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Greats of Craft brings rooftop vibes and speakeasy charm to Long Island City

Photo by Jessica Militello

July 10, 2024 By Jessica Militello

Greats of Craft, which opened in Long Island City in May, has quickly become a standout destination.

The venue at 10-15 43rd Ave. features a rooftop space, two versatile lounge areas perfect for daytime work or relaxation and a speakeasy called Bar Enzo, offering a private room with sweeping views for special events.

Owner Joe Schinco and his wife Stella also operate a Greats of Craft location in Manhattan, which opened in 2019. However, as a born-and-raised Astoria native, Joe always dreamed of opening a shop in his hometown. His vision was to create a versatile space that caters to any gathering, from daytime coffee meetups with friends to evening drinks after work.

“I was born on Ditmars and Steinway; my mom still lives there, and I always wanted to have something in Queens,” said Schinco. “I accidentally stumbled upon this space while driving by one day. The Manhattan shop is the same basic idea but much smaller, so we knew we wanted to try something bigger.”

While the bar has much to offer, their draft beer selection is the most extensive part of the menu, with 36 varieties on tap, from Wolfhound Irish dry stout to watermelon splash and Pacific Standard. Many of the beers are local, from places in the city like Brooklyn and Queens, as well as upstate New York and other states along both coasts. They also have classic cocktails like mezcalitas, espresso martinis and a wine and spirits selection to suit various preferences.

“We just sourced from all these fun, interesting places that make great stuff,” said Schinco. “We try to showcase them the best we can.”

Photo by Jessica Militello

But if beer and wine are not your type, then they also have an eclectic range of coffee and tea prepared any way you want, from Iced Matcha lattes to cold brew made with their own coffee that they make at a shared roasting facility in Brooklyn.

If you stop by in the morning, you can grab a fresh pastry or a bacon, egg and cheese sandwich made on focaccia bread. For afternoon and evening bites, they have a variety of tasty choices. For something simple, you can have a hot pretzel, BBQ wings, try one of their ten-inch pizzas or their whipped ricotta and smoked salmon toast.

They are also working on introducing some vegan options, which will be available on their menu soon. Another treat they offer is ice cream sandwiches made with fresh cookies baked on-site and ice cream from Oddfellow Ice Cream in Brooklyn.

Photo by Jessica Militello

“The thinking was to keep the space alive all day,” said Schinco. “It gives you a good chance to become a neighborhood spot where people filter in and out. They can get a coffee and work on their laptop, then have a beer and sandwich later in the day or meet some friends for trivia or a comedy show that we’ll do.”

Beyond food and drink throughout the day, Greats of Craft has been hosting a range of classes and events to bring the community together, giving patrons a chance to try something fun, meet new people and make the space more than just a meet-up spot for drinks but a home base to hang out and enjoy others’ company.

“We’ve definitely had some regulars developing,” said Schinco. “It’s nice; that’s what we love to see, a lot of familiar faces and getting to know them.”

Photo by Jessica Militello

Since opening, they have had yoga classes on the rooftop, flower arranging classes, trivia, paint and sips, comedy shows and open mic nights. They plan to create even more upcoming events, like a Sunday movie night on the rooftop, a perfect summertime activity for warm evenings.

They have also been host to pop-ups for makers in the community and have been establishing themselves as another neighborhood gem for people to meet up.

“We want to be an anchor point in the community; that’s the goal,” said Schinco. “A neighborhood spot where people meet other people. It helps build community and a sense of neighborhood. That’s just so important, and I feel like we’re missing that more and more these days.”

Greats of Craft is open Mondays through Wednesdays from 7:30 a.m. to 10 p.m., Thursdays from 7:30 a.m. to 11 p.m., Fridays from 7:30 a.m. to midnight, Saturdays from 8 a.m. to midnight and Sundays from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Photo by Jessica Militello

*This story first published in the July issue of BORO Magazine.

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