Jackson Heights Life

Get Connected => Restaurants & Food => Topic started by: MrPlaza on February 13, 2017, 11:59:21 AM

Title: Craft Cocktails
Post by: MrPlaza on February 13, 2017, 11:59:21 AM
As we edge closer to our expected move to the neighborhood, I have to ask a question that's been scratching at the back of my mind: Where will I go for a good drink? Here in LIC, we have Dutch Kills. One of the best cocktail bars in the city. An opinion not only held by myself but many cocktail enthusiasts.

I know cocktail bars of that caliber aren't numerous in the outer boroughs, but I'm curious to know where folks go when they want a well-made cocktail. I happen to make my own cocktails, but sometimes I like to go out for drinks instead of mixing them up at home.
Title: Re: Craft Cocktails
Post by: lalochezia on February 13, 2017, 02:29:26 PM
(http://pm1.narvii.com/5825/fa81e6357d407615921c396067f6f6d600b61196_hq.jpg)
Title: Re: Craft Cocktails
Post by: amsci on February 13, 2017, 03:41:57 PM
If I want a well made spirit-forward cocktail in the neighborhood I go to my kitchen cabinet.

That said, Bocaito has some interesting cocktails which I also like quite a bit. (Specifically the El Mero Mero and the Samba Pa'Ti)



As we edge closer to our expected move to the neighborhood, I have to ask a question that's been scratching at the back of my mind: Where will I go for a good drink? Here in LIC, we have Dutch Kills. One of the best cocktail bars in the city. An opinion not only held by myself but many cocktail enthusiasts.

I know cocktail bars of that caliber aren't numerous in the outer boroughs, but I'm curious to know where folks go when they want a well-made cocktail. I happen to make my own cocktails, but sometimes I like to go out for drinks instead of mixing them up at home.
Title: Re: Craft Cocktails
Post by: MrPlaza on February 13, 2017, 10:07:45 PM
Hahaha @ lalochezia

@amsci, I remember seeing the Yelp page for Bocaito when we were first considering the move. The drinks do certainly look good! And it seems like the kind of place that I could go sit at the bar with a friend or two and have a few drinks, without the pressure of getting food. Exactly the kind of spot I like for day drinking.

Keep the recommendations coming!

When I move to the hood, you're all more than welcome to come visit for drinks. I'm looking forward to stocking my bar with the goods at Table Wine. I'm not going to pretend to be a pro, but I do bangerz. Haha.
Title: Re: Craft Cocktails
Post by: mango on February 13, 2017, 11:36:25 PM
I'm following this, just moved a few months ago, and i hope im wrong.  But unfortunately i think you are moving to the only place in nyc with no brunch and no cocktails within a 20 block radius.  If you want a drink i think you will be taking train to LIC, astoria, or Manhattan
Title: Re: Craft Cocktails
Post by: Rhino on February 13, 2017, 11:48:03 PM
Sad but true.
Title: Re: Craft Cocktails
Post by: JA on February 14, 2017, 02:31:50 AM
Understand that much of what makes this neighborhood so beautiful and characteristic and attractive and livable to many of its residents would not, could not, exist in a place rife with "craft cocktail" bars, though if you are insistent on spending $15 on a drink I will gladly fix you a guayaba mojito in my living room.

There are definitely places, though you might have to go a little bit outside of your comfort zone. Pata Paplean makes interesting Thai-inspired cocktails, Amaru has a line of surprisingly thoughtful pisco drinks, Kitchen 79 has a few nice beers, and there are other places but I already fear that I have said too much.

Enjoy the hood but respect it for what it is. Fancy drinks may be rare but authentic restaurants from a dozen regions are a dime a dozen and this is unique for NYC if not for the world!
Title: Re: Craft Cocktails
Post by: Liz on February 14, 2017, 07:50:44 AM
I like to make my own cocktails as well, but when I want someone to make me a cocktail in JH I go to Amaru Pisco Bar on Northern - fantastic cocktail ala JH.  And for brunch - Jackson Diner buffet - Brunch ala JH. 
Title: Re: Craft Cocktails
Post by: lalochezia on February 14, 2017, 10:42:17 AM
I like to make my own cocktails as well, but when I want someone to make me a cocktail in JH I go to Amaru Pisco Bar on Northern - fantastic cocktail ala JH.

