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Astoria Restaurant Owners Team Up to Open 'Gastropub Lounge'

By Jeanmarie Evelly | December 12, 2013 10:19am

ASTORIA — A pair of restaurant owners in Astoria are teaming up to open a multi-story "gastropub lounge" that focuses on seasonal cuisine.

Matthew Katakis, the founder of Pita Pan and organic barbeque spot Butcher Bar is working with longtime friend Nick Neocleous, owner of Steinway Street lounge and sushi bar Central to open Marketa, a new eatery on 30th Avenue.

Katakis describes Marketa as a "a gastropub lounge," offering a rotating menu with a focus on local, seasonal ingredients.

"We're debuting our winter menu right now," he said, saying the opening dishes include a "heartier type of fare," like roasted bone marrow, a burger topped with a fried egg, grilled mahi mahi and Cornish game hen.

"There's not a freezer in the house," he said. "We just wanted to bring the freshest kind of food we can bring, and house it under a very unique space."

That unique space, at 37-17 30th Ave., includes three floors. The kitchen and bathrooms are in the basement, while the ground floor is a 78-seat dining room as well as a backyard with additional seating in nice weather.

An upstairs mezzanine with a balcony will be available to rent for private parties, and Marketa plans to host its own events, like food and wine tastings.

"There's a lot of expectations and high hopes of how we can use the space," Katakis said.

Marketa will open Friday at 5 p.m., with dinner served until 12 a.m. and a late night menu available from 12 to 2 a.m., Katakis said. They plan to start serving brunch after the new year.