A couple with deep Astoria roots opened a bar/restaurant on 34th Avenue earlier this month.
CJ’s Restaurant & Pub, located at 43-04 34th Ave, combines the qualities of a conventional local bar with a restaurant offering American and Italian cuisine. The establishment is fairly large, with room for about 100 bar/restaurant goers.
The menu includes traditional America fare—such as burgers, Buffalo wings, mac and cheese, and fries. Additionally, it offers Italian favorites, such as fried ravioli, fried calamari, baked ziti, penne vodka with spinach, pulled pork sliders, meatball parmesan sliders and shrimp scampi.
The bar area, which is long and narrow and separate from the dining area, is best described as “your neighborhood bar,” said co-owner Sandra Murphy. The bar has one television, although there are plans to add two more.
Murphy said her Italian/American restaurant fills a void on 34th Avenue.
“There is definitely a need for Italian-American food in this part of town,” she said.
Murphy grew up on 41st Street in Astoria, the same street as her husband Joseph Parrino, the co-owner. The couple now lives in Woodside – although their parents both still live in the neighborhood.
The pair originally had their sights set on opening a restaurant on 30th Ave but the rent was too high for their liking.
The 34th Avenue location was their second choice. Previously, it was a Greek bar.