“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?”
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).
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.”
“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.
Address: 34-21 34th Avenue, Astoria, New York 11106
Raw Bar: 5pm-1am
Happy Hour: Monday-Friday 5pm-7pm
Bathroom: Clean and well decorated
Best Subway Line: “N”, “R”
Bus: Q 101