WHAT WAS THAT? THIS IS A DELICIOUS PISCO COCKTAIL BUT I CAN'T HEAR YOU OVER THE NOISE!
(Have you ever been to Amaru when the sound system is not booming. I'm not talking about 8pm on a friday or 10pm on a weeknight. Sunday afternoon! Wed early evening!)
Title: Re: Craft Cocktails
Post by: daisy on February 14, 2017, 10:52:54 AM
I second many of the postings here.  My only recommendations for cocktails are in Mexican restaurants and the Thai ones.  There are a few pubs in the area but I wouldn't go there for a cocktail necessarily, although I am sure you could order one.  I'm also sure you could find plenty of cocktails in the nightclubs and bars along Roosevelt, but I'm not sure you'd want one from there either.  It took me some time to adjust from living in Astoria to Jack Hts, but I wouldn't trade it at all now.  I'm willing to travel for brunch and cocktails and we have the transportation options to do so.
Title: Re: Craft Cocktails
Post by: Dodger on February 14, 2017, 11:13:05 AM
Seconding Pata Paplean.  It's a funky Thai cocktail place and I enjoyed their cocktails.  On the general subject of drinks, don't forget Sake Bar Zabb.

It is surprising (not saying good or bad, just surprising) that we still don't have a single craft cocktail bar (or a single ___, or a single ___) given what's going on with residential real estate. Someone needs to study the very particular dynamics of neighborhood change and stability here.

Ultimately, I like that JH is resisting the homogeneous upscaling of businesses. And I also like that I can get a perfectly OK glass of wine (with my perfectly incredible dinner) at various Thai and Indian restaurants for something like $7.
Title: Re: Craft Cocktails
Post by: Ed on February 14, 2017, 02:21:36 PM
If you ever want to change that to "great glass of wine", you should try Addictive Wine & Tapas....
https://addictivewinebar.com/
Title: Re: Craft Cocktails
Post by: MrPlaza on February 14, 2017, 09:22:08 PM
If you ever want to change that to "great glass of wine", you should try Addictive Wine & Tapas....
https://addictivewinebar.com/
I vaguely remember hearing about this place! It looks delicious! I'm equally as excited about good wine as I am cocktails (well, almost). And ,y wife and I love tapas. So, this is right up our alley.

@Dodger et al, will have to look into Peta Paplean. Never really knew the Thai for cocktails. But I'm eager to learn.

I'm also a bit surprised that there isn't a cocktail bar at all. And I don't personally believe that a cocktail bar has to mean the downturn of the neighborhood's charm. That's like saying a nice sit down restaurant would pull the hood down. There are a few in JH, and the hood is still standing. People should readjust the way they look at cocktail culture. It's a culinary art/experience just as a good meal is. Casa Del Chef in Woodside didn't mark the end of the neighborhood. It simply brought something new, and a different perspective to food that the hood didn't previously have.

Alcohol is no different. It's still a gastronomic experience. There's a time and place for the run of the mill bar. But there's also a time and a place for something crafted with care and sophistication. There's no reason you can't have both.
Title: Re: Craft Cocktails
Post by: jackinjh on February 15, 2017, 05:20:39 PM
@MrPlaza, we moved here 4 years, no luck having one up to dutch kills. I do missed when they charge 10 dollar, but hey now my bar getting bigger and bigger.

I don't think a lot of neighbor in Queens up to dutch kills thou, we use to go to Forest Hills.
Title: Re: Craft Cocktails
Post by: amsci on February 15, 2017, 06:35:19 PM
I was intrigued by Pata Paplean... it looks like a fun place to hang, but a number of the reviews on Yelp talked about how sweet the cocktails are, which is not really my thing.
Title: Re: Craft Cocktails
Post by: MrPlaza on February 15, 2017, 10:55:09 PM
All this is sounding like we need to start a cocktail club. I'll host the first meeting this summer. Haha.
Title: Re: Craft Cocktails
Post by: Cassat on February 16, 2017, 12:12:10 PM
MrPlaza, I can't tell if you are entirely joking but I'd actually be down for that! :))
Title: Re: Craft Cocktails
Post by: theplanesland on February 16, 2017, 03:45:19 PM
It is surprising (not saying good or bad, just surprising) that we still don't have a single craft cocktail bar (or a single ___, or a single ___) given what's going on with residential real estate. Someone needs to study the very particular dynamics of neighborhood change and stability here.

