Jan. 22, 2016 By Michael Florio
The owners of popular bars in Woodside and Forest Hills will open a third location in Astoria.
The owners of The Cuckoo’s Nest in Woodside and Banter in Forest Hills will soon open Passage Irish Whiskey Bar & Kitchen at 40-11 30th Ave., formerly the bar and restaurant Front Towards Enemy.
Owner Michael Mansfield said he hopes to open on St. Patrick’s Day.
The bar will have a wide variety of Irish whiskeys, similar to Banter, which currently serves 84 different kinds. Mansfield said the total number of Irish whiskeys that will be offered is still in the works, but that it would be close to 80.
“Banter has the largest Irish whiskey selection in New York and we hope to match that here,” Mansfield said. “We will have less when we first open but will work our way up.”
The bar will offer a variety of Irish whiskey-based cocktails. It will also serve a variety of cocktails without whiskey and will have at least 24 beers on tap, according to Mansfield.
“We will have something for everyone, even those who don’t drink whiskey,” he said.
The bar will also serve food with a focus on Irish cuisine.
Menu items will include several that are popular at Banter, such as Shepherd’s pie, Jameson spring rolls, Bubble & Squeak dumplings, which are dumplings stuffed with corned beef and cabbage, and Irish curry cheese fries.
Mansfield also hopes to open for brunch on the weekends. While he is still putting the brunch menu together, he said it will feature an Irish breakfast flatbread, which has Irish sausage and bacon, black and white pudding, beans and two fried eggs with an Irish brown sauce, as well as chicken biscuits, and the Irish Breakfast.
Mansfield, who was born in Waterford, Ireland, decided to name the bar Passage after a small town near where he grew up called Passage East. Having grown up in Ireland, he believes his bar and restaurant will be able to offer authentic Irish cuisine and cocktails, with a modern twist.
He also plans to host live traditional Irish music a couple of times per week.
Mansfield moved to the U.S. 20 years ago has spent the past two years living in Astoria.
“We feel we can be a real nice addition to the neighborhood,” Mansfield said. “We can offer the real Irish bar feel and we hope to bring that here.”
Mansfield said Passage will be a family run bar, just like The Cuckoo’s Nest, which opened 10 years ago, and Banter, which is approaching its three year anniversary.
“I’m excited to open and show people what we have to offer,” Mansfield said.
The hours are still in the works, according to Mansfield. It will be able to seat up to 150 people.
I wish them well. Only Queens Comfort is enjoying a good run in that area.