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.








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


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





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.


40-15 Queens Boulevard

Sunnyside, N.Y.

(718) 349-5999


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

Bathroom Quality: Serviceable

Closest Train Station:

7 Line / 40th Street

Convenient Parking

Happy Hour at The Claret Wine Bar, Sunnyside. It’s Like You Hit The Pick Three Lottery.

Claret Dining Room

Don’t they seem happy? Friday night Happy Hour at The Claret Wine Bar, Skillman Avenue, Sunnyside.


If you discover Happy Hour at The Claret Wine Bar  in Sunnyside you might feel as though you just hit The Pick Three lottery.

And if you don’t know that happiness,#kidfromqueens is about to drop a dime:

Server walks over and greets you with a smile. “You know about our Happy Hour specials, don’t you?”

Don’t say a word and just listen, Buckaroos. Choice of three bottles of wine and plain ten inch cheese pizza for $25.00.

Whoa, Baby.

Selected a Sauvigon Blanc Argentinian wine. Astica, 2014. From Mendoza, Argentina to Skillman Avenue. Isn’t life amazing?

Wine arrives in somebody’s Big Idea. A sturdy plastic Ice Bag. Filled with water and crushed ice.

Ice bag

Who needs a better mouse trap? Here’s a better way to chill wine.

First taste in and you realize it really is Happy Hour. Hint of grapefruit,fresh and tangy, if you believe that stuff. But, this much is a fact: Light and perfect for a Friday following a day of  Excel spreadsheets.

Felt so good, upgraded the plain cheese pizza to include prosciutto, arugula and shaved Parmesan Cheese.

photo (2) (2)

Halfway into the bottle of Astica the work week went the way of our beloved Mets. Focused instead on the Claret’s eleven seat bar. Everyseat taken. Sam the Scroller searching his Iphone for messages. Harry the Hipster speaking to Cinderella. And, Paula the Poet channeling the vibe of that late Sunnyside Muse, Suze Rotolo.

Everybody’s content and why not?

Six beers on tab. A chalk board off to the side of the bar lists three varieties of whiskey. American, scotch and Irish.And if that’s not your preference you’ve got a list of more than 100 bottles of wine to find your happiness. Buy the bottle or buy the glass.

Happy Hour, of course, doesn’t stand still.

Darkness falls. You notice a candle on each table. You turn to the large window that looks out on Skillman Avenue. The leaves are changing. You’re across the street from the Sunnyside Gardens Market. That awning is long and oh so green, dude. Who cares? The room fills. Ceiling fans go in slow motion overhead. You hear laughter. You see the smiles. The music plays. It’s J.J. Cale. You are happy.

Yet, there is more to feel good about at The Claret Wine Bar.

painting Claret

One of numerous photographs by Leslie K. Henderson exhibited at The Claret Wine Bar. Photos to be auctioned for fundraiser on November 10, 2015

Black and white large format photographs hang on the bar’s exposed brick walls.

The photos are going to be auctioned off at The Claret Wine Bar on Tuesday, November 10th. A collection of Parisian scenes shoot by Leslie K. Henderson. Talk about unique: Leslie is a humanitarian photographer. “Worked with numerous NGOs in Malwawi & Tanzania.”

Purpose of the November 10th auction? To raise funds and create awareness for ‘the only Children’s Cancer Unit in Tanzania.’

“Go girl. Go”

Meanwhile, You see the food come out of the kitchen. A Beet Salad on a rectangular plate. Red and golden beets border Frisee lettuce topped with Goat Cheese and roasted Pine Nuts.  You send yourself a text. “Come back again and give the salad a try.”  You’ll have time to come back, too.The Claret Wine Bar has been around since 2008.

So, here’s the outtro from #kidfromqueens on this sojourn:

Like Whoa, baby.


Claret Wine Bar

46-02 Skillman Avenue

Sunnyside, NY


Affordability: Can’t complain

 Bathroom Quality: Clean and Acceptable

Nearest Subway:

7 Line: 46th Street/ Bliss Street

 Parking: Not as difficult as Manhattan.

Like Mole Sauce ? Discover Chihuahua in Sunnyside

photo (1)

Johnny Delusional sat inside Chihuahua, a Mexican Restaurant and Cantina in Sunnyside. He sipped his red wine and whistled ‘As Time Goes By.’ He checked his flip phone for messages and ran a hand through his grey hair.