Have you seen what happened to Stew and Dudley? The community board, landlords, and other relevant bodies in the neighborhood seem to be pretty hostile to small new restaurants/bars established by 'upscale' people. That's good, on one slightly perverse level, because it prevents the whole neighborhood from domino'ing over. But it's bad, on another level.
Title: Re: Craft Cocktails
Post by: dssjh on February 16, 2017, 04:18:38 PM
are you saying, to paraphrase Kanye West, CB3 doesn't care about white people?
Title: Re: Craft Cocktails
Post by: Alexnyc on February 16, 2017, 05:20:07 PM
are you saying, to paraphrase Kanye West, CB3 doesn't care about white people?
no not white people. 'upscale' people
Title: Re: Craft Cocktails
Post by: AmazingJason on February 16, 2017, 10:34:25 PM
It is surprising (not saying good or bad, just surprising) that we still don't have a single craft cocktail bar (or a single ___, or a single ___) given what's going on with residential real estate. Someone needs to study the very particular dynamics of neighborhood change and stability here.

Have you seen what happened to Stew and Dudley? The community board, landlords, and other relevant bodies in the neighborhood seem to be pretty hostile to small new restaurants/bars established by 'upscale' people. That's good, on one slightly perverse level, because it prevents the whole neighborhood from domino'ing over. But it's bad, on another level.

My opinion is that it's not a bad thing at all...it's 100% positive. At the same time, I'm also excited for Swim Two Birds to open. It's just that most people don't understand basic economics, and that what makes this neighborhood great in the first place would disappear if those relevant bodies didn't fight to keep it the way it is now.
Title: Re: Craft Cocktails
Post by: Palermo on February 17, 2017, 07:22:16 AM
Have you seen what happened to Stew and Dudley? The community board, landlords, and other relevant bodies in the neighborhood seem to be pretty hostile to small new restaurants/bars established by 'upscale' people. That's good, on one slightly perverse level, because it prevents the whole neighborhood from domino'ing over. But it's bad, on another level.
My opinion is that it's not a bad thing at all...it's 100% positive. At the same time, I'm also excited for Swim Two Birds to open. It's just that most people don't understand basic economics, and that what makes this neighborhood great in the first place would disappear if those relevant bodies didn't fight to keep it the way it is now.

Am I reading into this wrong? Are you saying it would be a 100% positive thing that CB's, landlords et al to be openly hostile to businesses operated by upscale/white people?  It seems like that is what you are saying, but the excitement for Swim 2 Birds seems to counter that.  How does economics fit into all of this?
Title: Re: Craft Cocktails
Post by: theplanesland on February 17, 2017, 08:25:15 AM
Have you seen what happened to Stew and Dudley? The community board, landlords, and other relevant bodies in the neighborhood seem to be pretty hostile to small new restaurants/bars established by 'upscale' people. That's good, on one slightly perverse level, because it prevents the whole neighborhood from domino'ing over. But it's bad, on another level.
My opinion is that it's not a bad thing at all...it's 100% positive. At the same time, I'm also excited for Swim Two Birds to open. It's just that most people don't understand basic economics, and that what makes this neighborhood great in the first place would disappear if those relevant bodies didn't fight to keep it the way it is now.

Am I reading into this wrong? Are you saying it would be a 100% positive thing that CB's, landlords et al to be openly hostile to businesses operated by upscale/white people?  It seems like that is what you are saying, but the excitement for Swim 2 Birds seems to counter that.  How does economics fit into all of this?

Y'all are missing the other half of my comment, though, too - about a lot of landlords being prejduiced against -small- businesses. Take the Bruson Building. We all know they're holding out for national fast food chains.

