April 29, 2021 By Michael Dorgan
Food and fun!
That’s the concept behind a new outdoor barbeque restaurant that opened in Astoria earlier this month that features a large games area.
Backyard Smokehouse, located at 25-22 Astoria Blvd., opened on April 15 and is serving barbequed meats that are cooked with Korean ingredients. It also offers a type of Korean street food known as “pocha.”
The games area includes basketball hoops, an air hockey table, dart boards and cornhole platforms.
Backyard Smokehouse is 2,000 square feet in size and is situated at the rear of the Astoria World Manor Banquet Hall. Customers can access the new restaurant via the Astoria World Manor parking lot. Both establishments are owned by the Ahn family.
Daniel Redlinger, the manager of Backyard Smokehouse, said the owners opened the restaurant to generate much-needed revenue since restrictions on indoor gatherings devastated their events business at the Astoria World Manor.
The owners, Redlinger said, wanted to come up with a friendly new way of bringing local residents together.
Redlinger said he developed the new concept over the winter and created a space where customers can eat and hang out safely. He said there is a big demand to eat food outdoors due to concerns with the spread of COVID-19.
The games area, he said, was added to help bring some excitement and fun back into people’s lives after more than a year of lockdowns.
Redlinger said the concept has already proven to be a big hit with customers.
“People have been having a good time and enjoying the food,” Redlinger said. “It is something different and we’re really happy with the feedback so far.”
Redlinger said the eatery is popular with young adults on weeknights while a lot of families have been frequenting the joint on weekends.
The games area, which runs along the rear external wall of the Astoria World Manor building, consists of two cornhole platforms, two dartboards, a foosball table, an air hockey table, a shuffleboard and three basketball hoops. There is also a golf putting green and a large “connect 4-in-a-row” game.
The dining area consists of nine tables. It runs adjacent to the games area and overlooks the parking lot. It seats around 40 people, Redlinger said.
Redlinger said the restaurant’s bestselling items so far have been the pork belly and spare ribs. Some of the “pocha” street dishes on offer include Ramen noodles, spicy rice cake and fish cake.
The restaurant makes homemade popcorn via a vintage popcorn machine and also serves a range of candies and peanuts.
The eatery also sells wine, hard seltzers and cocktails.
Redlinger said he expects business to pick up further once the warm weather sets in.
“It’s a casual vibe here with a relaxed atmosphere,” he said.
Backyard Smokehouse is open Wednesdays through Fridays from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m., Saturdays from noon to 11 p.m. and on Sundays from noon to 9 p.m.
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