Astoria isn’t exactly known for its selection of clothing boutiques, but Nicole Panettieri is hoping to change that with her new shop, Brass Owl. This Ditmars boutique has a vintage vibe (thanks to its owlcentric decor), but the merch—primarily shoes and accessories—is all new. In addition to boots and shoes from Steve Madden, Dolce Vita and Chinese Laundry ($40–$250), you can shop jewelry from local designers ($10–$150), as well as candles and body-care items. Bonus for locals: Panettieri plans to host monthly events (like a ladies’ night and trunk shows).
Described on its website as the city’s “only nonprofit retail outlet for salvaged and surplus building materials,” this 18,000-square-foot warehouse is packed with sinks, toilets, windows, doors, cabinets, flooring—all gleaned from renovations and demolitions—at half the price (or less) of retail. Much of the inventory consists of brand-new, high-end castoffs from Upper West and Upper East Side apartment renovations, including mistinted or unclaimed paints ($7 per gallon).
The 15-year-old Furniture Market is a two-floored wonderland of a shop that comes off as a cross between Citizen Kane’s warehouse of treasures and your grandmother’s attic. Expect to uncover gilded mirrors, claw-foot tables, cuckoo clocks, eccentric lamps, bohemian objets d’art (like Mickey Mouse phones), and furniture that can be as old as 19th-century Victorian or as new as last year’s Ikea. You won’t find any Swedish meatballs here, but manager Pedro Gonzalez lives to haggle, so prepare to bargain for what strikes your fancy.
Clean up your act at this 200-square-foot “soaperie,” which got its start in owner Vivian Dritsas’s kitchen after she took a soap-making class in 2005. Here, vegan, all-natural products abound—including lip balm, organic shower gel, soy candles and, of course, handmade soap— created on the premises with Dead Sea minerals and coconut and olive oils. Dritsas also creates custom orders, which she can ship directly to you, as well as party favors and centerpieces for bridal showers and other events.
Site NYC owner Mackenzi Farquer outgrew her tiny 400-square-foot shop, so she changed the name, moved up the block to a space more than triple the size and stocked everything she always wanted to in her ideal lifestyle store. She’s added women’s clothing ($30–$200), accessories ($20–$200) and furniture ($15–$1,200) to the mix of giftable home goods ($5–$300). Unique finds include Lockwood leather wrap bracelets ($10), BB Dakota open-back sweaters ($105) and Paper Source fox-emblazoned drinking glasses (four for $21).
This 1,300-square-foot lifestyle boutique is the latest addition to Astoria’s budding shopping scene. And since storeowner Mackenzi Farquer is the co-creator of neighborhood blog We Heart Astoria (weheartastoria.com), she’s no stranger to the area and its charm. Inside the shop, you’ll find chic housewares, stylish handbags and trendy clothing for women sizes 2 to 20. Reppin’ popular brands such as Dolce Vita and BB Dakota as well as local designers like We Dream in Colour and Cabiria, seasonal highlights include moto zip jackets ($105), tribal-print cardigans ($95) and cat-print tights ($19). And since the shop features an indoor workshop space and a quaint backyard patio, expect a series of events and trunk shows in the future.
This small vintage shop sells everything from badass boots to sparkly sweaters, but owner Ivona Bilicic specializes in preloved dresses. Choose among flirty frocks ranging from the Donna Reed–flowered ’50s through the punk-rock-princess ’80s, then top off your revamped look with one of Loveday’s vintage or new pieces of jewelry, including Gatsby–era headbands by local designers Wink & Flip or Lola and Eye that would make even Blair Waldorf swoon.
Looking for a casual bite to eat in Astoria? Head to The Barn, a local bar and restaurant specializing in new American cuisine. To start, split small plates like the tuna tartare with cucumbers and avocados ($11), pulled pork sliders with sauerkraut ($6) or the manchego-stuffed meatballs served with tomato sauce ($9). For the main course, you might go for the pierogies sauteed with brussels sprouts, bacon, red peppers and onion ($13) or the heartier braised short ribs served with roasted beets and garlic mashed potatoes ($19). The restaurant only serves homemade desserts, including key lime pie ($5), crepes topped with Nutella and fresh fruit ($6) and panna cotta ($5). As for drinks, you can take your pick of draft beers, wines by the glass or bottle and even a few signature cocktails. Stay past 11pm on Fridays, and you’ll enjoy the restaurant’s late-night happy hour: $2 off any drink until it closes at 3am.
Venue says: “The true definition of the hidden gem in Astoria.Happy hour, After dinner or unlimited Brunch deals. Visit thebarnastoria.com for more info”