Wednesday, April 12, 2006

another.....cafe?

Yup, methinks its going to be another Astorian favorite....a cafe! Surprise! On 30th Ave. and 36th St. it used to be a cafe with a chicken place next door if i'm not mistaken. I guess they felt the need to expand to 2 storefront's worth of cafe'dom. This is fast becoming an epidemic. I can maybe accept 1 new cafe a year-but do they all have to be in spitting distance from each other? Do we really need that much caffeine and sidewalk seating? Ugh, this topic can go on forever i'm sure with both pros and cons ( i've got to believe that the cons outweigh the pros.) The whole thing just gives me a headache. Is it weird that i've lived here for a little over 5 years and still have not stepped foot into a cafe? Its not a coincidence believe you me! Just thought i'd put the sighting out there.

For another take on cafe's in the nabe, a new blog run by 2 local girls on a mission. Alpha Astoria chronicles their attempt to hit every Greek cafe in Astoria this summer. I really wish them the best of luck with it... this is a task that i am not jealous of at all. Like the proverbial train wreck, i will be checking in for their next review!

32 comments:

megc said...

Have you ever had one of those Nescafe frappes? I am wondering what they are like!

floozigrl said...

nope never have, if they are those tall things that all the chic coffee people are out there drinking-i must admit...i'm intrigued

Brianna said...

I had these every day when I was in Greece and had my first Astoria made one yesterday -- i promise that the're amazingly yummy (milk+sugar+coffee+air!).

Anonymous said...

Good for your comments!!! Its about time someone has the nerve to say those things.

Really don't know how half these places stay in business, you just go by and see all those sullen faced men. Ugh!!!

With the exception of the Astoria beer garden, my friends and I go into the city cause Astoria is, shall we say, booringly monoculturual? Tacky Euro-thump is so 80s and those places on Steinway Street are so creepy.

I bet the cafe tour will be gushing with delight though cause I cannot believe anyone would announce this and then pan it.

megc said...

Hey Brianna, that sounds pretty tasty! I am guessing that the frappe is the inspiration for the Frappacino...

floozigrl said...

last night i saw the awnings and lighting were up. It's got the name on it too, lo and behold its the second coming of the Avenue Cafe. I guess they just decided to expand and not deny Astorians their Frappe's in style!

megc said...

flooz, I say you and me meet up at some point soon and have a "frappe-tacular" time testing this Nescafe-centric drink.

floozigrl said...

haha, sure-lets talk for next week. Now the question....from which place???

Boohoo said...

Yes, it's Avenue Cafe. They bought the chicken place and decided to expand last summer after Flo and Grand Cafe opened. Just what we need. I've only been in Grand for their $10 brunch (which is really quite good, plus they include a mimosa or bloody mary) but all of the other places look far to elitist and exclusive for me. Why is that?

Anonymous said...

exclusive? what are you smokin?
just go in and have a drink, it's not such a big deal!

Anonymous said...

I'm not Greek but I love the greek cafes, especially frappes, so delicious!! I'm a people watcher too, and I find all the hubbub very amusing to watch. I certainly agree on the whole Steinway men clubs - who would want to go in there anyway? A bunch of old men smoking on hookas and talking whatever the hell they talk about, and not a woman in sight! I call them men's clubs, but I guess everyone has to have a club. I don't see the Greek cafes and the hookah men clubs as the same thing. Don't worry Flooz, a frappe won't hurt, you'd probably like it! Please tell me you at least tried Amonia. Dessert!!! And Cavo! They look elitist but are very welcoming. Actually haven't had a bad experience yet in any of them. Telly's Taverna - now there's an elitist joint. Watch it if you an obvious non greek.

-Daisy

MissPinkKate said...

I stopped going to The Grand Cafe after they instituted at $15 credit card minimum- which I found out about at $10 brunch one day, after months and months of going there every week. I asked to see the manager and he was SUCH A DICK about it that I told him I was never coming back.

Anonymous said...

a credit card minimum is actually illegal, so you should tell them you will report them to the credit card companies, and the better business group.

astoriacyclist said...

they're exclusive in that if you're not greek, you get weird looks and poor service. eff them all. they can keep their euro-trashiness corraled into these places, instead of pumping euro house out of their tricked out jettas on ditmars blvd.

Kage said...

Yesterday all I wanted to do was sit outside and have a sandwich at Avenue Cafe. I had only been there once, but I really wanted to go again. And I was upset that it was GONE...and now happy to know that it is only temporary (thanks floozigirl), and that it will be back.

I settled for Pita Pan. I had never been there before but it was alright. And they had outdoor seating, which is what I really wanted.

Tonight I had yet another dissappointment. I REALLY wanted a rice and beans empanada from Papa's and I walked there in the rain with my 4 year old, only to find they were closed for Good Friday. RATS!

Anonymous said...

I can see them get a lot of publicity, maybe a book deal for this, for its something the media will latch on to: Greek cafes, Astoria.

A few cafes are fun, but I don't understand why we see the same formula over and over and over. Whats wrong with some new ideas?

How about using this board to expand and improve the quality of nightlife? Which, with a few notable exceptions, has a long way to go.

How about pushing for some good old fashioned watering holes with some good music.