Think Johnny knows what happened?

Probably not.

In August, the Bliss Street Station, an Irish restaurant / bar established in 1989 shut its doors. For weeks the corner of 47th Street and Greenpoint Avenue lay dormant. Then, the door swung open. The building’s exterior walls got painted and the only thing that remained from the Bliss Street Station was Johnny.

So it goes.

Chihuahua’s sound system carried the timbre of Mexican female singers. Was that Paulina Rubio or perhaps Laura Flores? Hardly mattered, if you must know. Their voices were upbeat. Their lyrics were about heartbreak. Who ever heard of a sweet love song, anyway?

So, there’s a better reason to pull up a seat at the polished bar inside Chihuahua aside from the music. And that reason has nothing to do with the ten cocktails ranging from $7 to $12, or the red, white, Mango or Passion Fruit Sangria. Matter of fact, the reason you want to visit Chinuahua has nothing to do with any of the draft beers. Mahou, from Madrid, Spain. Modelo and Dos Equis from Mexico. Pacific Beer from Tacoma, Washington. Nor does that reason have to do with their menu which is representative of Mexican cuisine.

So, if you’re looking for one tip of the day here’s how it played out:

Mole and chips

A server found us at the far corner of the bar. She greeted us with a smile. We gave a short answer after she asked how we were doing. We wanted to say something about her black hair tied back, but said nothing. Instead we noticed that in one hand she carried a small silver bucket filled with fresh corn tortillas. In the other a ramekin filled with a rich maroon colored sauce. “It’s mole sauce,” she said.

We dipped the corn tortilla into the mole sauce and it was like we discovered the best kept secret in Sunnyside. The mole at Chihuahua is of OMG quality.It’s made with peppers, onion and blended with chocolate. Slow cooking at its best. It’s somewhat spicy, but the flavor gives you the feeling you get when you meet someone and you just know this is love.

Time passed. The sky grew dark. More customers entered Chinuahua. Young adults sat at tables. You saw them take photos with their Iphones. Then, you looked at Johnny. He remained at the bar. He still whistled. He checked his flip phone again. You heard him ask for more of that mole sauce and you knew everything was right in the world.

We even wanted to whistle. But, there is no tune that goes with…”One generation passeth away, and another generation cometh…”

Chihuahua Mexican Restaurant and Cantina

47-02 Greenpoint Avenue, Sunnyside, NY



*Call for hours of operation.

Major Credit Cards Accepted.

Instagram: Chihuahua_Restaurant

Facebook: Chihuahua Mexican Restaurant & Cantina

Closest Subway Station:

7 line: 46th Street / Bliss Street Station

Go to Maggie Mae’s in Sunnyside. Forget About Pumpkin Picking

Why pick pumpkins when you can drink PumKing Ale at Maggie Mae’s in Sunnyside?

Beer Maggie Maes

Been there, done that. Not all it’s made up to be.

Instead, go for merry and warm inside what just might be the most rustic bar in Sunnyside.

How’s this for rustica?

A forty foot long finished wooden bar top. A list of drafts, stouts, wheat ales, lagers and cocktails written on blackboards above the bar. A dark stained wooden floor running from the front door to the back wall. Black and white checkered tiles beneath the bar. Comfortable red leather stools with backs at the bar.Three high definition televisions situated between top shelf Bourbons, Whiskey’s and an assortment of Gin and Vodka.The lineup is Met like in its appeal: Angels Envy, Knob Creek, Woodsford Reserve, Hill Rock Four Roses, Jack Daniels Single Barrel and Maker’s Mark.

And if that line up isn’t enough, there’s A vast basement bar, only opened Friday and Saturday. Ideal for an incognito meet and drink. Low ceiling. Dark lighting. Swing your partner round and round.

Yet, there’s one more reason to find yourself inside Maggie Mae’s.

The bartender greets everyone with the same refrain: “Hi guys. How’s it going?”

She’s from outside Dublin. The sound of her voice might make you want to stay inside Maggie Mae’s and listen to her all day.

But, who has the time?

The car is honking. Everyone wants to go pumpkin picking.

What You Need To Know:

Maggie Mae’s


41-15 Queens Blvd.

Sunnyside, NY 11104

(718) 433-3067

Open 11:00am-4am

Nearest Subway Station

7 line / Lowery Street

Clean / well lit / spacious bathrooms

Menu pending. Popcorn served.