July 7, 2014 By Michael Florio
An Astoria resident opened a new art-themed bar last Friday—just a few blocks from where he lives.
The POP Bar, located at 12-21 Astoria Blvd, is primarily a local watering hole—although it features a couple of twists—such as some artsy décor and a quirky menu.
“We want to be known as a neighborhood bar,” said Jeremy Osslund, the owner and chef, who has lived nearby for about five years.
Nevertheless, the bar is quickly becoming known for its uniqueness. Its walls are covered with art—featuring cartoons of women designed by Shiro, among other items.
The bar also features a menu that offers what’s known as “Pacific surf snack” food.
“It’s food you might eat after a day surfing,” Osslund said, whether that be in the Americas or Asia.
The menu features Korean Chicken Wings, Tiki Tots (made with sushi rice, spicy mayo and peanut sauce) and Tokyo Joes (made with ground duck and chicken with American cheese and a sesame seed bun).
Osslund said that while he does not have a surfing background he has always been captivated by the ocean. Therefore, he wanted his menu to resemble beach food.
This is the first bar owned by Osslund.
However, Osslund has done his research. He knows the location well, since he would often frequent it when it operated as Hell Gate Social, a bar owned by a previous owner. When Hell Gate closed he decided to take the space.
“This space was always something I wanted to take over and create something unique,” he said.
Osslund has spent most of his career as a chef. He graduated Le Cordon Bleu culinary school in Arizona and since then has worked at restaurants and hotels in Manhattan.
He believes food brings people together and his bar will serve as a great place for people to meet.
The bar can cater to about150 patrons—including the backyard space.
Osslund plans screen movies in the backyard and have events– such as Karaoke Mondays, Tequila Tuesdays, Whiskey Wednesdays and live music on Fridays. Tequila Tuesdays will also feature the screening of Bill Murray movies.
Osslund is considering a board game night for Thursdays.