July 15, 2014 By Michael Florio
A new bar specializing in craft beer will be opening in Astoria this summer.
Judy & Punch, to be located at 34-08 30th Ave, is expected to open in early August and will feature 14 draft lines, including beer from a number of local breweries such as Brooklyn Brewery, Other Half Brewing Company, Peekskill Brewery and Barrier Brewing Company.
Gerard Leary, who owns One Mile Bar in the Lower East Side, teamed up with longtime friends Barry Spellman, owner of Biddy’s Pub and DTUT in the Upper East Side, and Mike Higgins, owner of Professor Thom’s in the East Village, to open their first bar in Queens.
Leary said he plans to introduce SingleCut Beersmiths soon, as it is made right here in Astoria.
“I think we are going to be offering as much craft beer as anyone else in the neighborhood,” he said. “The 14 lines will consist of a pretty big rotation.”
“The idea is whenever you come in you can try a new beer and keep it interesting,” Leary said.
The establishment will also offer a menu that Leary called “crafty bites,” which includes a cheese bar, consisting of locally sourced meats and cheeses. The bar will also offer sandwiches and an array of other snacks, although Leary was unable to reveal the full menu at this time.
The bar will be 1,300 square feet and will seat roughly 65 people, including a backyard patio that caters to up to 12 patrons. The front of the establishment will feature glass doors—connecting the bar to sidewalk diners.
The three have been discussing partnering up for a while and have had their sights set on Western Queens for some time. Leary said that when this location became available (previously it was Video Express) it was too good to pass up.
“It is a good size, good location and has lots of foot traffic,” Leary said. Furthermore, “We all love Astoria,” he said. “It is a fun community with a lot of people.”
Leary, who lives in Sunnyside, said they wanted to reach those outside of Manhattan. He said Astoria has a great vibe and it presents the trio with a new challenge.
While none of them live in Astoria, Leary said they hang out there often, and have many friends who live here. His wife is from Astoria.
“It is just a great neighborhood,” he said. “We are really excited to bring a quality product there and hope the community will be proud.”