Lately I've met up with friends at a new-ish place on Ditmars called Stini Yiamas. It's kind of a lounge, kind of a bar, hard to absolutely categorize. But it's been a nice place to chill out at the end of the day with friends, have a drink, and the music is low enough to have an easy time conversing with each other. I've had some really delicious cosmopolitans there, and my friends have enjoyed the small selection of imported beers (bottles, no taps). Happy hour prices are really good, $4 for the cosmopolitan and $3 for the beer. I'm actually not positive when happy hour starts (opening hours are still a little wonky right now), but it's safe to say that if you get there by 6pm, things will be open and ready for you.
The look of the bar is really appealing, and the bartenders do a great job serving and pouring drinks, and are just really nice people. Earlier in the evening it's rarely crowded, but at night things pick up. I have walked by there around 10pm or so and there have been more people in there hanging out. I'm guessing the music gets louder, too.
The atmosphere is pretty relaxed, the lights are low, which is conducive to chilling out. I noticed they have a large screen TV (couches, too), and have seen Mets games playing on it (not sure about Yankee games, this being the home borough of the Mets and all), so it's an option for those who want to watch a game but don't want a sports bar atmosphere. I think this is a terrific option to have, not that I don't like sports bars ('cause I do), but that it's great to have options! I imagine now that we're into football season, those games will be on as well.
Stini Yiamas is also right next door to 718, so Stini Yiamas could be a good place to go for a drink before dinner. I hope there develops a good relationship between the two places, and that Stini Yiamas can make it here in the Ditmars neighborhood. It's a really pleasant place and a different kind of drinking establishment in the neighborhood compared to what is around it, and it's always terrific to have variety. I believe there is room for everyone here, and Stini Yiamas is a perfect example of that. Definitely check it out!
Ditmars Boulevard and 34th Street