I live in Astoria. There is no reason that I have to go to Williamsburg or Manhattan cause I don't want to hang with some jerk who dresses in polyester, listens to what goes for club music around here, and wear shades at night!

Zora said...

Ha--I read the end of that last comment, and I thought you were talking about the scene in _Williamsburg_!

Anyway, frappes rock, and I'm glad to get them in my nabe. The dirty secret: they're made from Nescafe! But Greek Nescafe, of course.

Cafe Bar does a frappe treatment to its iced tea, in that it uses powdered iced-tea mix and shakes the bejesus out of it. Genius. Though it does take balls to call it "iced tea" on the menu.

Anonymous said...

Yes let's use this board to expand and improve the quality of nightlife!

um, how would one do that?

floozigrl said...

um, i think you give this blog more credit then its due! haha improve the quality of nightlife... what an uphill battle that is

ItalianJ said...

Hey guys Ive been to so many cafes in Astoria and the only cafe i felt normal was at FLO.Avenue Cafe people look at me weird and in Grand Cafe everybody seems to be snobby.At least at FLo they hire people that ask for your order in english and not in greek.Im irish/italian i guees i have to learn greek living in astoria

Anonymous said...

...Yawn, yes I hear you.

Lack of creativity and imagination seems to be a halmark of the stale social life around here.

So much of the nightlife is geared around a small clique that gets together for a few hours each week. Outside of that, most of the time the places are all but empty.

I am not interested in going into a place where the topic of conversation is solving the perpetual Balkans problem or something that's as enticing as salsa a la East Elmhurst.

With all the crime around these spots this year, for the first time I don't even feel safe going into some of those places.

I wonder how we can break out of this smug, tired cycle?

Anonymous said...

I can see avenue cafe & grand cafe from my apt windows. One friday nite my friend and I (both very non greek women) ate @ avenue cafe and we got 4 glasses of red wine on the house. I think the bartenders were trying to keep us there on the account that we were the the only non greeks & women in the place. Never really went back, the food wasn't that great and Greek men creep me out, but so do the men at Glen oaks pub. Where do other people go for a burger & a beer in this neighboorhood?

Anonymous said...

Well one secret resolved: these places are not for Astorians per se, but serve the needs of their larger ethnic communities in the metro area.

This explains why many of the places are empty most of the time, then very late, suddenly get very crowded.

It seems as if the people owning these 'hot spots' see no reason cater to the broader community that lives here. They have no interest in satisfying the needs of a changing demographic.

All we need is another left-field success like Bohemian Hall to send them a message. They will wake up and discover that there is a lot of pent up disposable income in our community that is being spent in Manhttan.

Joey said...

OMG - I'm amazed at the length of this conversation. Clearly Astorians feel pretty strongly about this! Well, for the record, I also think Frappes are tasty, and I also think that if you aren't sporting the propor Eurostyle in these places you do get looked at a bit weird, but I still think that can be a fun neighborhood outing. Tho, it would be nice to see some more diversity.

Anonymous said...

i really dont know if this is an inquisition of avenue cafe but ive been to all the local blands and here is what i have to say- grand cafe may have the cage in their name but they are a full blown restuarant people so get with it--avenue cafe seems to have closed and hired grand cafe for their design and their wardrobe and flow cafe is a place to go not to be seen by all the regulars...i love that place because it reminds me of an underdog.....

Anonymous said...

Hey frappé nationals! I've just co-written Frappé Nation, a bilingual book exploring the frappé phenomenon and the cool coffee culture that sensationally frothy iced coffee stimulates. You can find out more -- and please please tell us who in Astoria makes the best frappé -- at www.frappenation.com

Anna said...

frappe comes from my ancestorssss :)

josh said...

Most of these so called "Greek Cafes" are owned and operated by off the boaters who's sense of style comes from the "really ole country". Avenue Cafe is owned and operated by group of Cyprians who are so green and ego centric that they spent another 750.000K of that untaxed cash opening the two corner restaurants on 35th street that are tanking or have completely gone under. Goof balls will never be able to capture the flavor of true NYC or even Astoria. Nothing against immigrants but try to keep it real.

bellaax0 said...

ok, i live in Astoria and all i have to say is that these cafes are the closet thing we have to being in europe and its the most amazing feeling. i love them and so do a lot of people. usally the people that dont like them are the ones who dont live here and have moved from out of state. the coffee is amazing all by itself and to have that with good food good music and great people is even better, i personally know all of the ownwers of Grand, Avenue, Flo, i met them after having been around them so much. they are great people and very nice to everyone. if you want the true nyc feeling go to the city this is the true feeling of astoria if you dont like it leave we really dont like new people here anyway =]
i love my astoria and its cafes!

bellaax0 said...

and by the way i was reading more of these comments,and let me just say we dont need to change our demographics astoria is fine the way it is and CRIME?! seriously i just died laughing nothing ever happens maybe a fight once in a while during the summer and even if there is most of the people never find out about it because the owners take very good care of thier places and dont want to ruin thier image.

josh said...

Listen...bellax0, you also must be a Jamba Cyprian with really hairy arms to falsely assume that your going to keep out "new people". Astoria is only a small part of a city called New York, not some back woods, green horn village that you still think your living in. Welcome to NYC, were even thirdworld immigrants can call home.

boy labyog said...

There's have hamburger stand?



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