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Astoria is home to Greek taverns, Egyptian coffeehouses and the city’s oldest biergarten, but Southern comforts were harder to find until this cavernous honky-tonk, helmed by Queens native John Zervoulakos, opened last November. The sprawling 6,000-square-foot hall—decked out with reclaimed lumber, long picnic tables and dangling turquoise lights—doubles as a beer garden, drawing a boisterous, whiskey-swigging crowd. Zervoulakos, who studied KC ’cue at John Brown Smokehouse, rewrites the rules, using his Italian and Greek heritage to create uniquely New York blends: supple duck pastrami crusted in black pepper and cardamom ($28/lb); moist pulled pork spiced up by cumin, paprika and mustard powder ($6–$12); and leg of lamb brightened with fresh sprigs of rosemary ($18/lb). Toting booze-filled mason jars, Astorians zigzag between the tiled grub counter—dubbed a mouth-filling station—and the stage, where a bluegrass band keeps the party going into the wee hours.
When Queens native and former John Brown Smokehouse chef de cuisine John Zervoulakos decamped to The Strand, he promised to put his own local spin on the techniques he learned while under Josh Bowen's tutelage. And so this beer garden-barbecue hall combo in Astoria serves Greek-inflected slow-cooked lamb leg, smoky and fragrant with rosemary, in addition to oddball specials like duck pastrami and beef short ribs hefty enough to rival Kenny Callaghan's exalted specimens at Blue Smoke. Not into land animals? Zervoulakos channels old New York with barbecue kippered salmon, hot-smoked and served chilled.
Mon - Thurs 4 pm - 2 am
Friday 4 pm - 4 am
Saturday 10 am - 4 am
Sunday 10 am - 2 am
**The kitchen closes at 1am on weekdays and 2am on weekends.
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