Sweet Avenue

Welcome To Sweet Avenue!

The closing of indoor dining during the pandemic cut right to the heart of the bars’ business model: buying beer and serving it to customers seated on stools. By contrast, many breweries and affiliated taprooms fared better because they sold packaged beer for consumption elsewhere.

Many in the craft-beer bar business are taking that sales lesson to heart. Gerard Leary is a former owner of One Mile House, a beer bar in downtown Manhattan that has closed. In July, he turned a Sunnyside, Queens, florist shop into Sweet Avenue, featuring a dozen draft beers and refrigerators stocked with canned beer, sold to stay or to go.

“I was always chasing kegs, and now I’m chasing cans,” Mr. Leary said. The shop’s compact size, about 700 square feet, also minimizes staffing needs. “It’s a one-man show.”