Well you can’t say they didn’t warn you. A railroad-thin, brick-fitted barroom barely fits half a dozen stools (standing room, see?), where a crush of bargoers vie for front-row seats to a shaker-cup show put on by mustachioed barkeeps Shige Kabashima (Angel’s Share) and Joji Watanabe (Experimental Cocktail Club). But a few steps past the counter, two retractable doors reveal an intimate lounge decked with high-top tables and a black-box stage, from which a cast of comedians (curated by the team behind Gramercy laugh factory the Stand) elicit laughs from a boozed-up crowd.
ORDER THIS: The drinks, too, have a sense of humor and are ushered out in whimsical vessels like egg shells and mossy nests. A fiery Cucumber ($12) jazzes up cukes with house-spiced tequila, chipotle and lime inside an orange bell pepper, while the spirits-forward Smoke ($12) unleashes billowing clouds of vapor over a brassy mix of bourbon and herbaceous Cynar. The prettiest pour is, naturally, the Flower ($12), which brightens gin with lavender, elderflower and cranberry juice and which you slurp through a metal straw in a glass lightbulb nestled on crushed ice.
GOOD FOR: Locals looking for a Manhattan-worthy date night, but with outer-borough ease. For all Queens’ bona fide ethnic eats, art museums and outdoor markets, there are only a handful of true comedy clubs (and sleek cocktail bars) this side of the river. Like the duo of East Side–trained barmen, the decor—an elegant black counter, textured concre