribution to mixology is called The Alcoverita. Jalapeno, Basil, Tequila and a touch of Guava. ($8). Think of it as a twist on the Margarita, but if you want to think of it as the countdown to a life of Bling and leisure, that works, too.

So, here’s the funny part about The Alcove.

Enter for the first time and it’s like you’ve been there before. Hip Latin music. The vibrant sounds put you in a better place.You run your hand on the finished wood’s varnish. You smile. You’re convinced you got the winning Powerball combination.

Oh yeah, that’s what a good knock on wood does for you at The Alcove.


The Alcove

41-11 49th Street

Sunnyside, N.Y.

(T) 347-813-4149

(T) 917-319-3241

Food: Smalle selection of appetizers, snacks, burgers, wraps and sandwiches. (Served on heavy duty paper plates).

Bathroom: Immaculate.

Credit Cards: Major credit cards accepted.

Subway: Either 7 line at 46th / Bliss Street Station or 52nd Street Station.

Parking: Be patient and be lucky.








How to Find a State of Mind at Domaine Bar A Vins


Vernon Jackson Avenue Subway. One stop from Grand Central, yet a different state of mind.

It’s the Saturday after Christmas. You get off the subway at Vernon Jackson Avenue. The streets are empty. Everyone you know is away. 

You want a glass of wine before going home.

You see a neon sign. ‘Wine Bar’ above a black awning. You open the door. Ain’t no simple wine bar, babe. It’s Domaine Bar A Vins, but you won’t know that until you step inside.

wine bar front .jpg

Wine Bar to some. Domaine Bar A Vins to others. Steps from Vernon Jackson Subway Station.

Bordello like lighting with white Christmas lights running length of bar. Red lights above piano in back corner. Something like a strobe light twirls near a ceiling fan. Red, white and green light flashes bounce off the walls. Ten seats at a zinc bar. Seven tables along the walls. Wooden blinds on the front windows. 

Wine bar 4

 The music is crisp and loud. You ask whose playing. “Isaac Hayes,” replies the barkeep. French accent. Brown PorkPie Hat. Muscular arms. He brings over the wine menu and a candle. Bevy of topflight red wines. Excellent selection of white wines. Sparkling wines and Champagnes. Port and Sweet Wines. Imported beers and one beer on tap. A small menu that includes cheese, oysters, sliced meats and Pate de Campagna. 

But, you’re not in the mood for food.

Isaac Hayes gives way to young Stevie Wonder.

 Three people sit to your left. A guy with a woman on both sides of him. Stevie starts singing and everyone’s happy

You order a glass of Malbec. Domaine Basquet, 2015. ($11.00) Deep red color. First sip is lush. Sends you right to Stevie’s voice. You break down the wine. You think berries. It’s got a richness and a scent that’s almost like lavender, but some might argue otherwise.

Who cares?

Half way into the Malbec one of the women gets up to use the bathroom. The other woman doesn’t waste a moment. She puts her arms around the guy and pulls him close. Gold medal PDA. It grinds to a halt when the women comes out of the bathroom.

But here’s the funny thing:

The woman with her hands on the man’s shoulders turns to her friend and says: “I want to be able to send out a group text…We’re getting married in an hour. Anyone that wants to come can come.”

Nobody says a word.

Gilberto Gil takes over for Stevie Wonder. The barkeep pours a second glass of Malbec. 

It’s a farewell party, of sorts.

One of the women is splitting for St. Louis. The other is making wedding plans. The guy lifts his glass of Prosecco. He stares at the piano and that’s when the glass of Malbec at Domaine Bar A Vins becomes a memory burn.

You watch him walk over to the piano bench. He rolls up his sleeves and flexes his fingers. Just before his fingers hit the ivory his fiance shouts: “Please no Billy Joel. Please no Billy Joel.”

First note in you realize the guy’s got talent and shouldn’t have passed up Julliard to crunch numbers. By the time he hits his first chord you know exactly what’s on his mind.

And yes, you’re of the same state of mind.



Domaine Bar A Vins

50-04 Vernon Blvd.

Long Island City, NY 11101

Phone: 718-784-2350

Subway:    7 Train to Vernon Jackson

(One stop from Grand Central Station)




Giving It a Spin at The LETLOVE Inn, Astoria

Front 1

The LETLOVE Inn. A corner bar in Astoria that spins vinyl records and features live music on Monday and Tuesday nights.

The LETLOVE Inn bartender is in a mood.

“Think I’m going to play a vinyl,” Mike said.

The guy is screen ready, but you don’t say anything.Tall,slender with heart shaped tattoo on forearm. Spike runs through the heart. Mike’s got a voice that’s memorable. Years ago sang in a Baltimore choir. Somewhere between a soprano and baritone, he said.

Mike Tattoo.jpg

Every tattoo has got a story. Mike, the barkeep at The LETLOVE Inn displays his tattoo.

So, he walked to far end of the bar. Pulled out a vinyl and walked right passed you.

“Hey, what you going to spin?”

Not saying.

You sip your Caravan ($12) cocktail. One of The LETLOVE Inn’s six specialty cocktails. This one is composed of Date infused bourbon, Kas Spiced Honey Liquor, pomegranate, lemon, cardamon bitters on the rocks and garnished with a sprig of rosemary. Funny thing is it tasted like a hyped up Whiskey Sour.

But, nobody is listening.

The after work crowd chilled. Women sat together showing photos off their phones. A couple of guys sat by themselves and decompressed from their subway ride.

The LETLOVE Inn is a comfortable corner bar. Low on decor. Spacious floor. Long enough to swing somebody around on a Monday or Tuesday night when The Platt Forms and Subtonic Three perform.

Low level lighting. Candles on bar. Think a Humphrey Bogart movie. Except instead of some guy in a trench coat you’ve got Hipsters and locals. Heads down. Eyes fixed on their phones.

So it goes.

The mahogany bar is long enough with enough seats so nobody’s complaining. A couple of tables along the walls and a Christmas tree in the corner near the front door.

Need anything more from a corner bar?

Possibly not, but here it comes:

Mike drops the toner arm on the vinyl record and the song’s first beat gives you a good memory.

Yo Mike, you want to say. Didn’t see that pick coming.

“Love Me Do,” by The Beatles.

Two minutes later, Beatles get to the final chorus and your Caravan cocktail is finished.

Still time left on the clock.

Mike came through again.

He poured a PNW Mahogany Ale from Single Cut Beersmiths. Guinness like color. Less of a head. A product from Astoria’s first microbrewery, if you must know. Single Cut Beersmiths is located on 37th street with an address prefix of 19-33. Ring a bell? Nineteen thirty – three just so happens to be the year Prohibition ended.

Forget trivia, bud.

This is what you need to know about Single Cut Beersmiths Mahogany Ale:  One taste in and you go “wow.” Memorable. A blend of flavors that goes together like John, Paul, Ringo and John.

Yeah,  yeah, yeah.