Pop’s Cocina & Bar

Pop’s Cocina & Bar, an established Latin-American restaurant on the corner of 86th Street, a diner that has been in Woodhaven, NY for more than 20 years, is set to open on Father’s Day weekend after having been closed for more than a month, according to the diner’s new owner George Alexiov. 

“I like this neighborhood,” Alexiov said. “I’ve been trying to find a business to run for the past seven years and now I’m very excited that I will be serving the people here.”

After signing a 20-year lease on the Jamaica Avenue storefront, Alexiov has been busy restoring the walls and tiles in the diner in the last two weeks. Additionally, the menu, which features traditional diner fare, has not changed. To mark the grand opening, Alexiov said he plans on giving customers a free glass of wine or beer.

“Looking forward to seeing what the new owners do,” Grace Cangiola said on Facebook about the new management. “I haven’t been there for quite a while. There’s not a lot of choices to eat at on the [a]venue, it will be nice to have it back.”

Alexiov said he plans on hiring six workers over the summer since he comes from Greece and has experience running food businesses.

“I want it to be a successful business,” Alexiov said. “The people here deserve [it]. I hope they enjoy it and we can build a relationship together. It will be a pleasure serving them and my restaurant is for them.”

Pop’s Cocina & Bar, 8602 Jamaica Ave., Woodhaven, is open from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily and will open at 10 a.m. on weekends during the summer months for customers who want to stop by for brunch food like pancakes or eggs Benedict with salmon and can stay until 4 p.m., Alexiov said, adding that he plans on opening the bar in late August when he’s finished renovations and has hired enough employees to cover shifts.

Pop’s Cocina & Bar has been the recipient of awards from New York Press and GAYOT.com awards for their innovative menu items, which have been known to include a variety of desserts such as decadent chocolate cakes and colorful tres leches– three milk cake.

In a city filled with bars that offer a multitude of craft beers on draft or by the bottle, sometimes it’s fun to take a step back in time – no pun intended – into an establishment that offers up pitchers for five bucks.

Pop’s Cocina & Bar is just that kind of place, an old-school Latin-American diner where pitchers of domestic draught beer are still five dollars. And they come complete with free taco platters with every pitcher you order. That alone places the bar on our list of great dives in this city, but it’s far from all Pop’s has to offer.

Among their many awards (Best Margaritas New York Press awards), they boast a monthly calendar filled with tequila tastings and mariachi bands – not to mention their weekly Luchador wrestling night – making certain there is always something fun going on at this Queens mainstay tucked into the corner of 86th Street and Jamaica Avenue.

While the bar itself is small, you can usually find a few tables in the back if you want to grab a seat and enjoy some classic diner fare with your cheap beer. If not, there is plenty of standing room at the bar where Pop’s become known for their creative margaritas served in huge fishbowl glasses that are perfect for sharing with friends.

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