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Cafe/bar coming to Court Square, complete with church pews and chandelier

BeastNextDoorAugust 12, By Michael Florio

A new neighborhood café and bar is expected to open in the Court Square section of Long Island City this fall.

John Veenema, the owner, has taken an old garage space and spent the past year converting it into a café/bar called The Beast Next Door, which will be located at 42-51 27th Street.

The establishment will be essentially be a European cafe by day and a bar at night.

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 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.

“It 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 better.”

The café/bar has room for about 74 people, and while there will not be outdoor seating it has French style doors, which 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.

“This neighborhood is always growing,” he said. “The neighbors are excited. There are so few things in this part of the neighborhood and we will be a welcoming option.”

He knew he wanted to open his business in Long Island City, but landed on this location once he was able to obtain the lease–as most property owners were looking to sell, not rent.

Originally, he hoped to open in June, but was delayed due to plumbing issues, which have now been resolved.

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