First Look at The Strand BBQ & Beer Garden

After teasing this place exactly a year ago, we stopped in the new BBQ, beer, and whiskey joint, The Strand last night for a weekend cap and was pleasantly surprised. The space has been under construction for about a year (since the old Blockbuster moved out). It's really hard to imagine the old DVD cases lining the walls, they did a remarkable job of renovating the place (more photos to come later).

In short, it feels like a beer, meat, and music joint that deserves a few Harleys in front and an aroma that pulls you in from blocks away. They haven't quite achieved either yet, but both are likely inevitable.

I dropped in with a posse of seven last night and had no issue grabbing a picnic-style table. The heat was roaring and the growlers were almost filling themselves. The ordering process is a bit non-traditional for NYC, but not too painful.

A hostess is planted immediately inside the door instructing you to grab a table (and essentially fend for a good way). Once you grab a table, belly up to the bar and grab a beer or cocktail (both have very narrow, but awesome choices), then mosey over to the line near the back for your meat and side orders.

Portions are divvied up in 1/2 and full pounds (depending on the meat). Choices last night were smoked pork loin (yum), pulled pork (yum), pork ribs (ran out), 1/2 chicken (yum), chicken wings (mmm), and pork belly (not my thing, but others loved). The sides were greens (yum), mashed potatoes (yum), roasted root veggies (ehh), mac n cheese (yum), baked beans (mmm), cornbread (yum), and biscuits (yum). 

They have three house sauces on the communal tables--BBQ (wow), tangy mustard (damn!), and hot (omg).

Last night's visit wasn't for a review, per se, so wasn't equipped with a full battery for photos, but couldn't help from passing the word that this place is the real deal. Helpful staff, live honky-tonk, delicious food, and killer drinks. And here's the kicker...despite literally ordering everything on the menu, feeding 7 and still having leftovers...under $70. Phenomenal. 

The Strand (25-21 Broadway Astoria, NY 11106)

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Comment by Magdalena Rahn on December 12, 2012 at 10:39pm

A group of 8 of us went their last Wednesday for dinner. The meat was good, tender and well seasoned, and I was totally loving the side dishes - particularly the braised cabbage, and the stewed okra with smoked tomatoes. Thankfully, they were clean and grease-free. Plus, there is a choice of 3 (not-too) hot sauces on the table, and bbq seasoning. Love it.

Talking about the beer list, with 15 or so craft beers (and not the typical ones, either), it would have been easy to spend the whole night exploring all the delicious options. The whiskeys in barrel, too, provided a laudable range of flavours and styles.

Overall, I loved it. It was warm, inviting, the music was quiet enough to carry on a real conversation (thank you, thank you!!!!) and the staff was kind, if perhaps not totally informed of what all the drinks were - but that is the case almost everywhere.

Best wishes to The Strand!

Comment by Nick on December 11, 2012 at 4:36pm

So the space is nice, not cozy, but well designed for such a big expanse.  The food was not that great, it was lukewarm and the seasoning was mediocre.  The people serving the meat and sides seemed bothered to answer any questions and didn't seem happy to be working at all.  I hope the owner goes quickly to Fette sau or Hill country and gets some tips.  Its the same concept but both those places do it way better. Please make it better, the strand has a lot of potential to be a great addition to the neighborhood. 

Comment by bwayastoria on December 10, 2012 at 10:08pm
Comment by Catherine Garaicoa on November 27, 2012 at 11:40pm

I've passed by here a few times to get home, I was curious to see how the Blockbuster changed, internally as it had externally!!

You wouldn't think that one of the most delicious items on the menu of a SmokeHouse would be the vegetarian chili!! 

The food is so delicious, I went with Sam, Maddy, and Raphael, we split the pork ribs, which were not greasy- buuuut they were JUUUIIICEEEYY!!!!!!! We had the rice, it was different then my mother makes it, I really liked it   (=^''^=)

Comment by Kara Bell on November 21, 2012 at 2:44pm

I tried it, food was not so good.  Looks like it will be more of a music and drinking  venue than restaurant. Stage was set up with amps and instruments, but no band played.

Comment by bwayastoria on November 20, 2012 at 10:43pm
Memo to all: if you plan to go to strand and use backyard please be mindful
of the neighbors!! If you are noisy we will call the cops on you. All the neighbors are very upset by what happened last weekend and have joined forces to protect protect against all the loud drunks that may visit. If the owner of the strand doesn't control the noise, we will have the cops there in a heartbeat. Also, we have contact our governmental reps for help.

We don't want to stop the fun inside but if the noise comes out we are prepared to do so.

My fellow neighbors, let's stick together while being fair and reasobable. Let's protect our interests.
Comment by Natpokah on November 19, 2012 at 5:38pm

Phew! Makes me fell better ! Thanks for the info Ran!

Yeah, must look a little wierd though..:)

Comment by Ran Craycraft on November 19, 2012 at 5:34pm

They put tap water on the tables in whiskey bottles...kind of odd...

Comment by Natpokah on November 19, 2012 at 5:27pm

I've been passing by everyday on my way home and Im very curious about the many empty whiskey bottles they had lined-up on the bar for some time...I hope those wont be filled-up with whatever mixture and sold as awesome pricy whiskey ...Not that I'm a connoisseur but it's just a question of principle ;)

The place looks really cool nevertheless!

Comment by pat merino on November 19, 2012 at 4:48pm


that platter looks yummy - hope their beer selection is as good ...

BTW - a little Astoria history - back in the day down the block towards Crescent street there was a movie theater called The Strand ;-)



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