Dutch Kills the Bar Scene in LIC

Posted on June 12, 2010. Filed under: Bar-Hopping in Queens, Date Spot/ Romantic, LIC, Off the beaten path, Pubs |

Dutch Kills Bar in LIC has been infamously described by using phrases like off-the-beaten-path, speakeasy, and for the love of god, mixologist. It has a reputation for making patrons feel like they are a part of some elite members-only club, a marketing ploy that reels in customers by creating delusions of grandeur. This place makes ordinary consumers feel cool and sophisticated simply by selling them fine vodka served by a guy wearing suspenders. I too fell victim of its coolness for several reasons. Despite the pretentious air that  flows through the bar, my experience was neither unpleasant nor disingenuous. Settled into a barren strip of Jackson Avenue, Dutch Kills doesn’t draw an overwhelming crowd, thus it serves as a place of quiet conversation during happy hours. The impeccable service is surprisingly down-to-earth and courteous. The old fashioned oak booths aligned on both sides, each with its own menu nailed to the wall, are reminiscent of a typical watering hole from years gone by. There is an antique phone, cash register and other knickknacks that hang there as if they were never touched by the present time. Conjuring up images from another era is easy as you watch the bartender romancing your drink rather than mixing it. Clad in suspenders, a button-up shirt and trousers, he cleverly maneuvers his way around the bar, skillfully preparing your cocktail as he squeezes juice directly from the orange rind and breaks ice with a metal spoon right into his own hands. I tried a Sunset Park with peach infused liquor, though slightly bitter it was a refreshing break from the hot summer evening. The cocktails here are as interesting to drink as they are to watch being made. The polite service and constantly amusing scene will make me come back. Live music weekly.

Dutch Kills Bar 27-24 Jackson Avenue Long Island City, NY 11101-2918 (718) 383-2724

Sunset Park makes its way to Dutch Kills

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Brooks 1890 Restaurant & Pub LIC

Posted on February 1, 2009. Filed under: American/Nouveau, Cheap Dining, LIC, Off the beaten path, Pubs |

100_0866Brooks (24-28 Jackson Avenue Long Island City, NY 11101 (718) 937-1890) is a cozy restaurant and pub that serves comfort food  with a side of congeniality. The unaffected charm begins with the tin ceiling and radiates throughout the original polished oak interior. The wholesome menu features a modest selection of beers on tap and conventional entrees at affordable prices. The cajun pork-chops is an entree of seasoned meat and peppers piled high, soaked in a cajun sauce  and nestled next to a heap of fluffy white mashed potatoes. The home-made dish is tradition with a spicy twist. The hearty cheeseburger comes on a toasted bun with or without bacon and mushrooms and always with a crispy side of fries. Brooks serves generous helpings in a casual atmosphere where friendly locals gather for lunch or after work drinks and food. Reminiscent of a famous show where “everybody knows your name”, you get the feeling that patrons and waitstaff welcome the old and new faces just the same. Drawbacks are it’s early hours- only open until 8pm daily and they are closed on the weekends.

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Dominie’s Hoek bar Long Island City

Posted on February 4, 2008. Filed under: Bar-Hopping in Queens, Entertainment, LIC, Outdoor Seating/Patio, Pubs |

Dominie’s Hoek 48-17 Vernon Blvd 718-706-6531

Not quite a pub, not quite a lounge, this super laid-back and trendy bar offers cheap drinks and lots of fun. The great drinks and friendly bartenders make this place a great stop on your LIC bar hopping weekend. Dominie’s Hoek offers a rustic feel with a contemporary edge with hanging colored lamps, wood floor, oak furnishings and exposed brick walls. Its comfortable environment is low-key, but welcoming enough to strike up a conversation with the nearby patrons. Be sure to check out the live music on their gorgeous patio during the summer.

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Woodside Pub Crawl

Posted on January 24, 2008. Filed under: Bar-Hopping in Queens, Burgers, Cheap Dining, Pubs |

Weekend in Woodside- by Dora Naughton

Thinking about visiting this Irish Queens community for a drink or eats? Here are some great places to go.

Donovan’s Pub (5724 Roosevelt Ave. Woodside, NY)

Sporting the heartiest cheeseburgers and sassiest Irish waitresses in town, Donovan’s Pubis a great place to start a Woodside pub crawl.  As soon as you set foot in Donovan’s you get the warm and jovial feeling from the staff and patrons that any good Irish establishment should emit. Although it’s famous for the juicy cheeseburgers and savory hand-cut French fries, the menu also offers an extensive selection of American cuisine and traditional Irish dishes, such as Shepherd’s Pie. The bar is usually packed with drinkers who come to socialize and watch a soccer match or two. From the outside, Donovan’s looks like a small place, but once you reach the back of the bar, you find a restaurant that is deceptively large.  It carries an authentic Irish Pub appearance right in the middle of Woodside. A cozy fireplace is tucked in the middle of several dining rooms that abut one another in almost a maze-like fashion.  Each dining room has its own rustic look.  If you’re looking to throw a celebration, Donovan’s also has a party room resembling a quaint library which can be rented for just about any occasion. However, with the exception of learning about fine ale and beef, there will be no studying here!

Saints and Sinners (59-21 Roosevelt Ave.Woodside, NY There are many aspects to Saints and Sinners that make it a favorite amongst the locals.  For starters, several highly skilled and attentive bar tenders occupy the uniquely shaped circular bar. They never miss you standing there waiting for a pint or an excellent Hot Toddy, complete with cloves embedded in lemon.  It’ll warm you up real fast.  It’s fun to sit at the bar and people-watch the folks sitting across from you.  At the front of the pub is a very cozy room separated from the rest of the bar adorned with benches and a fireplace.  This area is very romantic, but is also a good place to put your feet up and watch a game with your mates.  If you prefer chow with your drinks, the rear of the bar offers a sit-down area where you can order traditional Irish meals and tasty “bar food”.  On Fridays and Saturdays there is usually live, acoustic music.  The music is anything from traditional and modern Irish folk music to singer-songwriter covers and is usually a man or a woman with a guitar and a charming voice.

The Dugout (39-76 61st St.Woodside, NY) The Dugout is a small bar decorated with various knick knacks and a nautical theme. It lives up to its name by providing several good views of televisions airing various matches.   The service is excellent and the drinks are cheap. The crowd is outgoing and friendly, excited for the next game of soccer or Australian Rules Football.  As a plus for the smokers, they have a comfortable set-up outside with benches.  They occasionally have live music, as well.

Sean Og’s Tavern (60-02 Woodside Ave.Woodside, NY)

This pubs exterior is inviting, painted fire engine red, practically begging you to check it out.  It is a beautiful pub with wood from floor to ceiling.  The bar is very long and offers many good views of several televisions.  During the week the vibe is chill and laid back. Fridays and Saturdays get a little nuts when they roll the pool table away to reveal a make-shift dance floor. Though, truth be told, Sean Og’s is a hit or miss establishment. The music is typically Top-40 and hip hop, which is a popular favorite for people who want to cut-a-rug.  The usually young and mixed crowd can make for a fun and festive night after-hours.  However, the louder and drunker people get, the more claustrophobic is seems. Sean Og’s is not for the faint of heart during the later hours, but overall, it’s a good place to wrap up the evening.

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