Finback Expands to 3rd Location with Long Island City Spot

Finback Brewery and The Durst Organization are pleased to announce that Finback LIC, the brewery’s new Long Island City taproom and production studio, will open in December 2023. The 3,800-square-foot taproom will be located at 29-37 41st Avenue, on the ground floor of the premier rental tower Sven ideally located at Queens Plaza.

Finback’s third outpost will deepen its Queens roots, arriving almost 10 years after Basil Lee and Kevin Stafford started the brewery in the Glendale neighborhood of the “world’s borough.”

In 2020, the pair added a location in Gowanus, Brooklyn. Billed as a beverage studio to reflect an always-interest in exploring other areas of drink, the site is home to several family brands: distillery Halftone Spirits; coffee roaster Invisible Force; and restaurant serving Chinese street food, Dumpling Up, which is run by Lee’s mother. While the brewery has built a following for its hazy IPAs and barrel-aged stouts, and plans to showcase these popular styles at Finback LIC, the production of mixed-culture beers highlighting New York State fruits and other local ingredients will be the focus, with agriculture-driven sour and wild ales conditioned in an array of wooden foeders, ceramic amphora, and more unique fermentation vessels on the premises.

“Long Island City is a really vibrant community that’s diverse, creative, and is undergoing rapid development as a mixed-use neighborhood,” says Lee. “It’s the perfect place for us to explore our more wild and unique beers and the concept of ‘time as an ingredient.’”

“We have always brewed a wide range of styles, and certainly hazy IPAs have been dominating, but it’s exciting to have a space dedicated to making wild and mixed-ferm beers,” says Stafford, who helms the brewing duties. “Each of our spaces has a different creative perspective and lets us focus on different techniques. In LIC, I’m excited to work with our wood and barrel manager, Alex Swanson, to craft a line of fruit-forward fermentations and fun creations that involve coaxing out all kinds of different flavors.”

“Finback LIC will anchor a prime corner of Queens Plaza. Surrounded by a bustling neighborhood and with ideal access to transit, Finback LIC is creating a new space for Sven residents and the entire community to gather and enjoy the mastery of their trade,” says Jody Durst, president of The Durst Organization.

In addition to 20 rotating taps featuring beers both new and beloved, guests can enjoy a broader cocktail program, including RTDs and NA offerings, showcasing distillery Halftone Spirits; rotating menus of small-batch natural wines and mezcals, and creative slushy drinks. In the weeks following the opening, drip coffee and cold brew using roaster Invisible Force, and matcha lattes, will be offered.

Dumpling Up will comprise the food program, with Lee’s mother, who founded the popular China Inn restaurant in Rhode Island, once again at the helm. Adding to her beloved dumplings in Brooklyn, she has created a concise, casual menu that compliments the array of beverages offered, with snacks like wontons and cold tofu. Rooted in simplicity and bold flavors, the menu draws inspiration from Lee’s family origins in Northern China as well as the comforting American Chinese dishes developed by past immigrant generations.

Finback LIC is the anchor retail tenant of Sven, The Durst Organization’s iconic 71-story residential tower in Long Island City which incorporates the best of sustainable design, health and wellness, and technology. Sven is the second tallest tower in Queens. The building’s ideal location with access to eight subway lines, unique design, and 50,000 square feet of amenities and sustainability features have made it one of the most sought-after addresses in NYC.

The Finback LIC space was designed by Lee, a former architect, and spans a 3,800-square-foot corner space with floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking 41st Avenue. The space is “both oblique and trapezoidal,” Lee says, which became the organizing principle. “Its charmingly unique shape, to me, divided the space into a bar and service corridor at the front, and a production and additional gathering zone boasting a close-up view of the brewing area toward the back,” he says.

With 99 seats, the airy, inviting main taproom utilizes light-stained woods, brick, and stainless steel, with textured walls in rich colors such as wine and cream. A focal point atop the bar is a mural created by Vermont-based artist Viscaya Wagner, which depicts soft, uplifting figural forms and various agricultural iconography to reference the facility’s aim to highlight local ingredients, botanical-driven spirits, and a love of mezcal. It also foreshadows some of the future aspirations of FFARM (Finback Farm), the company’s newly acquired 320-acre property in Walden, New York, a place that will seek to more deeply connect the various pieces integral in production, weaving together agriculture and hospitality, artfully crafted food and drinks, pastoral landscapes, and intimate experiences. In the rear of the Finback LIC taproom, a 20-seat area will be utilized for private events and celebratory gatherings of all types.

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