The rumors recently flying around the normally-sedate bedroom community of Douglaston are true – soon, thirsty sports fans will be able to enjoy a game, a cold beer and a Strawberry.
Darryl Strawberry, that is.
The as-yet unnamed pub and restaurant will be opening “hopefully before the All-Star break,” according to the four-time World Champion outfielder with both the Mets and the Yankees who will be the public face of the much anticipated “family-friendly” sports bar.
The establishment, at 42-15 235th Street, just south of the Long Island Rail Road’s Douglaston Station, had a long history as a “neighborhood place” before several, ultimately unsuccessful stints as a piano bar, steakhouse and chop house.
“They had the wrong plan,” said financial partner Nelson Braff, who confessed to not knowing “when the All-Star break is.”
“We want it to be a very comfortable, modestly priced, friendly place,” said Braff, an experienced restaurateur. Strawberry wholeheartedly agreed. “It’ll be a fun place for people to have a good time and let off a little steam watching a game.”
At the same time, both partners noted that the new place, to which Strawberry is applying the finishing touches – acquiring sports memorabilia and the like – will have “a family atmosphere where you can bring the kids for good, standard American fare.”
Of course, having played for both local teams one has to wonder where Strawberry’s sympathies will lie. “You know, I didn’t want to open just another place in Manhattan,” he confessed. “I remember those years wearing [Mets] number 18 and the good feelings here in Queens,” he recalled.
Strawberry said he expected that he would be spending more time at the place as they work out the kinks and later on during special events. Could the neighborhood fans expect a few other players to show up? “I certainly hope so,” he said.
There are other rumors that the partners wouldn’t address. “You have to keep some things a surprise.” But one persistent neighborhood buzz was put to rest.
“Justin Timberlake is not involved in this project,” Braff declared. “He’s in a lot of restaurants and the like, but not this one.”