May 11, 2015 By Michael Florio
The owners of Bareburger Group are opening a southern-style biscuits and fried chicken restaurant at the location of the former Athens Café.
The restaurant, called Burnside Biscuits, is expected to open at 32-07 30th Ave late June.
Thomas Sardo, the operations manager, said that Bareburger Group wanted to take over space given its well-known location.
However, given its close proximity to Bareburger’s 33-21 31st Ave location, the owners didn’t want to open another burger joint.
Sardo said that they decided to come up with a concept that would fill a neighborhood void. They came up with southern-style cooking.
“There is a real need for southern cuisine in Astoria,” Sardo said.
The menu will consist of fried chicken, biscuit sandwiches and wood-fired vegetables, Sardo said.
There will be a full bar, consisting of southern cocktails, local beer on tap, and wine. The restaurant will have 150 seats, with half of them inside the restaurant and the other half outside, with outdoor seating on 30th Ave and 32nd Street, Sardo said.
“We want to take the old Athens Cafe block and turn it into our own Burnside Biscuits Block Party,” Sardo said.
Sardo said the southern concept came together based on a series of discussions among Culinary Director Andrew Sarda, Executive Chef Sam Crocker and Sous Chef Erik Prokscha.
Burnside Biscuits is named after Civil War General Ambrose Burnside, a northerner who wound up in the south during the Civil War. Burnside took some of the southern traditions with him when he returned home.