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

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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

Phone:718-383-2724

Website: www.dutchkillsbar.com

Email: dutchkillsbar@gmail.com

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 

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.

Info:

Bierocracy

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

Website: 

http://www.bierocracy.com/long-island-city/

Facebook

Twitter

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.

Johnathan

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.

Info:

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Holidaze? Kick it at The Dog and Duck

Dog and Duck Top PhotoSunday

Looking for a gastropub? The DOG and Duck. 45-20 Skillman Avenue.

You wait at The DOG and DUCK playing the game.

She’s not far. It was your idea to meet at the bar.

You check your phone. You’re starting to think maybe she’s fled.

Dog and Duck Lead 2

Just hold on, bro. Chill you’re at The DOG and DUCK. A Sunnyside neighborhood joint. Moonlight hits Skillman Avenue and comes through the gastropub‘s large windows. The room’s warm and cozy though the walls beg for art work.

 

Locals sit at an island near the front window. You hear them talk. You hear them laugh. You got your phone and you’re scrolling Tastoriaqueens. com

Dog and Duck One.jpg

Welcome the night while looking out on Skillman Avenue at The DOG and DUCK.

The door opens. It’s not her. You wonder–’tis the season when you’re heart gets broken?

So, what are you going to do?

Thirteen beers on tap. A selection of Red Wine, White Wine, Sparkling Wines and Andy’s Fall and Winter Cocktails with names like Figa, 46th Street Makers and Hair of the DOG (&DUCK). Isn’t that enough to keep you happy if you come down with a case of holidaze?

Or, maybe you want to choose from the DOG and DUCK’S full menu which includes Bar Snacks, appetizers, selections from the grill, from the sea, braised, roasted and stewed selections, rice, pasta and side dishes.

The barkeep comes over. You’re about to ask for a 46th Street Maker when your phone lights up. You get a text. She’s not far.

Your cocktail arrives. ( Makers 46, English Marmalade, Lemon, Vanilla, Sweet Vermouth, Angostura’s Bitters). Two sips later someone taps you on your shoulder.

Oh yeah, oh yeah.

Ain’t no holidaze here, Jack.

Key Information:

The DOG and DUCK

45-20 Skillman Avenue, Sunnyside

718-406-9048

Opening Hours

Lunch Served from 11:30 am-4pm Monday-Friday

Brunch Served from 11:00 am-4 pm Saturday & Sunday

Dinner Served daily from 4:00 pm-11:00 pm

Bar snacks served 4:00 pm-12:00 am

Bar open daily until 4:00 am

Bathroom: Acceptable /  Includes Changing Table

Nearest Subway Station:

46th Street / Bliss Street Station

7 Line

Parking:  Good luck

 

www.thedogandduckny.com

Email: dogduck46@gmail.com

 

 

 

How to find a Decent Man. Seek Out Saints & Sinners.

 

 

Saint and Sinners 5.png

What’s in a name ? Saints & Sinners. 59-21 Roosevelt Avenue, Woodside.

You still can’t find a decent man?

“…Still we’re told, ‘seek and ye shall find.’

Buying it ?

Don’t matter, baby. Go listen to Amy Winehouse sing  ‘Someone to Watch Over Me.’  Then march yourself over to Saint & Sinners Pub in Woodside.

Rectangular bar in the middle of the room. Dining room in the back. Alcove with a fireplace looking out onto Roosevelt Avenue. A bevy of beers on draft including Sam Adams Boston Lager ($6) and Smithwicks. Dark cozy lighting. Eight Hi-def TV’s on the walls. Comfortable leather bar chairs. Framed black and white photographs from Ireland on the walls. A bartender from Dublin who wins your heart the minute she walks over: “How you doing, hun?” And a thump thump from the pub’s sound system that makes you forget everything.

Saint and Sinners one

Wherever you sit you can view a Hi-def TV. Happy Hour: Sunday, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.

Funny thing is that when #thekidfromqueens sat for his Sam Adams beer there were just two women in the pub except for the bartender and a waitress.

Saint and Sinners 3

Enough beers on tap at Saint & Sinners to satisfy the most discerning of beer drinkers.

So, why you sitting home and dreaming?

Inside Saints & Sinners you’ll find the types you read about. They rush into buildings to save those trapped in rooms. They hammer nails into 2 x 4’s. Their hands are coarse, but their hearts are large. They look you in your eye when they talk. You see their happiness and their sadness. And any minute, you expect one of them to turn to you and recite a line from a William Butler Yeats poem.

