Astoria, Bars
Aug 02, 2016

Details on The Last Word, Speakeasy Bar Action Coming To Ditmars

The Last Word, a speakeasy-style cocktail bar, is coming to Ditmars Blvd in Astoria mid-August 2016.

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Photo credit: Francine Dominguez

Photo credit: Francine Dominguez

Back in March, we wrote about a new business opening up in the old Caffe Bene space on Ditmars—there were actually two potentials at this location but The Last Word ended up winning out. It’s a bar with a speakeasy setup, named after a cocktail of the same name:

“The Last Word is the name of a Prohibition cocktail invented in 1916 and debuted at the Detroit Athletic Club. It was mentioned in a 1950s cocktail book, Bottoms Up by Ted Saucier, and later was revived and popularized by folks in Seattle’s cocktail scene last decade.”

the-last-word-ditmars-astoria-queens

Photo credit: Francine Dominguez

We heard from the bar’s PR folks, who shared quite a bit of useful information. First, the plan is to open on Tuesday, August 16 with a menu of cocktails and fancy snacks. They’ll be open from 5pm until 2am Sunday-Thursday and 3am Friday and Saturday. Slowly but surely, Ditmars is saying goodbye to its sleepy northern Astoria vibe and saying hello to more and more nightlife.

the-last-word-ditmars-astoria-queens

Photo credit: Francine Dominguez

Their “handcrafted cocktails” include the following:

  • The Rabble Rouser—rhum agricole, muddle raspberries, dolin blanc, rhubarb water, fresh lemon and sparkling water
  • The Mumbai Daiquiri—white rum, Batavia-arrackm curry syrup, lime and rose water

Fancy snacks include burrata truffle balls and house-made jerky.

the-last-word-ditmars-astoria-queens

Photo credit: Francine Dominguez

The owners are Astoria native Tommy Demaras (LIC’s Maiella) and Padraig O’Brien (The Raines Law Room, Park Hyatt New York). Head Bartender is Ciaran Wiese, who, along with O’Brien, will be leading the cocktail innovation at the bar—in fact, they want The Last Word to become a “cocktail destination.” Demaras also designed the interior. The PR folks can describe it better than I, so I’ll share their writeup:

“Designed by Astoria-native Demaras, The Last Word’s storefront and foyer was modeled after the neighborhood’s once-iconic Square Hardware store—seemingly unassuming and humble. However, once led beyond the red velvet curtains, guests will find that the space transforms into an elegant, 1920’s inspired cocktail lounge. The 2,000 square foot, 60-seat venue will offer a respite from its bustling surroundings, with tufted plush seating, decorative light fixtures, vintage tin ceilings and a mix of antique and custom-made furniture. A stunning 16-foot marble and oak bar serves as a centerpiece to the salon style seating surrounding it, offering guests a chance to connect over craft cocktails in an intimate setting.”

This place arrives around the time that neighboring Uncle Jack’s Meat House opens, also with a speakeasy setup (you gotta have a password there; no indication of that being the case at The Last Word). The only other spot on the Ditmars strip that is anything like a speakeasy—meaning, a little secretive—is Les Amis, a place that has intrigued me for years, but I’ve always been shy about entering (check out this video). Here’s hoping folks don’t feel shy about either of these two new speakeasy style establishments.

the-last-word-ditmars-astoria-queens

Photo credit: Francine Dominguez

As mentioned above, when you walk into The Last Word, it will look like a hardware store, but you won’t be able to take advantage of it as a hardware store (no keys cut, no screwdrivers sold, no caulk available); it’s just part of the decor.

So what do you think? Is this some place you’d like to hang out at? Are you intrigued by the speakeasy aspect? Leave us a comment—we’d love to know what you think!

The Last Word (31-30 Ditmars Blvd, Astoria. 718-440-3378)
tlwastoria.com | Instagram | Twitter | Facebook
Cash and all major credit cards
Reservations: Walk-ins only – Reservations accepted for parties of 8 or more (via email only—info@tlwastoria.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.

