Astoria, Restaurants
Apr 02, 2014

New Details on the New Fatty’s

Earlier this week the Village Voice published a story about Fatty’s, the decade-old Ditmars staple that is pulling up stakes and moving to the old Stove location in “Westoria” (a (…)

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Earlier this week the Village Voice published a story about Fatty’s, the decade-old Ditmars staple that is pulling up stakes and moving to the old Stove location in “Westoria” (a Fatty’s portmanteau) on 28th Avenue and 46th Street. Personally, I love the Stove space but lament the loss of Fatty’s here in the Ditmars area (I know I’m not the only one). It’s being replaced by a pharmacy, not because Astoria needs another pharmacy but because the son (now property owner) of the late landlord is a pharmacist and wants to open a pharmacy (that should put to rest the rumors that Fatty’s closing was about the rent).

On the topic of the pharmacy, owner Fernando Peña says:

“In my opinion Fatty’s has turned into a neighborhood institution. You know how many apartments we found for people, how many people met there and are still together? We’ve seen couples come in just getting tanked on mojitos and in the course of a decade get married and have children and they still come in with their kids. I can’t see a pharmacy providing that for a neighborhood.”

I have to say, I totally agree with this. The Ditmars area is full of pharmacies, too, so this seems so very painfully redundant.

It was interesting to read about their origins—how Fernando wanted to start his own restaurant after years of working in others, how he and his wife borrowed seed money from friends, how old bosses donated equipment, and how the name “Fatty’s” came to be (“an inside joke and term of endearment between Sue and her friends”).

Fernando went on to speak about Crescent & Vine, the lovely dark wine and beer bar next door to the old Fatty’s. Turns out they plan to move that when the lease is up (it’s still got two years on it), and they’d like to expand it make it into a live music venue, too, like a Mercury Lounge type of place. It’s not a given that C&V would be next door to the new Fatty’s, and with real estate as it is, it’s anyone’s guess where in Astoria it might end up in a couple of years.

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I was actually at Crescent & Vine Monday night, enjoying a delicious glass of Allagash Odyssey ale with a friend. Fernando and his wife Sue stopped in, as did some of the guys working on construction at the new Fatty’s. The convivial atmosphere was really nice and there was a lot of laughter and good cheer. Fernando showed off iPhone photos the new bar that was newly constructed, which looked great. The wood on the top of the bar is a design where the wooden pieces are slightly offset from each other (the technical word escapes me at the moment) in a kind of herringbone pattern, and looks gorgeous. The corner of the bar is at about a 93 degree angle, so slightly wider than you’d expect.

They’ve also manipulated a large amp into a something that will house the beer taps, the handles of which will likely be shaped like microphones. Very inventive and creative.

Dan Bronson, the bartender, is looking forward to the new Fatty’s being open in April, since it will be the location for one of the events for Queens Beer Week, a celebration of beer that he’s organizing: “4/20: Recover from the opening night party with a (Extremely!) relaxing brunch with the laid back crew from Smuttynose and Lagunitas brewing at the new Fatty’s on April’s not-so-secret holiday (45th st & 28th av).”

Despite our sadness about Fatty’s leaving Ditmars, we are very excited for them in their new space and wish them only the best. We will be checking out the new Fatty’s for sure, and can’t wait to chow down on our favorites that we are missing.

Astoria Staple Fatty’s Cafe Will Reopen in Mid-April [Village Voice]

About Meg Cotner

Meg Cotner was trained as a harpsichordist and now works as a freelance writer and editor. She is the author of "Food Lovers' Guide to Queens," and is a skilled and avid home cook, baker, and preserver.

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