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Bars in Eastern Jackson Heights

I've recently moved to Jackson Heights, and with the aid of Jim Leff's street map, I've found a lot of delicious chow. However, I'm still hunting for bars. Can anyone suggest places where I can find:

A decent beer selection?
A place to sit and chat?
Sports other than soccer on the tv?


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  1. I have lived here for over 2 years and the lack of bars is really annoying. I mostly go to Williamsburg or Astoria. There are several salsa clubs and gay bars, but I have yet to find a decent "pub" kind of bar. There are some new bars on Northern Blvd I haven't tried yet though.

    1. By decent beer selection, do you mean 'has Negro Modelo on top of 4 or 5 watery pilsners'? If not, you're out of luck. Well, Novo has Sam Adams, bottled.

      I don't think you'll find beer on tap anywhere east of the dire Ready Penny Inn on 73rd street until you get to Flushing.

      One bright spot: the Met Foods supermarket on 37th Ave just starting carrying some Stone and Dogfish Head brews.

      I'd think that most of the latino bars would be willing to put a baseball or football game on for you if you ask. Just don't bother if the soccer is Colombia vs Mexico in the world cup or something like that.

      Legends on 35th Ave on the western end of JH is a small sports bar, they get all the NFL games, decent BBQ, they at least have beer on draft, if nothing particularly exciting.

      There's another sports bar a couple blocks above Northern called Cassidy's, at 31st Ave and 75th St (OK, a little east of 73rd), most of the Sunday crowd there appear to be well into their 40s and older.

      1 Reply
      1. re: JacksonH

        Actually, by decent beer selection I meant "has something *other* than Negro Modelo on top of 4 to 5 watery Pilsners" You have answered as I feared.

        Nevertheless, thanks for the tips on sports bars; I'll check them out.

      2. Plenty of pubs down here in Woodside, pretty much all of which have Guinness etc. on draft and the Mets on the TV (in addition to soccer, rugby & hurling), and a few even have darts. You just need to be able to stagger off/on the 7 train at 61st St.

        1. I've lived in JH for six years, and the bar scene is basically non-existent, except for the aforementioned salsa clubs and gay bars (which can be booming on a Saturday night). It's a shame, because I have no doubt that a good pub would get booming business.

          Your best bet is to walk or take the train down to Woodside. There are several good pubs down there.

          1. Come to the Ready Penny! I am looking for beer drinkers in the hood, and the RPI seems like our best bet. The bartenders there are awesome, but the oddest they have on tap is Killians. But I have been there twice and they already know what I drink and my name....No darts, but pool.

            10 Replies
            1. re: broad

              i agree about the ready penny -- it's a nice space with friendly bartenders, and draws a really cool interesting clientele, from old ladies playing quick draw to young indian guys shooting pool to the odd gay couple. maybe it's not the meat-market hotspot some are looking for, but i like it just fine

              1. re: david sprague

                I dunno, I guess I'm just not PC enough to automatically become enamored with a bar simply because a couple of South Asians or gays might show up. I'm all for bars that welcome older patrons, assuming my liver is functioning at that age, I expect I'll still be going to bars, but when I've been in Ready Penny, it was pretty dreary and depressing, not a fun place at all.

                I tend to agree with the below, that the current demographics in JH don't support a good pub or saloon, otherwise Ready Penny and Legends wouldn't be so dead most of the time. Maybe if something good can come out of the changing demographics, it will be a great go-to bar for those who are neither gay nor latino, whether Ready Penny or Legends or Novo can fill that void or some new place.

                I imagine I'll give the Ready Penny another shot some time (but not on a Thursday). Somebody tell them to get some Six Point Bengali Tiger on tap there, or at least Brooklyn Lager for god's sake.

                1. re: JacksonH

                  and i guess i'm not pretentious enough to automatically become enamored with a bar that concentrates on pouring obscure, over-priced quaffs to an entirely homogenous crowd. to each his (or her) own.

                  1. re: david sprague

                    Brooklyn Lager is obscure, overpriced quaff? Really?

                    I might agree with you if you said the same of the Six Point Brownstone, but the Bengali Tiger is a great beer. Sure it costs more than Bud, it's brewed with superior ingredients and lacks the economies of scale of Anheiser Busch. It's a bit ironic on a foodie site like this that seeking out a better tasting beer would qualify one as pretentious. Is the porterhouse at Luger's an overpriced steak for pretentious snobs because it costs more than Tad's? The price differential for a more flavorful beer vs a mass-produced pilsner is quite a bit less.

                    I didn't move to JH because I was looking for a homogenous crowd. On the other hand, the mere fact that not everyone in a place is young, white and straight isn't sufficient to give a bar the atmosphere I'm looking for, I don't want to spend my free time somewhere "downbeat". I'd just as soon go to a random latino bar, get a chance to work on my atrocious Spanish.

                    Like I said, I'll give Ready Penny another try sometime, but that karoake night sounds horrid to me. I believe the poster below who said they have Guinness on tap is correct, I don't drink the stuff.

