Whether locals are embracing it or loathing it, Ridgewood's growing bar scene is happening, with new spots popping up in the neighborhood by the week. Seneca Avenue is certainly seeing a bump now that Milo's Yard, the second bar to open on the Avenue within a month, has officially opened its doors. The bar, run by Queens native and Barcade/The Gutter vet Claudia DeMairo and her husband David Poh, isn't going for craft cocktail or fancy cheese plates, instead looking to cultivate a chill roster of locals who like pinball, beers and international snacks.
Pinball Guts (Nell Casey/Gothamist)
Poh's love for pinball goes back to his teens, but he's only been collecting the machines for about five years. There are six of them at the new spot, including Getaway, which was the first in Poh's collection. He maintains all the games too, self-taught through manuals, though he's got a knack for building and construction. During their 11-month conversion of the space from a long-vacant butcher shop to the bar, Poh ripped out walls, created the custom bar and laid down the beautiful new floor.
The other standout feature of the bar are the food options, which DeMairo takes great joy in curating. They've got vegetarian samosas ($3) from her native Jackson Heights, pork buns ($4) from Flushing and vegan or beef Jamaican patties ($4) from a bakery in the Bronx. Poh got in on the food design too, creating a bar version of a Chicago-style hot dog ($5) that channels his upbringing on the South Side. His version isn't 100% authentic yet, but he's working on getting some poppyseed buns to take it all the way.
As for drinks, the main event, draft beers like Brooklyn Sorachi Ace, Bell's Amber and Guinness range from $5 to $7, with DeMairo's simple but tasty cocktails between $7 and $10. The Meyer ($8), the bar's beer-and-shot deal, is named in honor of pal Chris Meyer, whose go-to order was a shot of Old Overholt and a Miller High Life. They've also got root beer on tap.
So what's with the "yard," both physically and figuratively? They're awaiting DOB permits to begin construction of their pretty backyard area, which boasts three trees and a nice grassy lawn that's starting to fill in. They're hoping to open the spot at some point this summer but it may be as late as early fall before any al fresco imbibing begins. As for the Yard in the name, it's a tip of the hat to the couple's boxer-mutt rescue Milo, who's taken over the backyard in their home and claimed it for his own.
564 Seneca Avenue, Ridgewood; website