July 21, 2021 By Michael Dorgan
A new bar specializing in craft beers has opened on Queens Boulevard in Sunnyside.
The bar, called Sweet Avenue, opened at 40-05 Queens Blvd. July 17 in the space that was previously occupied by Sunnyside Florist, which closed last year.
The new venue is owned by the owners of Judy and Punch, a popular bar / restaurant in Astoria.
The owners have completely redesigned the 700 square foot Sunnyside space and are looking to create a 70s vibe that includes playing retro-style music.
A new black-colored awning replaced the green signage that was synonymous with Sunnyside Florist. The florist had been there for over 80 years.
The interior walls were painted gray and a new orange and white floor was laid. The front of the bar has new large sliding windows.
The establishment can accommodate about twenty people and there is currently no outside space.
Gerard Leary, 41, owner of Sweet Avenue with his two business partners, said the new place is not like an ordinary bar as it has a strong focus on craft beers. The beers, he says, can be consumed on the spot or bought to take away.
Leary said customers, for example, can buy a 32-ounce can – known as a crowler – of craft beer and take it away. Craft beer enthusiasts can also purchase packs of full-size cans or bottles that have been sealed during production.
“It allows people to come in, to open their horizons and to try something new because we are constantly going to be running our products,” Leary said.
Leary anticipates that the take-out component will be an important part of the business.
The bar also offers a selection of wines and spirits on site. Only beers can be bought to take away, Leary said.
Leary, who has lived in the Sunnyside / Woodside area for over 10 years, says there is a growing demand for craft beer in the neighborhood.
He said more people than expected have flocked to the bar since it opened.
“It was quite remarkable and I was kind of impressed with the way people reacted,” Leary said.
Leary said the owners plan to host tastings with local breweries at the site in the future.
Hours of operation are 3 p.m. to 11 p.m. Monday to Thursday, 3 p.m. to 1 a.m. Friday, noon to 1 a.m. Saturday and noon to 9 p.m. Sunday.