                    Terraza is a neat space, on two floors, random sofas to lounge around on, I think some nights they have jam sessions there. The bottled beer selection isn't any different than the typical national pilsners you find in all the other latino bars in the area, unless they've added to it since I've last been there. I once had the espresso, it was absolutely awful, would even make me long for Starbucks if there were no other choices.

                    1. re: JacksonH

                      no, Brooklyn lager is not obscure or overpriced, it's simply a slightly gussied up, decidedly mediocre beer on a par with anything else you'd get at a bodega for five bucks a sixer (well, okay, it's a damn sight better than natural ice, but i digress). i dunno, i've simply had a fine time at the ready penny, and at a few of the gay bars -- i happen not to be gay, for whatever that's worth -- that my gay friends have recommended. they've suggested steering clear of others to avoid unpleasantness, but i digress again. as i sid, to each his own.

                      1. re: david sprague

                        oh, and since i must apologize for my inability to edit after the fact (can we do it?), i should add that terraza is a really great hang -- and novo is developing into one. surprisingly nice portuguese wines, reasonably priced, at the latter.

                        1. re: david sprague

                          Well look at that, you got white guys hanging in latino bars, straight guys hanging in gay bars, don't it make you all warm and fuzzy inside, the bastion of tolerance and brotherly love that is Jackson Heights.

                          That's a mighty unique take on the Brooklyn Lager there, I've even heard a few call it the worst beer they ever tasted, but never put on a par with the typically available mass produced pilsners at your corner bodega. It is always interesting to hear new opinions however, no matter how thoroughly they clash with every other alternative view out there.

                          It does appear as you misspoke though, as I've never seen Brooklyn Lager for close to 5 bucks, it's usually more like 8. In which case it's not only overpriced, but obscenely so, by a factor of 60%. Unless there is in fact a bodega that sells the stuff for that low price, I'm as interested as Joe to hear where this would be, if I'm going to be drinking a gussied up, decidedly mediocre brew, I'd at least like to avoid blowing so much money on it.

                          btw, you can edit posts, but apparently only for a brief period after they're initially posted.

                          1. re: JacksonH

                            actually, i didn't say -- or didn't MEAN to say -- that i've seen brooklyn lager for five bucks a six pack, i said it's on a par with beers that cost that. i've never checked the price at a grocery/bodega, since i never liked the taste of the stuff in a bar.

                            and i appreciate your sarcasm regarding my willingness to associate with people other than snobs who'd prefer to live in a neighborhood tht would duplicate what they'd like to call "bococa" (a term that, in and of itself, should cause paroxysms of laughter among real new yorkers) . i'm as snide as can be when i'm writing for cash, but i'm choosing to express my real feelings here. i don't mind drinking in a gay bar, a latin bar, a korean bar or an amputee-friendly bar (that last batch, my friend, are the places you really need to seek out). none of them make me feel warm and fuzzy. many of them make me feel drunk. all of them make me feel better than any place i've set foot in on smith street.

                            so can we agree to disagree on this, or settle it with a game of snooker (played in one of queens' better latvian boites, that is?)

                            1. re: david sprague

                              how about bars in sonobol (south of northern blvd)? not yet a realtor's term, but give the shnooks a few more years....

                        2. re: david sprague

                          what kind of beer costs 5 bucks a sixer at a bodega? they always seem more than that to me. do tell...

              2. Hey prospero - sadly there's no really great pubs out in J.H. Like the other posters have said, most of the bars are latin american, or gay. I live right between Legends and Ready Penny, and it's basically run of the mill beers at both, with decent chow at Legends. Ready Penny at least has pool and darts, cool barmaids, and they're even going to try to get karaoke going on Thursday this week which I've just gotta see (kinda like the way people are drawn to car crashes ya know?).

                Woodside has better bars, but if you want to get more interesting beer selections, you may have to venture out to Williamsburg, or Astoria/LIC.

                I'd love to have a real pub in this neck of the woods, but I just think that the area's majority demographics wouldn't support it.

                1. So the Ready Penny's karaoke night was everything I hoped for and more. It wasn't just like watching Nascar to see the crashes - it was a full on train wreck where the train plowed into a short bus which set fire to an old age home.

                  Everything from the tone deaf Karaoke DJ who came complete with glowsticks and various props to accent the songs, to drunken patrons slurring the words to "Turn Around Bright Eyes", and the requisite duet classics such as Sweet Caroline, and Summer Lovin (featuring Helen the barmaid), it was just more entertainment than one could hope for. My girlfriend was even told that she should be on American Idol after singing Heart's "Alone".

                  But of course the good vibe was there last night and it was lots of fun. Were any of you on this thread there last night?