It makes me wonder how the heck Pauglina happened (and how it's paying its rent.)
Title: Re: Craft Cocktails
Post by: NYC Peromyscus on February 17, 2017, 08:51:36 AM
LOL we're back to the wacky conspiracy theories about secret real estate cabals (the Illuminati?) preventing wealthy white people from opening businesses in JH   :o
Title: Re: Craft Cocktails
Post by: AmazingJason on February 17, 2017, 06:24:45 PM
Have you seen what happened to Stew and Dudley? The community board, landlords, and other relevant bodies in the neighborhood seem to be pretty hostile to small new restaurants/bars established by 'upscale' people. That's good, on one slightly perverse level, because it prevents the whole neighborhood from domino'ing over. But it's bad, on another level.
My opinion is that it's not a bad thing at all...it's 100% positive. At the same time, I'm also excited for Swim Two Birds to open. It's just that most people don't understand basic economics, and that what makes this neighborhood great in the first place would disappear if those relevant bodies didn't fight to keep it the way it is now.

Am I reading into this wrong? Are you saying it would be a 100% positive thing that CB's, landlords et al to be openly hostile to businesses operated by upscale/white people?  It seems like that is what you are saying, but the excitement for Swim 2 Birds seems to counter that.  How does economics fit into all of this?

I think hostile is a strong word. I don't think of it as being hostile, but rather that the relevant bodies prefer, want, or fight to keep the neighborhood as it is. I don't have an issue with it because I believe that JH is great just the way it is, and that greatness differentiates it with all the other neighborhoods in NYC. If someone really likes the stuff in LIC and Astoria, they can actually just go visit there since it's so close by, or they can go live there - which is what I did over a decade ago. That's just more or less my official stance of things. At the same time, none of all this is stuff I can control...whatever happens will happen...change and gentrification in NYC is inevitable, so I can also feel excited to check out Swim Two Birds when it opens. To thrive, you must ride the waves of change.
Title: Re: Craft Cocktails
Post by: MrPlaza on February 17, 2017, 10:41:33 PM
I thought there might have been a chance a conversation like this was going to break out.

1. @Cassat, I absolutely would be open to establishing a cocktail club. I really enjoy trying out cocktails, whether at a bar, or on my own. So, if there are others that share that interest, for sure, let's do it!

2. I don't quite understand/agree with the idea that whenever an "upscale" establishment opens, it means the end of a neighborhood's character. For starters, I simply don't believe in the dramatic domino effect that many people seem to think would undoubtedly happen. I lived in Jamaica, Queens when City Rib opened. It was the first of its kind. A upscale sit down BBQ restaurant in a sea of takeout and fast food. But it didn't change the tide of the neighborhood. In fact, the opposite happened. Despite its best efforts (and good food), it ended up succumbing to the neighborhood's interests and became a slightly more upscale version of Applebees. And the quality of its food went with it.

I simply don't subscribe to the unconditional belief that you cannot have the old and the new. And it's honestly really frustrating sometimes to hear from people who seem so categorically against any change in a neighborhood. Economics do play a part. But it's dramatic — I think — to take a single scenario of a single business, and project its implications onto the long-term character and livability of a neighborhood. One business is hardly reflective of a "trend." And it's trends that change neighborhoods.

I'm sorry, I'll get off my soapbox. But my point is that all I wanted was to discuss a good place to get good drinks. And I feel like any time something that ISN'T currently available in JH is brought up, it's labeled as upscale, yuppy, hipster, out-of-touch or character, gentrification, or some other negative connotation. Why can't it just be another dimension to an ever-growing and diversifying neighborhood? Jackson Heights, as we all know it, is only about 30 years old.

And for the record, so people don't think it's just a bunch of white yuppies who are interested in this, I'm Afro-Hispanic. So, let's not go there. This isn't a race thing.
Title: Re: Craft Cocktails
Post by: jeanette on February 17, 2017, 11:47:38 PM
...wish I had a bellini right about now....
Title: Re: Craft Cocktails
Post by: Palermo on February 18, 2017, 07:51:27 AM
@ AmazingJason: Spot on about change, best we can do is just ride the wave.

