ASTORIA — A longtime Astoria bar is transitioning to new ownership and getting a new, tiki-inspired look and menu, including Spam fried rice and Tiki Tots.
Popular watering hole Hell Gate Social, at 12-21 Astoria Blvd., is now Hell Gate Tiki, serving both classic and beach-themed cocktails and a new menu of "Pacific-inspired surf snacks," according to new owner Jeremy Osslund.
"We're offering the same kind of neighborhood shot-and-a-beer bar with an exotic twist," he said, saying they're looking to strike a "contemporary take" on tiki.
"We want to get away from that kind of campy idea of tons of things on fire and straw hats everywhere," he said.
Osslund said they're in "soft opening" mode with a limited menu, and will be hosting an official grand opening event after some changes are made to revamp the space in the coming weeks, which will include lots of art on display.
The current menu includes a number of Pacific-inspired bites, with everything made in-house, including dishes like edamame, crab rangoons, Spam fried rice and "Tiki Tots," — their version of the Tater Tot, but made from rice and served with peanut sauce and spicy mayo.
The cocktail menu lists both classic drinks plus surf-inspired libations like a Beachcomber and a Bahama Mama.
"We're going to try and do a lot of community events," Osslund said.
Hell Gate Tiki is located at 12-21 Astoria Blvd. and opens at 5 p.m. daily.