Tuesday, May 09, 2006

The Beer Garden Blues

It looks to me like those good ole relaxing days down at the beer garden just might be over. There has been talk for the past couple of years of how the crowd has been getting more and more "manhattan-ish" or even "hipster-ish". Sadly I have now witnessed it, whatever you want to call the invasion!
I have been staying away purposely because of stories of gold lamee purses and skinny jean wearing androgynous peeps seen on line, but this past weekend a friend decided to have his birthday there. Apparently he and the main gaggle of friends got there before lines started- when things still had a semblance of the way they used to be a long long time ago...
After about a 2-minute attempt at waiting in the line I looked behind us and saw that the line was nearing the corner! Yowsers! It was pretty bad. I just couldn't wait in that line anymore so I jumped out and walked to the front where I took these pics (everyone looked at me like I had 3 heads too!) So there you have it folks, if you still need your kielbasa and dumplings fix-you may want to try an off-hour. I will try again during the week but later then what would be considered happy hour and see how I fare. I guess its really a personal preference, you either like crowds or you don’t. Unfortunately I got used to the place without these crowds so now I just can't do it. Granted it has always been a popular place (as long as I’ve lived here - 5.5 years anyway) but the crowds never seemed to be this out of control. I guess the Time Out articles aren't helping to keep our little gem under wraps! I'm glad they are getting recognized for the great place that it is, but couldn't we have like a "locals day" or something? A way to be sure that we could get in and grab a pitcher and a table for a few hours? Good luck enjoying Astoria's backyard this summer guys!

21 comments:

MissPinkKate said...

Last time I was there, the bouncer told me the line has nothing to do with capacity outside- it has to do with the number of people inside the building. They can't let too many people in at once, which I suppose makes sense for fire codes and what not. Meanwhile, if the outside caught on fire, how would everyone get out?

astoriacyclist said...

ok, so this sounds like the story of my birthday last year. the biggest group of people made it in before the lines were formed, then we were able to go retrieve people and bring em in the side door. for me, now, it's sunday afternoons, or weekday eves after work. it's really too bad. well, there's always fatty's backyard once that's up and running.

Anonymous said...

dude its been the same way the past couple of summers. you need to go in the AFTERNOON. Weekends after 6 and you may face a line. Once you get in there's always plenty of space in the beer garden.

Anonymous said...

its still worth the wait but the lines suck ... go early on weekends or after work in weekdays and there is rarely a line. this place still rules, regardless.

floozigrl said...

good to know! there is hope!!! thanks for all the info, and thanks for the dish on Fatty's- i will def be checking that out.

Tesh said...

Last summer fridays around 6pm were usually good, please dont say I have to go earlier now!

Anonymous said...

If it's nice on a Sunday, go there early. Anytime after 5ish, is ugly. People, seriously, go back to your Manhattan or Brooklyn apartments. The beer garden is only for us Queens residents. :)

matt the rat said...

thats some horrific shit right there. I used to hang out on that block in the 70's and it was Greek and quiet back then. Those yuppies would have gotten egged for sure back then. They need to build beer gardens of their own in Long Island and leave the Astorians alone

astoriacyclist said...

I think if you can't walk or bike there, stay away. matter of fact leave the bikes too, as they can't come in to the garden either.

joshua said...

i still go on the weekdays, but now if it's full on a weekend, i go to sparrow instead. sparrow's better for a low-key hipster like me anyway. :)

Anonymous said...

The write-up it got in the "Tables for Two" section in this week's New Yorker sure won't help things.

Jenn said...

there should be an express line for anyone who can prove they live in astoria and their crew. like, show a utility bill with ID (i say that b/c my ID has my mom's Jackson Hts addy) You were able to get people in through the side door though? they've never let us do that. the rent a cops still make you wait even if there is a bench and a glass waiting inside with your name on it.
sigh...there goes an astorian summer ritual...

Mike said...

I stinks, but I think it is a good sign of borough recognition. Too often Queens is overlooked in the "array of cool" in New York. It's blogs like this and people that live in Astoria that are putting it on the map. When I tell some people I live in Queens, I sometimes get looks like I told them I have Emphysema. If places like the beach bar and the beer garden bring people out to see that its just another neighborhood in New York, then great!

Grumpy McOldy said...

I guess I'm just an old grump then because I like Astoria flying a bit under the radar. And I just don't care if people think Astoria is uncool. More for us to love and enjoy.

I know times are changing and it was only a matter of time, but I just feel like I'm losing the quiet, unassuming neighborhood I moved into 10 years ago. I fear Astoria is going to become the next Billyburg...LIC is already well on it's way, with all the obnoxious yuppies moving in. How long before we see million dollar condos popping up?

Tis ashame, IMHO.

megc said...

grumpy mcoldy, that is just about the best non-registered comment name I've seen in a very long time! People should be more inventive like that. "anonymous" leaves me cold.

Anonymous said...

grumpy is correct. would you believe the developers tried to tear down the park and build junk. It was saved because people stood up and said no.

ah those were the days ...

reallyrosie said...

Going to the beer garden on a Friday or Saturday eve is like going out on New Year's Eve. It's for amatures!!!

The garden is our backyard. We can go anytime. Go during the week. Go when it opens.

I've never witnessed a line. I don't even know what time you have to go to stand in that line.

Work? to hell with work!

Anonymous said...

Maybe if we had less places geared toward ethnic euro-trash wannabies and more towards mainstream entertainment the night life around here would perk up

I'm tired of one trick ponies.

Any club investors listening?

Anonymous said...

I actually knew someone that was looking to open a bar around the 31st Ave area. Just a regular bar with a good jukebox, nice selection of beer, possibly a DJ on weekends. Nothing pretentious or "scene-y". When he heard the rents the landlords were charging, though, he was disgusted. We're talking Manhattan sized rents here and not justified by the neighborhood (Manhattan rents outside of Manhattan are never justified, IMHO). When he talked to these landlords, he found they preferred renting the spaces to "Euro" types because "they bring in the money no matter what".

Of the 3 places he looked at, one is slated to be a "European spa" (whatever that is) and the other 2 are supposedly going to be *you guessed it* Euro-type cafes/bars.

The investors ARE looking in Astoria. Unfortunately, the landlords are the driving everyone away.

Anonymous said...

I guess some ethnic groups are used to not paying taxes and have the cash to outbid everyone else(surprise!) ... which makes the main stream opportunties that the community actually wants uncompetitive.

As someone else posted, euro places are not for the people who live here, but the ethnic groups to flock to from the surrounding area.

So most of these places are empty most of the time (with a few sullen types) then packed for a few hours every week. And keep reopening and reopening and reopening.

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