June 14, 2018 By Tara Law
Cobblestones Pub, a neighborhood bar that has been in Forest Hills since 1985, plans to open a German biergarten in its backyard next Friday.
The space, dubbed the “Forest Hills Biergarten,” and located behind the 117-18 Queens Blvd. bar, will serve 10 German beers on tap in a spacious outdoor setting. The space will have a separate menu featuring German specialties like bratwurst, as well as American favorites, including the bar’s popular chicken wings.
The biergarten is the vision of Pete Massaro, 33, who runs the bar with his father, Pete Massaro Sr.
The younger Massaro has been working on opening the biergarten for about three years.
The space used to be used for pickup basketball games, but now the walls are painted with a bucolic graffiti mural of rolling mountains. A large wooden bar and a waterfall-like fountain with beer faucets have been installed.
When completed, the space will consist of about 125 to 150 seats, including eight tables of eight.
Massaro has spent countless hours taking care of the aesthetic details, he said.
To create the wall by the fountain—which reads “Forest Hills Biergarten”—he carefully broke apart tiles made up of tiny colored squares and sorted the squares by color.
He also spent hours applying finish on eight Jack Daniels whiskey barrels, which will be built into tables.
“We put a lot of time and effort into it,” Massaro said of the biergarten.
Massaro said the time is right to open a biergarten in Forest Hills since there has been an influx of younger people to the area. He said many people are being priced out of neighborhoods like Long Island City and Astoria and are moving farther east.
Massaro said the biergarten will draw more people to hang out in Forest Hills as opposed to going elsewhere.
“Instead of people leaving the community [for entertainment] and going to Astoria, Bayside or Brooklyn they can stay in their own community,” Massaro said. “We want to keep our people here and build up the neighborhood even further.”
Massaro said that the neighborhood is enthusiastic about the biergarten, and that the bar has been getting nonstop calls and messages asking about its opening. What’s particularly exciting, he said, is that all different kinds of people are looking forward to visiting.
“I have 80-year-old women just as excited as 20-year-old men,” said Massaro. “This is an attraction. This is something that’s going to stand out.”