This weekend, E and I met some friends at what is rapidly becoming one of my favorite bars, Dutch Kills. Located just a ten minute train ride away from home in Long Island City, Queens, Dutch Kills is a bar that is hiding in plain sight. From the street, a blinking white neon sign reads, simply, “BAR.” The windows are blacked out, and a sign advertising a blue print shop hangs over the storefront. A small hallway leads into a narrow, dimly lit area with high wooden booths, so that it looks like nothing special from the outside. If you venture in further, you’ll see the fully stocked bar (see here, via this post) manned by barkeeps in vests and suspenders.
While not technically a speakeasy, Dutch Kills definitely nods to the Prohibition Era. But the aesthetics of the joint, though nothing to scoff at, are a minor attraction. The real stars of the night are the cocktails. The menu may not seem like much, but the bartenders’ know more than what’s there, anyway. Tell them what you like (or what you don’t) and they’ll whip you up something that’s sure to please. Each drink has the right hand-cut ice to keep it cool — on the rock, served long, or crushed.
I am, generally, more of a beer gal than a cocktail connoisseur, but I have never left Dutch Kills dissatisfied (in fact, I’ve been feeling more inspired to build my bar at home). The beverages are always perfect, the atmosphere is great for a relaxed Friday night, and the service is spot on. At $11 per cocktail, the prices are reasonable, and the bar is close to the N, Q, 7, E, M, R, and G trains, making it a great meeting place for friends from Queens, Manhattan, and Brooklyn. I’m already plotting my next trip back.