Elton John’s Tiny Dancer in the background, a bar made of old shipping crates and perfectly dried flower bouquets nestled in old mason jars brings a little rustic chic to Astoria. The ceiling beams taken from old tug boats and the recycled wood and exposed brick interior make a cozy backdrop. Sweet Afton is a casual, dim-lit Irish bar, with an honest focus on locally sourced ingredients and a comprehensive craft beer and wine list. It seems to have the perfect balance of sophistication, yet retains that “neighborhood-y” feel you want from a good Irish bar.
Pull up a chair at the bar and grab one of those craft pints, or if you are more of a cocktail person, try a dirty pickle martini (exactly what it sounds like) or a Ruby Bartlett, which has a jalapeno-infused tequila, mezcal, Aperol, strawberry and cucumber Aqua Fresca, lime AND hibiscus salt (WTF?). Their playful liquor infusions really lend to making some great hand-crafted cocktails. Think chamomile and gin, or Earl Grey and vodka –both quite the awesome duos. Whatever your beverage fancy, you absolutely need something to help wash down their cloud-like beer battered McClure’s fried pickles or the Pat Lafrieda burger on a country white bun –both really good.
If you wake up Saturday morning, still in a Friday night fog accompanied by a massive headache and you are questioning your ability to make responsible decisions, find your pants and then take a walk on over for brunch (trust me, it will help).
As you sip on your bacon-infused bourbon bloody Mary you’ll slowly begin to feel human again. If you feel like you can hold some food down, you most certainly will need something with a little salt and grease to fill your gullet, so try the fried chicken and buttermilk biscuit or a bowl filled with creamy grits, poached eggs, kale, tomato and parmesan cheese. That’ll do the trick.
If you’re too hungover to even get out of bed on the weekends, and Monday night is more your speed, there is live jazz, bluegrass and folk music on Monday nights so go solo or grab a Tinder date and head over for some local eats like some pork meatball sliders or some mac and cheese, where you have your option of cheese. We say go with the New York state cheddar, because cheddar is better.
It’s no wonder this bar shares its name with a lyrical, soothing rhythmic poem. It’s the perfect balance of food, drink and vibe and it’s basically everything you’d want from a local neighborhood spot. Sweet Afton will quickly find it’s place among your most frequented bars in Queens. See you there!