Sparkling water on tap, a simple luxury at the Queens Kickshaw

soda fountain

The taps for soda water at the Queens Kickshaw.

Claire and I had dinner at the Queens Kickshaw for the first time last night. Preliminary report: great stuff. But what I want to draw your attention to is the fact that they have sparkling water on tap there — and it’s free.

Yes! We hadn’t yet tasted the food and already I loved this place.

Complimentary soda water. On tap. How often have you had that at a restaurant? It’s a small luxury that probably costs the Queens Kickshaw pennies.* Very classy — and smart. That cost is probably recouped a thousand times over from a customer loyalty standpoint.

Wherein I reminisce

I remember when I first started going out to restaurants in NYC that the old “Can I bring you sparkling water or flat?” line tripped me up a bit. Flat, of course, is not the same as tap. Like sparkling water, “flat” is bottled, and you will be paying for it. What you want is tap water, if what you want is free water.

Which is why I was a bit thrown when our waiter (Kickshaw co-owner Ben Sandler) asked, “Still or sparkling water? Both are on tap.” Does that mean what I think it means? I asked Claire. She had picked up on the wording right away and was like, “Yeah. It’s complimentary. Duh. That’s why he said both were on tap.”

So yeah. Anyway. Long story short: Free sparkling water with your meal. A small everyday luxury in Astoria.

See also…
Superb Grilled Cheese at Astoria’s Queens Kickshaw [Serious Eats New York]
The Queens Kickshaw Is Awesome [We Heart Astoria]
The Future is the Past, Queens Kickshaw [Jeffrey Tastes]
Coffee Chronicles: The Queens Kickshaw in Astoria [Serious Drinks]

* Of course, I suppose you could look at it from the point of view that the restaurant is missing out on sales of bottled water. But my guess is that the fancy soda-fountain sodas they serve — mixed with PH & Co. syrups — makes up for it. Artisanal sodas are trendy now and probably garner more sales among hipster clientele, and at a greater mark-up, than bottled water.

The Queens Kickshaw

40-17 Broadway, Astoria NY 11103 (Steinway/41st Street; map)

6 thoughts on “Sparkling water on tap, a simple luxury at the Queens Kickshaw

  1. I got similarly tripped up at Chez Panisse when I visited a few years ago. Wish more places would do this, as I prefer sparkling but I’m not inclined to pay for it!

  2. Wow. That was fast commenting, Dan.* I just posted this.

    Too bad you don’t live here anymore. This place I think you’d like.

    * You still comment on blogs?!? LOL. J/K. It’s nice to see someone comment on Kublog and give it some life.

  3. Adam,
    I found myself here as a result of a pic of a pizza machine. after reading just a few of your comments I can see that I am still living in the dark ages regarding the net. I have no twitter, flickr, or other media accounts besides facebook. I see this as a wake-up call of sorts. I imagine many millions of people in my age group are never going to catch-up or on to this cyber world you understand so well. I think we need an app to bring us out of the dark and into the light. Anyway I will have a home oven insert you may be interested in…I have a mold and have the first one done in clay and need to fire it maybe tomorrow. Anyway I have never believed in bottled water other than in 5-gallon increments, so I like the fact that these folks are giving it away and agree that it is a trendy smart move.

  4. BTW, anymore all water served to the public should be going through some sort of filtration system and I think that includes ice-makers as well. I think there is a huge opportunity to sell, install, and service these type of units. Malta has been making their own for years…

  5. I’m confused. You’re calling it ‘sparkling water’ but it’s just soda water coming out of a bastian-blessing soda dispenser…
    Any establishment that serves sodas from a gun also have ‘sparkling water’ or soda water as we typically call it.
    Some companies such as Natura offer water filtration systems with a ‘sparkling’ setting.

    • Jo: You’re probably right. I didn’t think it through or do my research properly.

      I still think it’s a small luxury. Or at least a nice touch. Most places would charge you for soda water. Or don’t have on-tap soda water, which means you’d have to order a bottle of fizzy water if that’s your preference.

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