01/23/15 2:00pm


Tonight’s the night! The owners of Ridgewood cafe Norma’s are opening their beer and wine bar at 818 Woodward Avenue near Cornelia Street. Dubbed Julia’s, there will be local beer, organic wine and a menu of charcuterie and small plates. (Expect Finback, Bridge and Tunnel and Transmitter Breweries on tap.) The opening was delayed due to Department of Building issues that have since been resolved.

And yesterday, Gothamist wrote about Bierleichen, a new German-style bar slated for 582 Seneca Avenue. The owners (also behind the Brooklyn bars The Bounty and The Drink) hope to open with German beers, sausages and pretzels within the next month. Gothamist posits that “it wouldn’t be totally out there to say Seneca, with its convenient subway stop, will become Ridgewood’s Bedford Avenue one day.”

All Julia’s coverage [Q'Stoner]

Photo via Julia’s Facebook

01/14/15 2:00pm


We’ve kept a close eye on Julia’s Beer and Wine Bar, under construction at 818 Woodward Avenue near Cornelia Street. The owners (who also run popular Ridgewood cafe Norma’s) planned to open last September but were held up by Department of Buildings issues. Today they announced that they’re planning on a soft opening for next Friday, January 23rd.

Once open, the spot will serve local craft beers (with Finback, Bridge and Tunnel and Transmitter Breweries on tap), wine, charcuterie and cheese plates. The interior looks gorgeous, too. Can’t wait!

All Julia’s coverage [Q'Stoner] GMAP

Photo via Facebook

01/13/15 2:00pm


Mexican Apple BBQ, a barbecue joint with some Mexican flair, is now open at 66-89 Forest Avenue, off of Putnam Avenue in Ridgewood. Ridgewood Social gives the spot two thumbs up, and reports that the owners use a small, in-house smoker and make homemade tortillas to order. The menu includes BBQ ribs and chicken, buffalo wings, burgers, tortas, juices and more. It’s open Monday through Friday, 7:30 am to 10:30 pm and Saturday through Sunday, 8 am to 10:30 pm.

Check out great photos of the space and the food over at Ridgewood Social. GMAP

Photo via Facebook

12/17/14 2:00pm


After a petition circulated to keep the Sunnyside Famers Market open all year round, the greenmarket will now open every Saturday from 8am to 3pm for the entire year. Previously, the market only stayed open May through December, but more than 1,000 residents as well as the community board pushed to extend it. Sunnyside Post spoke with Jessenia Cagle, the coordinator of the market, who said “I think the neighborhood is ready for it. There are a lot of people in the area who like fresh, local food—and they don’t want to have to go too far to get it especially in winter.” There are, however, residents opposed to the extended dates due to the loss of parking around the market location, Skillman Avenue between 42nd and 43rd Streets.

Right now around 16 vendors sell veggies, meat, fish and bread. Most are expected to stay on through the winter, except for the wine and fish vendors.

Sunnyside Farmers Market to be Open All Year Round [Sunnyside Post]
Closing Bell: Petition Aims to Make the Sunnyside Greenmarket Year Round [Q'Stoner]

Photo by Sunnyside Post

12/16/14 4:00pm


New York Times restaurant critic Pete Wells wrote an excellent guide for Korean food in Queens, which can be found beyond the last stop on the 7 train “in Murray Hill, Auburndale, Bayside and beyond, serving famous Korean dishes and obscure ones.” Here’s a taste of what’s there: “Beef barbecue and blood sausage; wheat noodles in deep steaming bowls and arrowroot noodles in broth chilled with ice crystals; tofu casseroles and live octopus; Korean-Chinese restaurants and Korean-French bakeries; beery pubs and studious espresso bars; chicken fried in a shattering crust of rice flour and chicken boiled whole with ginseng.” Wells believes that the so-called “Queens kimchi belt” is one of the least explored and celebrated ethnic food districts in the city.

He lists 12 of his favorite spots, many of which are located in Murray Hill and Auburndale. And he offers some dining tips, as well: “I followed the lead of the locals. Rather than taking the full measure of a menu, as a restaurant critic normally would, I zeroed in on one or two specialties. I compared them with other competing versions nearby. I would taste all the claimants on the same day when I could, although I had to break my fried-chicken safari into two trips.”