So, what are you waiting for, baby?

Saints & Sinners serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. Their dinner specials change daily. The specials go something like this: a Soup of the Day (Beef Barley, $5), Appetizers (Chicken Parmesan Flat Bread $9.95), Entrees (Lemon Chicken, $17.95), Dessert (Baileys Cheese Cake, $7).

Oh yeah, you don’t have to dress like a star. That’s not my line. It’s Amy’s.

Want to know something else?

Amy would have been happy  you stepped off Roosevelt Avenue and took a chair inside The Saint & Sinners Pub.

Want to know why? 

Because, without girls like you there would be no fun.

Happy Thanksgiving, baby.

 

What You Need to Know:

Saints & Sinners

59-21 Roosevelt Avenue

Queens, NY 11377

http://www.saintsandsinnerspub.com/

Email: Sinnerswoodside@gmail.com

Kitchen Hours: Sunday-Monday: Noon- 10 P.M., Tuesday-Saturday: Noon-11 P.M.

Bathrooms: Tight,but tidy.

Parking: First car to the meter wins.

Public Transportation: 7 Line: 61st/ Roosevelt Avenue Subway Station

L.I.R.R.: Woodside Station

Bus: Roosevelt Avenue Bus

 

 

 

 

 

Need a First Date Spot? Arriba Arriba in Sunnyside Works.

Daytime Front arriba

You’re Johnny on the Spot. You texted your flirtationship all week and now you’re Under Pressure for a first date suggestion.

Here’s the move if you’re near Sunnyside. Do Happy Hour at Arriba Arriba. Middle of 40th Street on Queens Boulevard. You got parking. You got a bus stop. You got the 7 Line station at 40th Street. Honestly, you’ve got no excuses.

Mexican cuisine goes with a first date like Romeo and Juliet. Crazy? Don’t think so. Ever notice how scent of fresh corn tortilla chips puts a smile on your face? If that doesn’t do it, take a look at the Frozen Margarita machine at the end of their bar. Arriba Arriba’s got a shout out from Gothamist in 2014 as one of the ten best Margaritas in NYC.   Find a Facebook fanatic not laughing after a few sips into a Frozen Margarita and you’ve found someone in need of serious meds.

So, what do you say? It’s a Happy Hour mingle. Spend the chedda and tell yourself  ‘you got to be in it to win it.’  You work. You’ve got a paycheck, so spring for a Frozen Margarita at $6 a pop. Or do domestic beers or Sangria at the same price.

And how to dress you might ask:

Go for a business provocative look if it’s Happy Hour at Arriba Arriba or somewhere else. 

And if nobody says it: You can read it here: “You look marvelous,baby.”

Even the bartender thinks so,too.

He pins balloons in the middle and at both ends of the bar.

Ballons Arriba

Five high-def TVs on the walls. An array of imported and domestic beers on tap. A choice of Los Coladas ($10.00) and  Arriba Mojitos at the yougottabekiddingjack price of $11.

So, do the Mr. Big thing. Take a seat on the banquet. Let your friendgirl look at the mural that runs length of the wall. Drop the macho dude bit and go artsy. Start the conversation with that mural. You like it? What do you think it is? Who is the artist? You even like art?

My arriba mural

Latin music thumps at a decimal level that’s agreeable enough for conversation at Arriba Arriba. The lighting is low. Busboys run up the stairs carrying plates of food. Every dish is perfect for sharing. Not bad for bonding, huh?

Happy Hour runs 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., so the clock is ticking on your rap and If you can’t get it going or don’t feel Lucky Lust hovering you’ve got two plays. You can step outside and hop on the bus, Gus. Or, turn left and watch the Stephanie Sigman wannabe hostess greet customers into Arriba Arriba as they step off The Boulevard of Dreams.

But, let’s think positive, okay?

You’ve made a splash. There’s hope for a second date.

Directions:

40-15 Queens Boulevard

Sunnyside, N.Y.

(718) 349-5999

http://www.arribarriba.com/arribasunnyside/

E-mail: arribany@gmail.com   

Happy Hour: 4 p.m.-7 p.m.

Bathroom Quality: Serviceable

Closest Train Station:

7 Line / 40th Street

Convenient Parking