18 Comments

Susan

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE THIS PLACE!…finally a place to talk, sexy, close to my home so I don’t have to take a taxi or drive.
I feel like home with my friends a Great Drinks!!!
“+A” ;-)

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Me

The “Speakeasy” trend is totally played out. We get it, some dude from pouring ribbons that wears suspenders and rocks a saloon style mustache will make drinks with big pieces of ice and 600 ingredients for triple the price of a normal drink. Keep that nonsense in the city.

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Tarcisio Costa

As the manager of Mussels ‘N Sausages, a concept restaurant on Ditmars Boulevard focusing on fresh, plump mussels from Maine and house-made sausages, I welcome the addition of a serious cocktail-driven bar to the neighborhood. Although we are primarily a restaurant, we have a serious craft cocktail program highlighting signature creations, as well as Classics from the 1930s. So, another establishment that cares about quality spirits and beautifully executed cocktails is a welcoming addition.

I understand that change is sometimes difficult and people don’t like to see their neighborhood be transformed. But not all change is negative. I hope Astorians will embrace our establishments not as a “frat houses,” but serious, hospitality-driven establishments that care about quality and service.

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hmmm

you guys should push your cocktail aspect more than you do the mussels n sausages as i think that will be a bigger attraction for you.
You should also keep the shameless plug to a different page as this story isn’t about your business.

the main thing about Astoria is that people aren’t here to pay $14 for a drink. they’re here for reasonably priced drinks and good food. The speakeasy shit is trendy and almost kind of corny. you can’t even see inside which could be a huge deterrent. is there even any natural light in this space? No, probably not as i get it….it’s a speakeasy.

not sure who why anyone keeps saying Uncle Jacks Meathouse should have been open in August. They still have a lot of work to do.

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Steve-O

A speakeasy in 2016 is so typical Astoria…about 7 years past the trends. I hear the fedora is cool now also.

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Alanna

“Ditmars is saying goodbye to its sleepy northern Astoria vibe and saying hello to more and more nightlife.” Actually, a lot of us locals are saying no to the nightlife. I’ve never seen so much trust fund whiteness on Ditmars. Ew.

If these dudes are going to gank Square Hardware’s sign, the least they could do is offer an actual functioning hardware store in the front. Some of us really do live here, and could use caulk and keys.

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SusanVDaP

Oh yes, I agree! First, the hardware store at 24th and 24th Ave. went away, then Simon’s True Value sold out, basement and all (shades cut to order; what didn’t they have), then Square Hardware. If Bart (owner of Bartunek’s) decides to close, you won’t be able to get a decent screw in the neighborhood! (so to speak), at least a single brass screw, either metal or wood, of any gauge and length, etc., and that odd thingamabob valve for reconnecting the old plumbing to new!

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Luke

Wasn’t Caffe Bene at that location already a speakeasy, you know a business which only a select few patronize?

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ink

Can’t wait to check it out .8\16 fall on my birthday so it will be something different to go..

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Jessica Feinman

I was pretty salty about their use of the Square Hardware storefront. I loved that place and this goofy speakeasy is another testament to the inevitable change in this neighborhood that caused it to close after 60 years in business. BUT I just walked by and they’ve put up the actual Square Hardware sign and despite myself, my cold, dead heart felt a wonderful sense of nostalgia.

**I just hope the guys who worked at Square are getting paid handsomely for the use of the store’s likeness!**

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Sunny

I’m so glad I’m not the only one who feels this way. I was worried I might be tiring into that cranky old lady.

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SusanVDaP

He sold the store. We talked about it. He needed some surgery and decided to sell out and retire, as he ran it alone. Thing is….I don’t think he got anything for the logo (such as it was).

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hmmm

He sold his current lease to the building owner? As i know he didn’t sell the existing lease since it was marketed by someone after he vacated.

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Beth Connolly

Agreed Astoria is feeling like a college town these days, but I think this one will be a classy addition to the neighborhood… looking forward to checking it out!

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April

Bah more bars. I feel Astoria is like a college town now. All Frat houses and people getting drunk all the time :(

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John Harp

Going back to the 1960’s (my time) there were neighborhood taverns/bars on almost every block of Ditmars from 31st Street (The Spotlight Cafe) through at least 43rd Street. Places like Tom’s, Matty’s Log Cabin, McGiveney’s, (Crazy) Dooley’s (with Polish National Hall just off Ditmars on Steinway) and the Blackrock – just to name a few! Only the patrons have changed

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