                  1. I was not there for Karaoke last night, though I wish I would have been. I just moved to JH and stopped in to the Ready Penny last night after work for a quick look, since I just read about it on this board a couple days ago. It was kind of a Queens version of what, in grad school, we would have called a townie bar. Blue collar vibe, ambiance one step up from a basement rec room, and more than half the 6pm clientele over 75 -- the other half in dusty work boots. The bartendress was friendly, the Bud was cold, they have darts, pool, and, I think I saw a Guiness tap. It's not the most happening scene in the world. Then again, neither was O'Conners when I lived in Park Slope, until people started going and telling their friends to go, and that's all it took, pretty soon it was a good spot to run into people and/or a good place to get annoyed at hipsters taking over the place.

                    No one has mentioned Terraza at 40-19 Gleane in Woodside, which is about 75 yards from the 82nd Street 7 train stop. It's a hard place to explain, but it has a great laid back coffee shop-ish vibe, decent bottled beer, and is open till 4am.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: NY_Eater

                      Sorry I missed Karaoke night. Sounds precious. The Ready Penny reminds me of my grandfather's bar, or any number of Irish-American owned bars back where I grew up in Detroit. Very comfy in a grandpa's basement rec room full of semi-drunk people sort of way.

                      Terraza, which is actually in Elmhurst, has been mentioned before on this board as a personal favorite by none other than Jim Leff.

                      1. re: Woodside Al

                        Al, I've never been to either but somehow I would prefer Ready Penny especially since I live just three blocks from Ready Penny and for other reasons. I may just wonder in one day for an afternoon drink.

                        1. re: Mike V

                          an afternoon drink there, while relaxing, can be kind of downbeat -- the after-work hours are a little more lively (but not too raucous). you might be pleasantly surprised.

                    2. I had a reply here but ....I guess telling you some history of the place and why there are no longer any pubs in the area. Wasn't up to the Admn standards. In short, go down 20 blocks to Woodside. I hope this reply is good enough..

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: Frankie

                        Too bad. I liked your reply and your little piece of history. But history ain't chow I guess.
                        Yeah, come down to Woodside. We have lots of bars over here.

                        1. re: Frankie

                          I wish I saw your reply before it was removed, I'm sure it was interesting and informative too.

                          Woodside does have some good places, Saints & Sinners, Cuckoos Nest, Donovan's is usually good for a burger.

                          1. re: JacksonH

                            I don't hang out in bars here - used to go the the one they had at the front of Mesón Asturias but mainly because I knew the musicians and they served some good tapas, but it really is more of a wine or sherry place and they've rearranged the place so the bar isn't what it used to be when Manuel de Dios Unanue was shot there. It used to be a separate area and was a gathering spot for interesting middle-aged Latin professionals, mostly —though I'd once got in trouble for saying something anti-Franco and offended the owner ( I guess it's not exactly what you're looking for in a hang out).

                            However, I do enjoy a good wheat beer on tap, and they're awfully hard to find around here. I believe I had a nice one in Donovan's the other day (though you really do have to order your hamburger medium rare there). Is there any place closer to Jackson Heights? (I'm near Terraza, which I don't go to for the beer but rather the culture, when they have special events , or for a quiet place to talk in the afternoon.)

                        2. La Gloria on 86th Street & Northern..what can I say...great place...very sophisticated & trendy..definetely a must to check out. Great selection of wines and imported beers. Northern has been blessed with this place.

                          4 Replies
                          1. re: inezdiaz

                            I've been here 4 months and have been looking desperately for a meat market (hey, it is what it is). Terrazza cafe would be cool in any town. It would be best to come with a friend though. the place is small and funky. They look like they would have good beers, but ehh...

                            I like Starting Gate in woodside. although the last 3 times ive been there, the clientele has been nearly pathetic. it is the best layout of a bar. across teh street is the worst layout - saints and sinners. the box of the bar is right in the middle and if you actually want to see the musician playing, you have to be on the side of the bar which doesn't collect moss - which at most satisfies 15 patrons.
                            Sean Ogs actually has a large asian population. cuckoos nest seems possible, with some sporto types.

                            The Latino bars are too loud in general for me. Its hard to talk to
                            people. what do people do there? dance? my legs just dont move in
                            those manners.

                            what else? I pass Post Time in elmhurst on broadway every night on the way home. that place always catches my eye. I wonder...

                            I'm glad someone raised the thread from the dead.

                            1. re: Jeffsayyes

                              Jeff, the name Post Time kind of makes me think of a gambler's hangout. You know....post time at the racetrack. I could be wrong though.

                              1. re: sandrina

                                yeah it's a sports bar I believe. There is a sign that says beer garden, do you think it's outside?

                                1. re: Jeffsayyes

                                  I would highly recommend Cassidy's Ale House on 75th & 31st Ave. I thought I had already replied to this thread but I guess not. They have 12 beers on tap, mostly standards but they have Franziskaner and Sam Adams Seasonal so I am usually happy with it and for $4 or $5 a pint, depending on what time it is, you can't beat it. Their food is also really good, particularly for a neighborhood bar. Their special burger is not to be missed (I like it better than Donovan's) and their medium wings are great. Wings are 25 cents on Mondays. I haven't had anything to eat at Cassidy's that has been bad. I highly recommend it, particularly as your go to bar in the neighborhood.