Back in late April, I noticed a post on the LIC Court Square blog, wondering about what was going in at 42-51 27th Street. I’m always game to figure out what’s the deal with new “eating and drinking establishments” so I did a little research and contacted the owners, John Veenema and Demet Bashar, to ask about what was going on there, and they were kind enough to have me over to the site last week and show me what’s planned.
This space, which used to be the Queens Dance Center, is going to be a cafe and bar called The Beast Next Door. They plan to offer coffee (they have not yet settled on the beans they’ll use) starting in the late morning, and will prepare all sorts of espresso drinks, as well as sandwiches and salads for lunch. It will transform into a bar at night, and they will offer a well-curated selection of draft beer, including local brews (think Transmitter, Rockaway, and Singlecut, all made in Western Queens) and some wine. Additional food offerings will be high quality meats and cheeses with bread and accouterments, with as much locally sourced ingredients as possible. They will open at 11 a.m. every day, and most days they’ll stay open until 2 a.m.
The space itself is about 1,000 square feet with high ceilings. There’s plenty of exposed brick, and the back of the space will be covered with a series of beautiful hand carved wood panels depicting large flowers, including a Turkish tulip, colored in a vibrant cobalt blue. John carved these panels himself and they are absolutely wonderful. The Turkish influence in this art comes from his wife, Demet.
The ceiling is made of exposed beams painted a neutral light brown earth tone. In the very back there is a skylight which brings in some natural light. The floor is covered in stone/slate tiles (they tore up the wood floor from the dance studio first). Along one edge will be repurposed church pews that have been turned 90 degrees for added comfort (they may add pillows to the pews, too). Further out into the dining room are tables made from pallets and metal legs, which have a nice urban-rustic feel; a number of pieces are sourced from Build It Green.
Also in the back of the room is a raised platform for lightly amped bands and other performers.
The front entrance has been redesigned to include lots of windows and some French doors, and the outside, which is now a kind of brick red color, will be painted cobalt blue. I saw a photo on John’s phone and it was gorgeous.
John’s vision for the place is for it to be a warm and inviting space for local folks to come and hang, have a drink, some delicious food, and have a chance to comfortably chat with each other (meaning, not too loud a place). He’s looking forward to playing around with the menu, honing it as he learns what folks in the neighborhood like.
The hope is for an August opening, if not before. This is going to be a really nice addition to the neighborhood, and we bet his neighbors will be happy to have this place nearby. We are very much looking forward to checking out The Beast Next Door!
The Beast Next Door, 42-51 27th Street, Long Island City, NY 11101