People move into a hood, they bring their culture.  Colombians did it, Ecuadorians later on and now urbanists.  No culture trumps another and should a group bring in the numbers, they get their shot, even if it's at the expense of someone else.  I can't understand for the life of me why it's okay to openly rail against the lattermost from moving into a hood and having their culture reflected in the neighborhood businesses though.
Title: Re: Craft Cocktails
Post by: ljr on February 18, 2017, 11:57:51 PM
Interesting discussion--I have two questions for Mr. Plaza and Palermo: "JH as we all know it is only 30 years old?" Huh? I don't get what you mean. What about the historic district and the great 1920s-era architecture, garden apartments, etc?  And--what are "urbanists"?
Title: Re: Craft Cocktails
Post by: dotley on February 19, 2017, 06:41:40 AM
FYI I just read on Sunnyside Post that a Craft Beer place is set to open on Roosevelt Avenue and 52 Street.  It will be called Solid State. 
Title: Re: Craft Cocktails
Post by: MrPlaza on February 19, 2017, 09:24:38 AM
Interesting discussion--I have two questions for Mr. Plaza and Palermo: "JH as we all know it is only 30 years old?" Huh? I don't get what you mean. What about the historic district and the great 1920s-era architecture, garden apartments, etc?  And--what are "urbanists"?
"As we know it," as in the insane melting pot that it is today. The neighborhood of Jackson Heights dates back to the 1920s, as you suggested. But the modern day community that some people violently defend from change (sometimes rightfully, sometimes not) was itself borne out of change. When the neighborhood was established, it was for middle and upper class whites. Over time the cultural, economic, and demographic makeup changed, specifically in the 70s and 80s.

The current "iteration" of Jackson Heights — as we know it — came about as a result of an ushering of its past. Not saying that's what should or will happen now. But today's version of the community was also vehemently opposed by the people of yesteryear. And I think it's fair to say, what we have today is better than what they had then. It's all about perspective, but the facts don't change. Unless you're dealing with alternative facts...

Oh and I think an urbanist in this context is being used to mean city dwellers who favor dense and gentrified communities.
Title: Re: Craft Cocktails
Post by: queenskid2 on February 19, 2017, 12:49:58 PM
Mr. Plaza, as someone who has lived here since the fifties, I think that you're missing something about the "transformation" of Jackson Heights. The change came when new immigrants from South America and South Asia started arriving in the 70's. But these new neighbors were basically on the same economic level as the old guard--middle class with the same education and skills for the most part as the people who were already here. That is not what is happening now. Just look at Washington Plaza. Look at the prices. Many of our new neighbors are purchasing apartments at prices well beyond what the people they are replacing could afford.

Gentrification is more about class than race. I lived in Park Slope for two years and saw the old timers--white, black, brown--pushed out by the newcomers--white, black, brown.  I cringe when I read postings on this board wondering how all the 99 cent stores can survive--are they doing something illegal, are the landlords giving them the secret handshake. No, they survive because they have customers from the neighborhood who shop there. They survive because of demand. I know that I am rambling a bit, but in my experience, the type of change talked about here cannot be easily contained. I like cocktails, but I am not sure if I'll like what comes next.
Title: Re: Craft Cocktails
Post by: SamInNY on February 19, 2017, 12:59:32 PM
That is not what is happening now. ... Many of our new neighbors are purchasing apartments at prices well beyond what the people they are replacing could afford.

This is exactly what I have tried to discuss on this board in the past -- how the rise in housing prices will change the nature of the neighborhood.

I know there is nothing I can do about it -- but it does make me sad, and I will miss the neighborhood as it is now. I will also probably enjoy some things about the new neighborhood that develops.

I have had MANY conversations with young adults who grew up here but are having to look elsewhere for housing, and with other neighbors (taxi-drivers, nannies, people who work in local stores and restaurants, just for a few examples) who had to move when their new lease upped the rent for a 1-bedroom from $1100-1200 to $1600-1700, and so on.

It is pretty clear that the days of JH as a first stop for immigrants are ending. Which means the diversity, restaurants, etc. that everyone celebrates will eventually go as well.
Title: Re: Craft Cocktails
Post by: dssjh on February 19, 2017, 01:03:57 PM
Interesting discussion--I have two questions for Mr. Plaza and Palermo: "JH as we all know it is only 30 years old?" Huh? I don't get what you mean. What about the historic district and the great 1920s-era architecture, garden apartments, etc?  And--what are "urbanists"?

alternative facts.
Title: Re: Craft Cocktails
Post by: Shelby2 on February 19, 2017, 02:22:52 PM
Neighborhoods constantly change in NYC. However, my observation is that this neighborhood has changed less than most (compared to other neighborhoods within 20 minutes transit time to Manhattan) in the past 10+ years that I've been here.

