Oct. 28, By Michael Florio
The beast is coming soon to LIC.
The Beast Next Door, a neighborhood café and bar located at 42-51 27th Street, is set to open in about a month.
It will be a café by day and a full bar by night, according to owner John Veenema.
The menu will consist of combination plates, which will include Italian cured meats and French cheeses–served with bread, slices of fruit and nuts. There will also be sandwiches, salads and pastries.
“We want to serve high quality food items,” Veenema said. “There will be no fried food served here.”
To drink, Veenema said he will have four beers on tap, which will consist of two light and two heavier beers.
He said that he is considering beer brewed by the Rockaway Brewing Company.
There will also be a full liquor bar and a variety of wine.
Veenema said he is in the final stage of opening the bar. He is currently hiring staff, ordering drinks, as well as purchasing supplies such as glasses.
He said there will be a grand opening event, perhaps with live music, but the details still have to be worked out.
Veenema, who has a background in visual arts, has gone to great length in designing the cafe/bar. Inside, hangs an old chandelier and placed alongside the walls are old church pews, which will be used as benches. Meanwhile, the tables are made out of salvaged pallets and even a wooden prison door.
The café/bar also features a raised area toward the back of the establishment, which will serve as a seating area at times and as an area for live music.
Along the back wall there is a woodcut Turkish design mural, which Veenema made himself.
“The bar will be elegant and have a romantic feel,” he said. “I want people to feel comfortable here, to have a conversation, and for people to get to know one another.”
The café/bar has room for about 74 people, and while there won’t be sidewalk seating there will be French-style doors, which will open up to the street.
“It will feel like you are outside on nice days,” Veenema said.
This is Veenema’s first bar, but he has experience in the industry as he previously worked at Block Star, a Manhattan bar that has since closed.
Veenema, who is originally from Canada, has lived in LIC for the past five years. Prior to that, he spent 15 years living in Manhattan.
Veenema said there is a great deal of interest in his establishment.
“I can’t go outside without people stopping me and asking me when will it open,” he said.
He added that his café/bar is in a section of Long Island City that is undergoing a great deal of development, yet still offers limited options for residents. He hopes to create a friendly environment where customers will come in and know one another.
“We want to be a place where residents can come and have a conversation,” he said. “It will be a place to come, hang out and relax.”
He knew he wanted to open his business in Long Island City and landed on this location once he was able to obtain the lease–as most property owners were looking to sell, not rent.
Meanwhile, in other news, signage for a Dunkin’ Donuts has gone up at 44-80 21st Street.
The sign caught the attention of students passing by who shouted: “Yes! Can’t wait for it to open.”