Over twenty pool tables, ping pong, video games, some delicious Greek salads or a tasty-grilled, with-everything cheeseburger deluxe, and a thick, mountain-of-a-slice Cheesecake topped with strawberries that is without match represent some reasons to frequent The Steinway Café. But the match that draws the most diverse group of patrons remains the “Game of Kings.”
Of course, the “Blitz” version of chess reigns supreme. And with a frigid New York winter driving the chess park crews indoors, no finer atmosphere of friendship and competition presents itself like this spacious Long Island City café. Plenty of comfortable chairs with tables to dine and play, free of the diminutive plague of Texas-Hold’em chips that pervade public chess boards all over the city, at almost every level, you can find yourself a game.
Recognition and a comfortable feeling of family brings players back to chat, watch sports and get in some chess-play well into the night. A leisurely backdrop of introductions, handshakes and conversation over a cup of coffee fosters trust, creates new acquaintances and solidifies old friendships.
Easy parking and public transportation makes this Queens chess stop accessible from other boroughs. And watching resident Masters, IMs and the occasional Grandmaster provides added incentive to come out. But good company, great food, gracious and pleasant waitresses makes the weekend place to play The Steinway Café.
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– GM Susan Polgar