What makes a place like the Forest Hills Station House—a gastropub and whiskey joint that opened this summer in a residential neighborhood in Queens, New York—more than just a bar? Well, if you’re like us, you duck in to a “bar” for a game, a Bud Light, and a dozen hot wings that were probably frozen in a bag about 20 minutes ago. And while you know that a bar is kind of a nameless, faceless spot that you probably won’t return to, you’re cool with it—at least, just for the night.
The Forest Hills Station House is not just a bar.
Despite having just been built out this year (by the owners of George Keeley in Manhattan’s Upper West Side) this semi-industrial looking watering hole exudes the character of a local spot that’s been there for decades. And it's clear: the Station House has some serious neighborhood pride. The materials used to construct the place were sourced from local vendors. It features a constant rotation of craft beer created within the area code. The proprietor lives just down the street (in fact, he might even be sitting on the bar stool next to you).
We learned about the Station House after one of our staff editors mentioned he'd stopped by on opening night—and recommended I check it out before its popularity grew. Always down to check out a new spot, I took a short subway ride to Forest Hills, one of Queens cooler neighborhoods.
A whiskey den and beer hall is only as popular as the libations it serves, and the Station House delivers on both fronts. Popular craft beers like Ommegang and Sixpoint are complimented by offerings from Queens’ own Singlecut brewery. You’ll be able to expand your palate while testing some of the finer beers from around the world (and if you down 100 of ‘em, you’ll join the beer club and get your name emblazoned on the pub's wall of fame).
Small batch bourbons offer an option for those looking to sip on something a little stronger, and there are always new flavors and selections being rotated in and out at the Station House. Add in their scotch and rye selections and you’re looking at a wide range of options to pour in your glass. Whiskey flights give you the option of three 1.5 ounce glasses to taste and share with friends.
The brews and spirits are worth the visit, but the distinct lineup of gastropub fare is a great reason to stay. My work buddy raved about bolder menu items like chicken wings in pickled pepper sauce and “Many Cheese Mac”—with or without sausage, but I was psyched to discover elevated versions of classic options, including steak and potatoes and ribs (my opinion: you don’t find those comfort food dishes in enough restaurants). In the end, I caved to my baser cravings for a classic cheeseburger, and I downed it while watching not one, but a few games on a wall lined with HD flat screen TVs.
While the Forest Hills Station House may cater to those with a taste for something more Instragram-worthy than standard pub fare and suds, it's still a draw for those of us who want to belly up for a good beer, a burger and a ball game.
But whatever ends up getting you in the door or convincing you to linger…don’t call it "just a bar."