Thursday, May 3, 2012
Bars & restaurants make assholes proud to live in Astoria
Long a destination for Greek dining, neighboring Astoria has always been a village of Old World Mom and Pops. It's now enjoying a new generation of sophisticated restaurant and bars owners. Places like Rickshaw Dumpling, William Hallet and Butcher Bar-all opened in the last year-have a hip vibe not previously seen in Astoria. It's rumored that celebrity chef Michael Pslakis will take over an empty spot on Ditmars Boulevard, and downtown wine guru Paul Greico says he has his eye on Astoria for an expansion of his popular Terroir wine bars.
The changes are welcome to long-time Astorians like Katherine and David Flaherty, 34 and 36 respectively, former Manhattanites who still work there, but increasingly play in Astoria.
"I [lived] on Houston Street and had so many cool bars, restaurants and shops, I was worried it was going to be boring here," said Katherine. "But over the years, we've seen exciting growth and concepts around here." She added, "At first I used to embarrassingly say I live in Astoria, but now I'm proud to live here."