In Queens, Kimchi Is Just the Start [NY Times]

Google Map via the NY Times

12/16/14 2:00pm


This has really been a busy year for Ridgewood, what with all the trend pieces and landmarking and new business openings. This week brings two more arrivals to the neighborhood, Topos Bookstore and Buttah Bakery.

Topos Bookstore is located at 788 Woodward Avenue, between Putnam Avenue and Madison Street. We hear there’s a good selection of books, including children’s books. Ridgewood Beat noted that there was an open house Sunday night, with an official grand opening coming soon. Then there’s Buttah Bakery, under construction at 377 Onderdonk Avenue between Stanhope and Stockholm Streets. The owners, two sisters from Williamsburg, gave Ridgewood Social some more details on the coming opening: “Buttah is an American bakery committed to using the freshest and highest quality ingredients. All of our items are freshly baked daily from scratch on premise. Our menu includes many sweet and savory American and Italian-American classic treats with a twist. We don’t have a Grand Opening date yet but we’re hoping for before the holidays.” Two very nice additions to the nabe!

Photo via Facebook


This Friday the 19th, The Beast Next Door will open at 42-51 27th Street in Long Island City. The bar and cafe, located off Queens Plaza North, will offer coffee, sandwiches, salads, meats and cheeses, wine and draft beer (including local brews). The hours are Tuesday to Sunday, 11 am to 2 am and Monday from 11 am to 7 pm. We Heart LIC checked out the soft opening and reports back on the 1,000-square-foot space:

It’s really quite nice—an open space with lots of tables, chairs, and benches; a cooler case and bar on the left (with lights hanging down above it, attached to a horizontally suspended ladder); and the beautiful Turkish-inspired carved art on the back wall. The place felt really cozy and warm, and I think this will be a wonderful option for local folks especially.

The bar’s grand opening will take place from 11 am to 2 am and include live music. At the back of the bar there’s a raised platform intended for bands and other performers.

The Beast Next Door Opens This Friday [We Heart LIC] GMAP

Photo via The Beast Next Door

12/09/14 2:00pm


First an indie coffee shop, now a “tiki bar–cum–cocktail club” for Forest Hills. Edge of the City pointed us to this Time Out article published in late November about End of the Century Bar, now open at 104-08 Metropolitan Avenue between 71st Drive and 72nd Avenue. It is the work of bartenders who have done stints at Pegu Club, PKNY and Maison Premiere. Here, they came up with a menu of classic cocktails with some twists — scorpion bowls, moscow mules, a rum-absinthe-lime punch, and more. And the decor sounds cool, too: “Inspired by the trio’s own homes, the walls are dotted with Indonesian masks, maracas from Cuba, vintage Russian cameras and linens from Japan,” says Time Out.

Anybody checked this place out yet?

Tiki Bar–Cum–Cocktail Club End of the Century Bar Hits Forest Hills [Time Out] GMAP

Photo by Filip Wolak via Time Out

12/05/14 2:00pm


Soon after the cocktail bar Onderdonk & Sons opened on Onderdonk Avenue, we got word of a Belgian beer bar slated to open on Fresh Pond Road. Called The Monk, the bar specializes primarily in Belgian beers and will have a strict “no TV” policy. According to Bedford and Bowery, “The name of the bar is an homage to the Trappist Monks who famously brew their own beer, considered among the best in the world.” There will be eight rotating beers on tap, a unique selection of bottled beers, and a backyard to drink in when the weather’s warm.

The grand opening is tomorrow, Saturday, from 5 pm to 2 am. Regular hours will be Monday through Thursday, 5 pm to midnight, Friday from 5 pm to 2 am, Saturday from 2 pm to 2 am, and Sunday from 2 pm to midnight. The Monk is located at 68-67 Fresh Pond Road, just north of Myrtle Avenue. GMAP

12/03/14 2:00pm


Last Friday, the bar Onderdonk & Sons opened in Ridgewood at 566 Onderdonk Avenue, between Bleecker and Menahan Streets. They are open everyday from 4 pm, with a happy hour from 4 to 7 pm (draughts for $4 and all cocktails for $5). Cocktails, which normally cost $7, include a Moscow Mule, a “Poor Man’s Sangria” and a Fall Harvest, served with apple shrub and sweet vermouth. There’s also a modest selection of canned beers and wine.

The spot looks beautiful, with exposed brick, leather booths and tin ceilings. Onderdonk & Sons also plans to start serving burgers and brunch soon. GMAP

Photo via Facebook