Nov. 22, 2017 By Nathaly Pesantez
Uncle Jack’s Meat House, the spin off from the national steakhouse chain, has an opening date at last as it prepares to open its doors in early December.
The restaurant, located at 36-18 Ditmars Blvd.,will begin to serve patrons on Dec. 4, almost two years after initial plans for an Astoria site were announced.
Willie “Jack” Degel, a Queens native and founder of Uncle Jack’s Steakhouse and other restaurant projects, developed a design for the low-key eatery—where servers will wear red Converse sneakers—that includes a grill and speakeasy, the latter which is said to be accessible through passwords sent out to the Meat House’s mailing list and social media accounts.
The new American grill restaurant was supposed to open last year, in the fall of 2016, but issues with the Department of Buildings slowed the process, as the single locale was once two distinct buildings, which the city wanted Degel to adhere to. In addition, most of the building’s interior had to be redone, said Robert Smith, director of operations for the restaurant.
Menu items at the moderately priced, casual farm-to-table restaurant include entrees like long bone pork chop, seafood based dishes, steaks, burgers, sandwiches, and other grill staples. Appetizers and sides include mashed potatoes, roasted mushrooms, collard greens, mac and cheese, and a variety of seasonal salads. A custom dessert menu will also be part of the dining experience.
A cocktail menu will also be available, along with a selection of scotches, bourbons, wines, and locally brewed beers.
The Meat House can seat up to 90 people in its 1900s-style dining room and 32 people at the bar with room for an additional 40 to stand. The Roaring 20s speakeasy bar in the basement can accommodate up to 30. An outdoor seating area for 30 is also in the works for the restaurant.
The first Uncle Jack’s Steakhouse opened in 1996 in Bayside, Queens. Degel, who is also the host of The Food Network’s Restaurant Stakeout, opened the first Meat House brand of restaurants in Georgia, which promises to bring quality, prime steaks and meats to patrons in a low-key, informal environment.
The Astoria location is already taking reservations on Open Table, and will initially open for dinner, from about 4 p.m. until around 11 p.m. The restaurant will open for brunch and lunch soon after.