NYC's Exploding Biergarten Scene
Home to what must be the world's highest concentration of dark, tiny drinking dens, New York's nightlife scene has never been known for roomy outdoor drinking space. But that could be starting to change: NYC is slowly but surely becoming the biergarten capital of the country, with hip drinkers trading in their martini glasses and secret door passwords for picnic tables, ale-filled boots, and lederhosen (Well, we haven't seen any lederhosen yet – but we can hope!)
For many years, NYC had just one truly great biergarten, the legendary Bohemian Hall in Astoria, Queens. This century-old mega-garden is a long-time hangout for Eastern European ex-pats, although the 20-something set clearly got word about the cheap-cheap Czech beers in recent years and the place has become a bit of a zoo lately.
But that's OK, because imitators eager to suck up that overflow crowd have been popping up all over the five boroughs. We've got the hipster take on beer gardens, Radegast Hall, in Williamsburg, and the hard-party version, Loreley, on the Lower East Side.
Bringing the trend back to Queens, Studio Square is set to open this weekend in Long Island City, putting that nabe's signature graffiti-chic spin on the concept in a colossal, 900-person beer garden.
You'd think that would be enough space to handle all of NYC's schnitzel-and-lager cravings, but we've also heard rumor of Der Schwarze Kolener, a genuine German beirgarten coming to Fort Greene this fall; and HotelChatter tell us the sleek new Standard Hotel will soon debut a biergarten under the high line tracks on the far West Side.
Biergartens – the speakeasy of 2009?
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