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.
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.