Alewife prepares for the end of the world
By Bill Parry
With the Mayan calendar suggesting the world will end Friday, one bar/restaurant in Long Island City wants its patrons to go out with a bang.
Alewife (5-14 51st Ave.) is having a “Last Beer Event Ever on Apocalypse Eve” on Thursday night, starting at 6pm, which will feature a full line of Apocalypse craft beers from Elysian Brewing Co. in Washington State.
However, if the world doesn’t come to an abrupt end, Alewife will continue with its backup plan.
It has introduced a new concept in happy hour scheduling: two separate happy hour sessions a day, the first from 4-7pm and another from 11pm-1am–Sunday through Friday.
“I just thought it was a way to increase the nightlife,” said Patrick Donagher, an owner. “Many folks around here finish work late.”
The new schedule might help Alewife recapture some of its lost revenue stemming from the Hurricane Sandy. The beer hall has only been operating at full strength for two weeks. “We had no power for 10 days,” said Roz, Patrick’s wife. “We opened as soon as we could, but we couldn’t get back to full service for 30 days.”
The flood left two feet of water in the basement and destroyed the main floor. The problems didn’t stop the couple and their business partner, Daniel Lanigan, from helping the relief effort. “This was a key drop off site for relief supplies,” said Roz, “and Patrick was making numerous runs to Rockaway and Staten Island.”
Alewife is also an art bar. The work of LIC photographer Howard Stevens adorns the first-floor walls, and on the second floor there’s a sculpture exhibit by Cristian Torres, who does “plumbing art.” His plumbing skills proved useful since he did the repairs on Alewife’s pipes after the hurricane.
“We have so much space here and a big foot in the community,” said Roz, “we want to help the local artists as much as we can.”
Alewife’s bar features 42 different bottled beers and 28 craft beers. All draught beers can be purchased to go in a 32 ounce Boston Bottle. The restaurant serves pizza, burgers, mussels and nightly specials. There is also a raw bar and brunch on weekends from 12-4pm.
The bar aims to be a second home for many residents–hence its name. “In Ireland and England you go to your other wife, the pub. It’s your Alewife,” Patrick said.