Astoria Tavern, a great new addition to the neighborhood drinking scene, opened last night on 23rd Avenue, amid one of my favorite stretches of streets in Astoria. Surrounded by some true Astoria treasures including Sal, Kris, & Charlie’s Deli, Koliba, and our local purveyors of fresh pasta Cassinelli Food Products, Astoria Tavern holds its own as a soon to be beloved watering hole.
That a place could operate so smoothly on day two is a testament to the fact that Astoria Tavern was opened by the owner of Astoria drinking institution the Irish Rover and a few of his friends. A highly skilled bar staff easily handled the steady stream of customers who all looked happily and immediately at home. Right from jump, Astoria Tavern is planning on being open from 8am to 4am – except Sundays when they will open a bit later – an impressive (and welcome) feat for a bar that literally just opened its doors.
Aesthetically, Astoria Tavern strikes a perfect balance of classy and utilitarian. Brick walls, wood beams, and black and white photographs of old Astoria create a lovely ambiance. Importantly, however, it’s still the kind of spot where you want to put your elbows up on the bar and watch football. Ten or so flat screen TV’s mounted around the bar ensure this possibility.
As for the all important libations, Astoria Tavern’s 20 taps are a nice mix of domestic and import classics and American craft beers, including perennial crowd pleasers like Lagunitas, Founders, Harpoon and Six Point. They also have a bottle list that adds an additional 20 plus brews, a slightly larger than usual wine selection for a tavern, and a full roster of hard alcohol. While Astoria Tavern doesn’t serve food, they encourage bringing in food to eat in the bar. With Sal, Kris, & Charlie’s Deli next door, I am picturing a lot of Bomb Sandwich-Football Sundays in the months ahead.
Admittedly, I’m a total barfly, but for me the sign of a successful bar, tavern or pub is how quickly I am plotting to return. And I’ll have my elbows back up on the bar at Astoria Tavern as soon as humanly possible.
Astoria Tavern: 33-16 23rd Ave, Astoria