Astoria, Astoria Arrivals, Bars
Oct 30, 2014

Astoria Arrivals: The Bonnie

We’ve been talking about The Bonnie for months now, and we’re thrilled that they are finally open! Their official opening was yesterday afternoon at 3 p.m. Walking by that evening, (…)

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Photo credit: The Bonnie

We’ve been talking about The Bonnie for months now, and we’re thrilled that they are finally open! Their official opening was yesterday afternoon at 3 p.m. Walking by that evening, it looked like it was doing quite well already!

I attended the friends and family event on Monday night and had a great time, and really enjoyed hanging out in the space; the staff was very friendly, too. Particularly notable for me was the presence of two bars—one in the front and one in the back; comfortable seating; beautiful wood on the walls; sort of retro light bulbs; and the masterful level of insulation in the place—when I walked outside and got about 6 feet away, I couldn’t hear a thing emanating from the inside. It was amazing. A great thing for this somewhat quiet part of Astoria.

The food was very good. We ordered the kale salad, chicken wings (served with a grilled lemon), a burger, and some fries. I was particularly delighted by the apple rye cobbler cocktail, which had flavors of apple, spices, and citrus. Very refreshing and tasted of fall in a classy—not cloying—way. Apparently Charles Dickens really liked to drink cobblers. I also liked how they are served with crushed ice. I’m looking forward to the next time I get to have one.

Earlier this month we reached out to Mike Krawiec, which we know from his work with Sweet Afton, who will be at the helm of The Bonnie. We inquired about The Bonnie and what we can expect from the place. Here are his insights, and we hope they will inspire you to stop by and check it out!

What kind of food and drink will you serve? What is one food item and one drink you are especially excited about on this menu? Will you serve brunch?

We will be a gastropub with Chef Shaun VanAlphen placing an emphasis on all things fresh, unique and seasonal. Sourcing from local butchers, bakers and growers, his new American pub food reflects a more casual approach to his experience with sustainable and forward thinking food. Excited about the Grilled Hanger Steak, can’t beat a good bar steak and fries!

The Bonnie drink menu is inspired by our love of diverse styles and flavors. We offer the best of local craft beers and ales, and a small but progressive wine selection by the glass and bottle. Our cocktail program is built around seasonal fruit, fresh herbs and historical recipes dating back to the turn of the century. A selection of cobblers and modern cocktails showcase house made bitters, herb infused syrups, and shrubs. Horticulturist and barkeep Mike Di Tota’s botanically driven cocktails will inspire you to develop a green thumb of your own.

Brunch will be about 4 weeks into opening.

How different from Sweet Afton will The Bonnie be?

We wanted to strive a bit away from the same exact design as Sweet Afton. The space is inherently very different from Sweet Afton, so naturally it will have its own soul and vibe. But you will definitely know it is still in the family!

How big is the space? What kind of configuration is it? And what kinds of materials were used to build out the interior?

The space is about 2000 square feet, with a front bar and back bar. We focused on elements of steel and glass as the core of the design, mixed with softer woods and colors that are very welcoming and warm.

Is there any outdoor space and if so, will it be open year round or just during the warmer months?

Yes, but just during the warmer months.

What will your hours be?

M-F 3pm-4am
Sa/Su – 12pm-4am

Will live music figure into things?

TBD

What drew you to open a place on 23rd Avenue?

We’ve always loved this side of the “tracks”. While it is still Astoria it has a very different vibe than 30th Ave. Wider streets, closer to the park, and tons of great ethnic restaurants were a big draw for us.

What kind of experience do you hope people will have when they are hanging out at The Bonnie?

Much like Sweet Afton, The Bonnie is a going to be a neighborhood bar and eatery, placing an honest emphasis on all things fresh and local. We pride ourselves on serving the best of drinks and tasty eats in a warm and inviting setting. We aspire to create a new spin on old world traditions and recipes, within our space, our kitchen, and our bar. We welcome you to join us and make yourself at home at your neighborhood local “The Bonnie,” Stay awhile!

The Bonnie, 29-12 23rd Avenue, Astoria, NY 11105, thebonnie.com

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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