The oldest beer garden in New York City, Bohemian Hall celebrated its 100th anniversary this year. Bohemian Hall is run and managed by the Bohemian Citizens' Benevolent Society of Astoria, an organization dedicated to preserving the Czech and Slovak communities in the area. Located in the heart of Astoria, New York City's most internationally diverse neighborhood, the Bohemian Hall represents an authentic slice of Eastern Europe in Queens, a central gathering spot for Czechs and Slovaks, and a favorite watering hole as well. The Beer Garden has been featured in New York Magazine's "Twenty-five Perfect Places for Outdoor Eating" and a gamut of local publications. Whether you are a beer connoisseur, a European food lover, or just a visitor looking to mingle with the local crowd, you'll find great food, great music and an unbeatable selection of brews.
The beer selections range from Czech and Slovak to German and Belgian, and of course, from the USA. The dinner menu lists such famous European dishes as potato pierogi, beef goulash, schnitzels and beef stroganoff. Not as well-known, but not any less tasty delights are Vepřová - oven roasted pork loin, served with sauerkraut and bread dumplings, and Svičková – roast beef with vegetable cream sauce. If you are feeling adventurous, try Utopenec for an appetizer - a marinated spicy knockwurst sausage, served cold. And don't even bother to count the calories, the food is too tasty to care.
The Bohemian Hall is a terrific bar in the summer but also a great neighborhood place in winter. When the weather turns cold, life tends to concentrate inside the bar, which offers multiple rooms, plenty of tables and a variety of nightly entertainment from poetry readings to independent films. The bar holds Open Mikes on Wednesdays, free Jazz Nights on Thursdays, and hosts Rockin' Saturdays.
The cornerstone of Bohemian Hall was laid on October 1, 1910, on what was farmland at the time. The Main Hall was added later, and in 1919 the outside Bar and Park were finished - just in time for the prohibition which banned the sale of alcoholic beverages in America for over a decade! At one time, New York City had over 800 beer gardens, three of them in Astoria, yet none survived but Bohemian Hall. Today the garden continues its proud tradition into the new millennium.
For the locals, Bohemian Hall is more than a favorite watering hole. It is a place that helps to preserve the Czech and Slovak historical heritage, hosts community events, and offers sports and educational classes for children. Many Astorians of Eastern European descent come here with their families as kids and continue to visit as adults. Part of the Bohemian Hall building is occupied by a spacious concert hall which hosts Eastern European shows and festivals, and where Sokol – the Czechs and Slovak sports and gymnastics school holds classes and performances. To celebrate its 100th birthday this May, Bohemian Hall held a 1910 Costume Ball with 1910 music and a performance by ballroom dancers. The admission price was $19.10. A special hairdresser was employed to gussy up the guests with vintage hairstyles.
- Bar/Garden Hours:
- Monday through Wednesday: 5pm to 2am
- Thursday and Friday: 5pm to 3am
- Saturday: 12pm to 3am
- Sunday: 12pm to 2am
- Note: The Garden is open March through October. The Bar is open year around
- Subway Stop:
- N train to the Astoria Blvd Station
- Location: 2919 24th Avenue, Astoria, NY
- Phone: 7180-274-4925
- Website: www.bohemianhall.com