This week, Neir’s, the venerable tavern in Woodhaven, threw down the gauntlet as the Queens Historical Society anointed it NYC’s oldest continuously operated drinking establishment, challenging the self-proclaimed champion, McSorley’s on East 7th Street in the East Village, which claims 1854 as its opening year. NYC historian Richard McDermott claimed differently in the mid-1990s; according to his research employing old insurance maps, census data and tax-assessment records, indicators pointed to an 1862 opening. McSorley’s certainly gained cachet over the years from Joseph Mitchell’s stories in the New Yorker, collected in his book Up In the Old Hotel. Infamously, McSorley’s stubbornly insisted on settling for half its potential profits by only admitting male customers until a court challenge in 1970.
Both McSorley’s and Neir’s, if nature had not intervened, would lose out to the South Street Seaport’s Bridge Cafe, which under various ownership has been operated as a distillery, grocery and bar since 1794. However, the Bridge Cafe has been shuttered since the area was flooded by Hurricane Sandy in October 2012, and it is unknown when it will reopen. Its website says it is “temporarily closed” and it’s hoped that ‘temporary’ is indeed the case.
This leaves us with Neir’s, which, for the time being, at least, is the present champion. At 87-48 78th Street at 88th Avenue (formerly Snedeker, Snediker, or Sneideicker Avenue, depending on what map you consult, and 3rd Avenue, stands one of New York City’s oldest taverns, Neir’s, opened by their account in 1829 as The Pump Room, or Old Blue Pump House, to serve Union Course patrons.
A new cafe has set up shop in Ridgewood — Coffeenesse, at 64-02 68th Avenue. (It’s the old Casey Jones Saloon space.) Here’s some info on the joint from Ridgewood Social: “The goal of Coffeenesse is to offer delicious coffee as well tasty sandwiches. I had a pressed turkey sandwich with brie and it was really, really good. Probably one of the best sandwiches I had in Ridgewood.”
There’s a nice selection of specialty coffee, tea, pastries and food. It looks cozy, too. Hours are from 7 am to 8 pm. GMAP
A teaser site is up for The Queensboro, an American bistro planned for Jackson Heights. It will be located at 80-04 Northern Boulevard between 80th and 81st Streets. Unfortunately we have no details yet on the menu or the vibe of the place. It is safe to assume there will be typical bistro fare, which there is definitely demand for around Jackson Heights. (If you have any more details, leave them in the comment section or shoot us a tip.) It’s supposed to open early this year. Stay tuned for more details… GMAP
On Valentines Day, Armondo’s Italian Restaurant reopened in Jackson Heights. The restaurant is now located at 73-16 Northern Boulevard, the old Trieste Restaurant space. They had to relocate after a five-alarm fire at the Bruson Building displaced the business last spring. A Jackson Heights life commenter offered a positive review of the new digs:
I was seated at a nice, white-clothed table along the wall, giving me a prime view of the well-appointed bar and the patrons coming in and out. My shrimp oreganata appetizer was succulent and flavorful; the veal parmesan that followed was incredible. The cheese and sauce actually had to compete for attention with the meat – so well-prepared. Two nice glasses of Montepulciano, with a complimentary third making an appearance to seal the deal. And the canoli dessert was perfect – needless to say, the pristine white tablecloth was no longer pristine nor white by the end of the proceedings.
All in all, it was a great dining experience with the food I grew up with only steps from my home. So happy they’re back. And to sweeten the deal, these fine folks are offering 20% off on Mondays through Thursdays! So go get reacquainted. They’re open and ready to satisfy the neighborhood craving I know I’ve had. Enjoy!
The menu looks similar to the one offered at the old location, and there’s also lunch and Sunday brunch service.
On Sunday, Sunnyside welcomed a new, authentic Chinese dumpling joint to the neighborhood. Dumplings & Things opened at 45-26 46th Street, right near the Sunnyside arch. According to Sunnyside Shines, this is the second location of the business; the first outpost is located in Park Slope, Brooklyn. Says Sunnyside Shines: “Sibling owners Lorraine Li and Sam Li, along with their family, bring many years of experience preparing the dough, dumplings, noodles and sauces that has made their first venture so successful.”
The menu — which you can see in full after the jump — includes five types of Chinese dumplings with pork, chicken and vegetable varieties. There are also noodles, soups, baos and rice platters, including pork belly noodles, sesame noodles with peanut sauce, and braised beef baos. You can see photos of the food and interior space after the jump.
Dumplings & Things is open Sunday through Thursday, 11:30 am to 10 pm and Friday and Saturday, 11:30 am to 11 pm. Any Sunnyside residents stop by over the long weekend? GMAP
In a few weeks, the LA-based chef Alex Reznik (who is also a former Top Chef contestant) is opening what looks to be a very cool kosher eatery in Flushing. Eater reports that Bedford Kitchen is set to open at 69-44 Main Street, in a Jewish enclave of the neighborhood near Queens College. Over in Los Angeles, Reznik runs the popular Ditmas Kitchen & Cocktail, which serves New York dishes and craft cocktails. Here are more details on his Flushing restaurant, via the Bedford Kitchen Facebook:
At BEDFORD Alex has created a menu that is both contemporary and exciting. The bar will feature the finest local craft beers and most interesting and eclectic range of wines. The menu features a modern approach on a variety of traditionally inspired American plates with a flavor first mentality. A truly unique take on Kosher Dining, BEDFORD promises to please everyone.
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.”
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!
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.
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.