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Tropical-themed bar to open on corner of Broadway and 35th Avenue

Dave Chan, George Spilke, Dionne Wilson, and Gabriel Colom-Rocha

August 13, Staff Report

Starting next month Astoria residents won’t have to travel far to feel like they are drinking at a tropical resort.

The High Water,” a tropical-themed bar to be located at 34-20 Broadway, will officially hold a grand opening over Labor Day weekend, with a soft opening to take place in the days leading up to September.

The bar is being billed as a destination venue for Astoria residents who wish to relax and escape to a friendly atmosphere staffed with bartenders and employees skilled in hospitality and customer service.

“We want this to be a vacation from your home at any time of the year,” co-owner George Spilke said.

In line with the establishment’s tropical theme, the grand opening will be called “The Labor Day Weekend Brunch Luau” and will take place from September 2 to September 4 between noon and 4:00 pm. $30 includes all-you-can-eat “luau” food, one cocktail and an entry into a raffle drawing. An after party will follow each night from 4:00 pm to closing.

The entire weekend will be sponsored by and feature drinks from 21st Amendment Brewery.

The bar concept is a venture between Spilke and his partner Dave Chan, who owns and operates two Hawaiian and Japanese themed eateries named Makana in Manhattan.

This will be Chan’s first bar in Queens, and the first establishment that Spilke has an ownership stake in.

“We both met in college about 17 years ago and came to New York from Seattle where Hawaiian food and drinks are really big,” Spilke said.

Spilke said when he moved to Astoria three years ago, he adapted to the neighborhood very quickly because of friendly neighbors and the culture of acceptance he experienced. His wish was to open a bar that mimicked what made him feel so welcome.

“I kept a small window open during light construction to speak with neighbors and curious bystanders so I could introduce myself and get the word out about the bar,” Spilke said.

“The key to any great place is the standard of service you and your team set, and we’re a small team of really cool people who want to create a fun, inviting environment for the community.” he added.

Mixologist Gabriel Colom-Rocha

Gabriel Colom-Rocha, a mixologist born on the island of Mallorca, Spain, and three-year long Astoria resident, is one such team member. With over 8 years of experience serving drinks around the world, he said he’s excited to meet their neighbors and introduce new cocktails that will be made exclusively at The High Water.

“I live so close to the bar, and since I moved here, I’ve noticed that some places are too serious, became too big, or changed bartenders too frequently,” Colom-Rocha said. “We want to be the link that Astoria needs, with the perfect size, location and the same bartenders you saw the night before.”

Some of the drinks he intends to introduce include the Hallet’s Revenge, a spin on the “Queens Cocktail” that features gin and pineapple juice infused with jalapeno, tahini seasoning and habanero salt.

Another cocktail called the Chuck Norris will also be quietly introduced.

“All I can say is that it’s a ginger drink with a mean kick,” Spilke said.

While the food menu is still being finalized, the co-owners brought in a man named Dionne Wilson as their executive chef.

Wilson, who completed his externship at the five star French restaurant Per Se, worked as an executive chef at Bar Bacon in Hell’s Kitchen. He then worked for the world-famous Ippudo ramen chain, where he helped that company open its second New York City location.

Readers can follow The High Water’s progress by visiting their Instagram page @thehighwaternyc or on Facebook @thehighwater.

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Note: The High Water is an advertiser on the Astora Post.

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19 Comments

Anonymous

When was the last time we’ve had a “tiki-Hawaiian” themed bar around here? Last time I checked they closed about THREE of them in the city. Now that we have this coming around our neighborhood, it’ll be a good change. I’ll have to see how strong that mixologist can pull up some good Margaritas with a twist. I’m always looking forward to some dope food as well.
Best of luck to them.




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Anonymous

Good to know. My pharmacy is near here. When I go to the pharmacy I can stop here to hang out. Good luck guys




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Poparoo 46

Hope they hire nice women because these guys are ugly maaaaaaaaaaaaaan get real maaaaaaaaaaan




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Yasss

They have a nice lineup. I’m always worried about the phrase “destination” when being used to describe why patrons come to a bar / restaurant
Hopefully they knock it out of the park




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Poparoo 46

6 months and out maaaaaaan.
Tropical? Tropical storm season is coming hahaha. No way this place makes it. Bye bye




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Gabriel Short-beard

C’mon man! I knew this is gonna happen hahaha! I will try to make you change your statement! Hope yo see you around the big opening!




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