I would welcome a few places with a great atmosphere to enjoy a cocktail. I think this neighborhood can easily support a few more places like Espresso 77 and Swim Two Birds, as well as the 99 cent stores.
Title: Re: Craft Cocktails
Post by: queenskid2 on February 19, 2017, 05:51:28 PM
It's changed so little because of a combination of an unusually large number of coops and rent controlled apartments. My elderly parents are still here because of rent control. They could never afford the current rents. And my neighbors are here because they purchased their prime apartments for under $50,000. Now they go for almost twenty times that. Jackson Heights used to have affordable housing. Not anymore. And when affordability goes the neighborhood changes. There are plenty of craft cocktails in LIC and Astoria, just not too many places to live that the old residents could afford.
Title: Re: Craft Cocktails
Post by: MrPlaza on February 20, 2017, 12:12:49 PM
Mr. Plaza, as someone who has lived here since the fifties, I think that you're missing something about the "transformation" of Jackson Heights. The change came when new immigrants from South America and South Asia started arriving in the 70's. But these new neighbors were basically on the same economic level as the old guard--middle class with the same education and skills for the most part as the people who were already here. That is not what is happening now. Just look at Washington Plaza. Look at the prices. Many of our new neighbors are purchasing apartments at prices well beyond what the people they are replacing could afford.

Gentrification is more about class than race. I lived in Park Slope for two years and saw the old timers--white, black, brown--pushed out by the newcomers--white, black, brown.  I cringe when I read postings on this board wondering how all the 99 cent stores can survive--are they doing something illegal, are the landlords giving them the secret handshake. No, they survive because they have customers from the neighborhood who shop there. They survive because of demand. I know that I am rambling a bit, but in my experience, the type of change talked about here cannot be easily contained. I like cocktails, but I am not sure if I'll like what comes next.
I absolutely hear what you're saying, and it definitely is a fine line between a couple of new businesses opening up, and the beginning of a new "era" that has the potential to marginalize longstanding residents. But I suppose I don't believe it's always a forgone conclusion that the opening of a few "upscale" businesses spells disaster for a neighborhood's character. By that measure, the argument then becomes for Jackson Heights — and neighborhoods like it — to act as snow globe communities. Frozen in its current state; shielded from change, both good and bad.

I think queenskid2 makes the valid point that Jackson Heights is a unique neighborhood, in that so much of the inventory is coops and rent controlled. And I don't think you can overstate the importance of that distinction. Not only do those factors play a role, but so does the historical landmark status. I for one — even as a more progressive person — am wholly in favor of an expansion of the historic district. But that goes back to my belief that you CAN have the old and new sit alongside one another. Keep the rent controlled apartments. Make them permanent. Expand the historic district. Protect the things that strengthen the roots of the community. But I don't think that means we should block the opportunity of new small businesses who can bring a new dimension to the community's culture.

It's most likely naïveté and idealism on my part. But I do think it's possible. Here in Long Island City, change was inevitable. And as one of its community leaders, I recognize that there are upsides and downsides to what's happening here. What I've been trying to do is ensure that the growth taking place is done responsibly, and with regard to the people that call it home.
Title: Re: Craft Cocktails
Post by: M7X7 on February 22, 2017, 08:58:13 AM
It is pretty clear that the days of JH as a first stop for immigrants are ending.

I think that's inevitable for any neighborhood. The children and grandchildren of immigrants are not immigrants. And hopefully are better off than their parents, which is presumably why they immigrated in the first place. The only way a neighborhood can be permanently "a first stop for immigrants" is if nobody actually likes it enough to stick around.

But that doesn't mean the cultures they brought with them have to disappear, per se, just more integrated and less insular, as their children go to school together, etc. And isn't that a good thing?
Title: Re: Craft Cocktails
Post by: JA on February 23, 2017, 06:34:30 PM
I don't really see how JH has ceased to be a point of landing for new immigrants. Have you ever walked down Roosevelt Avenue? Have you ever walked down Northern Boulevard? I'm confused here. The historical district has always been a more affluent part of the neighborhood but the upper heights, Elmhurst, and Corona are all very immigrant-dense neighborhoods. The businesses here still mostly reflect the needs of middle-income immigrants and their families. It's good to be wary of warning signs but I still think this neighborhood has a large and dominant immigrant presence that isn't going away, or at least not rapidly.