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.

“Who?”

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

Hours:

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: http://gantrybar.com (coming soon with link to their menu).

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/gantrybarlic/

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

 

 

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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:

Mar’s

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

Website: http://lifeatmars.com

Bathroom: Clean and well decorated

Best Subway Line: “N”, “R”

Bus: Q 101