Ditmars And Beyond, Where Live Music Lives

As a newer transplant to Astoria with only a year and a few months under my belt here, it’s been a sonic delight discovering the local venues that showcase live music – a hobby of mine since I was 15 years old (and trust me, without revealing my age that’s a long time seeing concerts). In addition to the standing, beloved haunts and restaurants that showcase local artists and music, some new places have popped up in my short time here to catch intimate shows. I took a tour down Ditmars Blvd. and beyond to see where the live music lives and I was not disappointed! Take a look below and discover which evenings provide a great date night for you and your love, a fun night out on the town with friends or a relaxing night solo. —Chrissy Carney

The Last Word

Originally a speakeasy hidden behind a “hardware shop,” The Last Word has quickly gained a reputation as THE SPOT for weekly live music and some of the most unique craft cocktails in Astoria. After a short hiatus to reboot their sound system, The Last Word returned with live music in mid-October with Vox & Vibes Project, featuring Christos Rafalides on vibraphone and singer Thana Alexa. Visit their website or take a look at their storefront to see who’s playing next. This is my favorite spot to see the best intimate jazz and R&B live performances in the neighborhood! The Last Word (31-30 Ditmars Blvd) | (718) 440-3378 tlwastoria.com | Facebook | Instagram

Tufino Pizzeria Napoletana

In addition to providing the best brick oven pizza in a five-mile radius, Tufino has been hosting fantastic local artists every Thursday night, taking date nights to the next level. My suggestion? Order a bottle of wine, the delizioso San Gennaro pizza and enjoy the music with your sweetheart! Tufino Pizzeria Napoletana (36-08 Ditmars Blvd) 718-278-4800 tufinopizzeria.com | Facebook | Instagram

Queen’s Room

Another pop-up during my time living here: owner Antonia Joannides transformed café, 60 Beans, into the bistro, Queen’s Room, in September 2017. Fun fact: it’s in the same building her family lived in when they came here in the 1950s from Cyprus. Queen’s Room is quickly becoming a local favorite for coffee buffs and foodies alike. Harlem River Noise, an R&B duo, often play here when they’re in town. Take a look at their website for tour dates and stop by Queen’s Room when they are! Queen’s Room (36-02 Ditmars Blvd) | (347) 987-3994. queensroomnyc.com | Facebook | Instagram —Chrissy Carney, reviews & photos

Astoria Bier & Cheese

Grab a craft pint, pair it with some delicious cheese and listen to the Astoria Music Collective, “an Astoria born, community-based program built around an eclectic collective of talented local and outerboro musicians,” celebrate Music Mondays at everyone’s beloved beer joint. Check the website for designated Monday music. Astoria Bier & Cheese – Ditmars (35-11 Ditmars Blvd) | (718) 255-6982 milkandhops.com | Facebook | Instagram

Jack Jones Bar

The newest arrival on Ditmars, Jack Jones has quietly (and I say quietly because they seem to feature singers with acoustic guitars and only announce shows on their sandwich board out front) been holding live music on Sunday nights. Football may be on, but you can still listen to some catchy tunes by local musicians between games most Sunday nights. The bartenders are some of the friendliest in town and their craft cocktails and draft beers do not disappoint. It’s my favorite local bar! And a little tip for musicians searching for new gigs: the owner, Jerry, is currently looking to add performers to the lineup. Go in and introduce yourself! Jack Jones Bar (38-01 Ditmars Blvd) 929-424- 3180. Facebook|Instagram—Chrissy Carney, reviews & photos

Joe’s Garage

Joe’s Garage provides the most options to catch live music with shows every Wednesday, Saturday, and the first and last Friday of every month. Aspiring singers and musicians should stop by on Wednesday nights for “Humpday Open Mic,” their weekly talent showcase. Sign up at 8:30 pm and be on stage belting out tunes by 9 pm. “Funk Yeah Fridays” occur the first and last Friday of every month and feature singer/songwriters of a variety of genres. Finally, roll through on Saturday nights to see “Live in Astoria,” a weekly spotlight on outerborough, touring bands. In December the live music schedule is set to slow down a bit, but cold beers, pizza, playing pool and pinball are always on tap! Joe’s Garage (45-01 23rd Ave.) 718-606-0061. Facebook | Instagram—Chrissy Carney

Photo Melissa Mennona

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2018-11-01 digital edition