April 29, 2021 By Michael Dorgan
Food and fun!
That’s the concept behind a new outdoor barbecue restaurant that opened in Astoria earlier this month and has a large play area.
Backyard Smokehouse, located at 25-22 Astoria Blvd., opened on April 15 and serves barbecued meats cooked with Korean ingredients. It also offers a type of Korean street food known as âpochaâ.
The playground features basketball hoops, an air hockey table, darts, and cornhole platforms.
Backyard Smokehouse measures 2,000 square feet and is located at the rear of the Astoria World Manor Banquet Hall. Guests can access the new restaurant through the Astoria World Manor car park. Both establishments are owned by the Ahn family.
Daniel Redlinger, director of Backyard Smokehouse, said the owners opened the restaurant to generate much-needed income as restrictions on indoor gatherings devastated their event activity at Astoria World Manor.
The owners, said Redlinger, wanted to come up with a new, friendly way to bring local residents together.
Redlinger said they developed the new concept over the winter and created a space where customers can safely eat and relax. He said there was a high demand to eat food outside due to concerns about the spread of COVID-19.
The playground, he said, was added to help bring some excitement and fun back into people’s lives after more than a year of lockdown.
Redlinger said the concept has already proven to be a big hit with customers.
âPeople had a great time and enjoyed the food,â Redlinger said. “It’s something different and we’re very happy with the feedback so far.”
Redlinger said the restaurant was popular with young adults on weeknights, while many families frequented the restaurant on weekends.
The play area, which runs along the rear exterior wall of the Astoria World Manor building, consists of two cornhole platforms, two dart targets, foosball, air hockey table, a shuffleboard and three basketball hoops. There is also a golf putting green and a large “Connect 4-in-a-row” game.
The dining room consists of nine tables. It adjoins the playground and overlooks the parking lot. It can accommodate around 40 people, Redlinger said.
Redlinger said the restaurant’s best-selling items so far have been pork belly and ribs. Some of the âpochaâ street food on offer includes ramen noodles, spicy rice cake, and fish cake.
The restaurant makes homemade popcorn via a vintage popcorn machine and also serves a range of candies and peanuts.
The restaurant also sells wine, sodas and cocktails.
Redlinger said he expects business to pick up once the warm weather sets in.
âIt’s a laid back vibe here with a relaxed atmosphere,â he said.
Backyard Smokehouse is open Wednesday through Friday 5 p.m. to 11 p.m., Saturday noon to 11 p.m. and Sunday noon to 9 p.m.