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Kick Off Summer With a Tour of Astoria's Bar Scene

By Jeanmarie Evelly | June 19, 2014 10:36am | Updated on June 20, 2014 2:49pm
 The Astoria Tour de Bar takes place Saturday, with food and drink specials at 21 local watering holes.
The Astoria Tour de Bar takes place Saturday, with food and drink specials at 21 local watering holes.
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QUEENS — Astorians will raise a glass this weekend while also raising funds for a good cause.

The Astoria Tour de Bar will take place Saturday. The event aims to promote the neighborhood's watering holes while also raising money for the Childhood Cancer Society, a nonprofit that provides support for children with cancer and their families.

More than 20 Astoria bars will participate in the festivities, offering food and drink specials to bar-goers, including $3 pints of Blue Point beer at most spots.

Public relations professional and Astoria resident Dana Humphrey organized the event with friend Chelsey Pendock, who works in advertising. 

The two are friends with the founder of the Childhood Cancer Society and saw the tour as a way to help his cause while also promoting their neighborhood's bar scene.

"We love the neighborhood," said Humphrey, who said many outside of Queens know little of Astoria bars besides the popular Bohemian Hall beer garden.

"It's about all the cool bars and restaurants in Astoria that people can check out."

The festivities will start at Katch Astoria at 31-19 Newtown Ave. at 12 p.m., where participants will be able to pick up their wristbands, as well as other event gear, like a backpack and a visor.

Unlike a traditional pub crawl, there's no set route for attendees to follow — they can visit any of the 21 bars at their discretion and will be able to check into locations on their smart phones using a mobile app.

Participating bars and restaurants include Astoria Brewhouse, Ovelia, Quays, Blackbird's, William Hallet and several others. Bar-goers will get free swag along the way, like sunglasses and beer coozies.

The new Astoria Distilling Company will be doing the first public tasting of its Queens Courage New York Old Tom Gin during the tour at bar Bourbon and Vine, at 36-05 30 Ave., between 12:30 and 4 p.m. Company representatives will be giving out Queens Courage shot glasses and t-shirts.

Rocky McBride's will have free barbeque, including bratwurst, hot dogs and hamburgers, while Snowdonia pub will offer half-priced wings and hummus fries.

Organizers will also be giving out water and free snacks along the way and are encouraging participants to pace themselves.

"We're not trying to have it be a crazy scene," said Humphrey, who said they expect to draw an older crowd.

The tour will end at Break Bar and Billiards at 32-04 Broadway, where they'll be raffling off prizes like Yankees tickets and a mixology gift basket.

Tickets to the Astoria Tour de Bar can be purchased online for $30, or will cost $40 if purchased at the door the day of the event. More information can be found here.