As far as I know Robert Remler is the only person blogging about the bar scene in Queens. Sure, there are other blogs with cocktail content, but Robert’s beat is bars—and sometimes restaurants—hence the title, “Where to Drink in Queens.” He was kind enough to pen this lovely piece on The Alcove in Sunnyside, which sounds like a lovely place to ring in 2016.
Knock wood for a good 2016.
Not any wood, dude.
Knock your knuckles on the bar at The Alcove in Sunnyside. If you knock enough maybe prosperity finds you in Oh-Sweet Sixteen.
How The Alcove’s wooden bar top made it to Sunnyside is a story you can discuss New Year’s Eve. First, however, you need to discover The Alcove and hear the story told to you by the bar’s owner and operator.
Title this story: “Local Guy Makes Good.”
John Cordeiro, is your ‘Go to Guy’ at The Alcove along with his wife. Passion and passionate get much air time when he speaks. He looks you in the eye. He speaks from the heart and you buy his rap.
Forget about Googling The Alcove. Not a trace, but there’s history behind the wood you’ll see at The Alcove. This well-lit bar on 49th street between 43rd Avenue and Skillman Avenue combines it all. Good karma, history and a setting that’s off the grid.
Website under construction. A couple of Instagram posts. No address on the front door. New Year’s Eve? No cover, said John. A good time is promised.
The New Year’s pour? Douglas Hill, Brut. California. Down the road an upgrade, but for now Douglas Hill works. And if not go for The Alcove’s specialty cocktail. Call this one Alcoverita ($8.00). Jalapeno, basil, top flight tequila and a touch of guava. John calls it a twist on the classic margarita.
So, what’s it to you anyway?
Two sips into Douglas Hill and you’re probably thinking about that midnight kiss. And if that’s not happening, chill and savor that bar top.
Finished oak wood. Sixteen feet in length. Maybe a hundred twenty or a hundred thirty years old. Hauled from Pennsylvania to Sunnyside. Sanded and finished by John’s cousin.
And if the bar top doesn’t do it for you, here’s something you might not find elsewhere in Sunnyside: A bathroom door that comes from a monastery. Tall, study and austere with clouded glass on the top half. And if that door’s not enough for you go knock on the chalk boards against the brick walls. The boards come from a school and another era. Look at them long enough and you’ll think you’re on a movie set.
Review the list of ten beers on tap and eight bottles of beer. Choose one. Have a good time.
But, let’s cut to the chase about The Alcove.
Enter for the first time and it’s like you’ve been there before. Hip Latin music. The beat puts life into your heart and soul. You’re no longer shy. You run your hand on the finished wood’s varnish. You smile. You start to talk.
It’s déjà vu all over again as Yogi Berra said.
Makes sense, too.
John went from busboy to a thirteen-year career as a bartender before opening The Alcove.
That was then and this is now: John greets all customers like a compadre, mi amigo. He sticks out his hand. He smiles and then answers your question:
“So, how’s it going?”
Impressive start if you ask #kidfromqueens.
The Alcove, 41-11 49th St., Sunnyside, 347-813-4149