ASTORIA — The new owner of a neighborhood sports bar is transforming its backyard into a Prohibition-themed cocktail lounge one night a week this summer, complete with drinks served in brown paper bags.
The pop-up speakeasy opens this week at Katch, at 31-19 Newtown Ave. just off of 30th Avenue, and will run every Thursday from 8 p.m. to 2 a.m. in the bar's backyard, which is concealed from the rest of the eatery behind a heavy curtain.
The space will feature its own food and cocktail menu, tables lined with candles and screens set up throughout that show theme-appropriate movies — like the gangster flick "The Untouchables."
The backyard at Katch, at 31-19 Newtown Ave. in Astoria. (DNAinfo/Jeanmarie Evelly)
"[It's] something different for the community to come and hang out and experience," said Bill McSorley, who took over ownership of Katch about two months ago.
Cocktails at the weekly speakeasy include classics like a Sidecar, an Old Fashioned, a French 75 and "Giggle Water" — the bar's housemade vodka infused with fresh watermelon. Drinks are served incognito in old-fashioned ceramic coffee cups or covered by a brown paper bag.
The food menu includes small plates like bruschetta, vegetable spring rolls, mini shrimp tostados and garlic crackers topped with cheddar cheese and kalamata olives.
The regular bar and restaurant at Katch has remained more or less the same since McSorley took over, though he said he's tweaking its regular menu and adding more beer and wine options.
The speakeasy's offerings include "Giggle Water," or vodka infused with fresh watermelon. (DNAinfo/Jeanmarie Evelly)
The Thursday speakeasy will continue each week through at least the end of summer, and McSorley said he's also planning other events — like barbecues — to best utilize the bar's spacious backyard.
"We're really just trying to use that space out there because it's awesome," he said. "I'm trying to leverage it."