February 2, By Hannah Wulkan
A new café and bar will open up on Ditmars Boulevard early next week with a focus on locally crafted coffees, beers and food.
The new café, called Vintage Wine Bar, will open up at 23-14 Ditmars Boulevard sometime next week, in the space formerly occupied by Waltz Astoria, and more recently, a crepe restaurant.
The wine bar will offer more of a café vibe during the day, offering coffee and bites to those looking for a space to sit and work on their laptops, and will transform in to a relaxed bar offering local beer, wine, and small plates in the evening, said co-owner and manager Paul Serelis.
Serelis and his co-owners, who he has known since childhood, decided to focus on local products, even sourcing the bathroom handsoap locally. The bar will also donate a portion of the sales of two different types of wine to a local charity, which will rotate each month. In February, a portion of the profits from those wines will go to PS 122, which is across the street from the bar.
The bar will have a rotating selection of beers from brewers such as SingleCut, Greenpoint, and other local breweries, and wines from throughout New York, as well as international wines.
The menu will have some mainstay options, primarily soups, sandwiches and salads such as a braised short rib sandwich or a vegetarian bahn mi made with portabello mushrooms and homemade carrot sriracha sauce, and will also have a rotating menu of small plates, which will likely be phased in next month.
All of the food will be prepared in house, drawing on the knowledge and skills Serelis and his co-owners developed coming up through the restaurant business.
Serelis said he used to live three blocks from the space on Ditmars, and always valued the community atmosphere of similar joints like Fatty’s Café, which was nearby until it moved to 28th Avenue and 46th Street in 2013.
Serelis is no stranger to the restaurant business. He most recently worked as manager at Christo’s Steakhouse in Astoria, and said he came up through the business having worked in the kitchen and front of the house at restaurants throughout the city.
When the space opened up after the crepe restaurant closed, Serelis and his co-owners decided it was finally time to open their own place.
Vintage will likely open early next week, and will be open from 11 a.m. to midnight during the week, and 11 a.m. to 1 a.m. on weekends. For more information visit https://www.facebook.com/ditmarsvintage/.