04/24/15 9:45am

whitetower

The Orange Hut at Broadway and 54th Street still carries the outlines and contours of its former life as a White Tower hamburger chain restaurant. The last White Tower closed in Toledo, Ohio, in June 2008; the chain originated in 1926. There were about 230 White Towers at the chain’s height in the 1950s.

The restaurants have operated in at least 14 states, including New York, Illinois, Michigan, Connecticut, New Jersey, Virginia, North Carolina, and Florida.

The interior of the Orange Hut still contains some hints of its origins, such as swivel stools adjoining a counter. Here it is in its original incarnation, below. Pretty spiffy looking.

whitetower2

Photo by DVRBS

In the early 1920s a series of “White” themed fast food restaurants began to pop up all over the country. In addition to White Tower, there was White Castle — still going strong and, in fact, the one at Northern and Bell Boulevards a few miles to the east is in one of the original locations.

There are the White Manna and White Mana hamburger shacks in Jersey City and Hackensack. In the early 2010, hamburgers are bigger then ever with Five Guys and Shake Shacks popping up like weeds all over the metropolitan area.

Also at this intersection can be seen the elevated tracks at Northern Boulevard and Broadway. Commuter and intercity rail connecting NYC and New England has run here ever since the Hell Gate Bridge was constructed in 1916-1917. The supporting columns here were clad with concrete when it was built — but the concrete is now crumbling off.

The trestle is part of one of the most amazing transportation projects ever built: The tunneling of the Hudson River; the construction of the cavernous original Penn Station, bulldozed from 1963-1966; and the aforementioned Hell Gate Bridge, completed in 1916, a relative golden age of railroading in NYC.

The stretch pictured above emerges from the Sunnyside Yards and the tunnel to Penn Station. It joins with the NY Connecting Railroad at 25th Avenue and crosses the bridge across Randalls Island and into the Bronx.

999

Outdoor, nighttime marketplaces are very popular throughout the Asian world, so it only makes sense that one is about to open in Flushing Meadows Corona Park this Saturday. The Queens International Night Market will launch in the New York Hall of Science’s parking lot (above) at 6 pm with special music and dance performances. Vendors will sell a diverse array of culturally authentic street food (arepas, crepes, dumplings), art, and merchandise. This is the grand opening, but the founder, John Wang, plans to operate the bazaar on Saturdays throughout the spring and summer.

Photo: Queens International Night Market

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Taiwan’s biggest bubble tea maker has chosen Flushing as an entry point into the Western market. This morning, La Kaffa Group signed a contract with F & T Group to open a flagship store at One Fulton Square, a mixed-used development at the intersection of Roosevelt Avenue and Prince Street that is currently under construction. Specializing in tea, coffee, desserts, and entrees, La Kaffa currently has more than 450 locations with distinct popularity in Asia and the Middle East. Meanwhile, One Fulton Square, which will have a floor area of approximately 330,000 square feet, will include retail space, 22 office units and 43 residential units. A rendition of the planned venue is below.

MockUp

Top photo: It’s in Queens; bottom photo: One Fulton Square

03/31/15 2:00pm

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Bierleichen, a new German-style bar slated for 582 Seneca Avenue, looks just about ready to open. The bar posted some nice photos up on its Facebook account and it is looking really good. The owners, who are also behind the Brooklyn bars The Bounty and The Drink, actually hoped to open earlier this year so they’re a little behind schedule. Bierleichen is going to serve German beers, sausages and pretzels in its new space.

Check out two more interior sneak peeks after the jump! GMAP

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03/26/15 2:00pm

rockaway-taco

The very popular hipster destination Rockaway Taco is closing, reports Rockaway Times. Andrew Field, the man behind the taco joint, plans to open his own outpost, dubbed Tacoway Beach, on May 1st. The new location is at the Rockaway Beach Surf Club, where there will be an outdoor area to sit. The taco menu seems like it’ll be more or less the same, with alcoholic beverages added.

As for Rockaway Taco, Andrew Field’s former partner, David Selig, plans to build a “mobile shack” to take cross country. And according to the Times, “He also says Rockaway Taco will be back for the summer of 2016 (though where and in what form remains to be seen).”

Rockaway Taco Closing — Tacoway Beach Coming [Rockaway Times]

Photo by The Food Ledger

03/20/15 3:00pm

milk-and-pull-ridgewood

The cafe Milk & Pull is now open in Ridgewood, at 778 Seneca Avenue on the corner of Madison. Ridgewood Social shares tons of great photos and details on the space, which labels itself “an artisanal coffee and espresso bar.” The coffee beans come from Stumptown Coffee Roasters. The menu also includes pastries (including Dough donuts), snacks, bagels and sandwiches.

Here are some details on the space from Ridgewood Social: “It is amazing how they decorated the interior. The tin ceiling is painted charcoal black and there is a ton of space to find a seat. I love the spaciousness of it.” The photos do show off what looks to be a big, relaxed cafe. Hours are Monday through Friday, 7 am to 6 pm, Saturday 8 am to 7 pm, and Sunday 8 am to 5 pm. GMAP

Photo by Ridgewood Social

03/17/15 9:00am

breweries-in-queens

DNAinfo has a great roundup of the brewery boom that has arrived in Queens. Queens Brewery — slated in open in September — is the seventh brewery for the borough. Others include SingleCut Beersmiths in Astoria, Bridge and Tunnel Brewery which has plans to open in Ridgewood, Rockaway Brewing Company in LIC, Transmitter Brewing in LIC, Big Alice Brewing also in LIC, and finally Finback Brewery in Glendale.

The boom is caused by the overall rise in popularity of craft breweries, combined with the affordable space that is more available in Queens than Brooklyn or Manhattan. And last year marked the first ever Queens Beer Week, which took participants on a brewery crawl throughout Long Island City.

Queens Brewery Scene Heating Up in Recent Years [DNAinfo]

Map via DNAinfo

03/10/15 4:00pm

indonesian-food-market-woodside

A monthly Indonesian food market — known as the City Blessing Church Indonesian Food Bazaar — has kicked off in Woodside. Chopsticks + Marrow attended the first event, which took place on a Saturday last month. Many of the vendors previously participated in an outdoor bazaar held at Astoria’s Masjid Al-Hikmah, but the mosque was not able to hold the event regularly last summer. According to C+M, “The organizer, Fefe Anggono, owned and managed a restaurant in Long Island for seven years and started this event as a way to not only bring attention to the church and its rental space, but also to provide a consistent outlet for vendors left out in the cold by the mosque’s inconsistent event-holding policies.” There were 10 vendors serving at the inaugural event, and the organizer hopes to bring in more.

C+M offers great reviews of the many dishes available. Pictured above, nasi pecel empal, a Javanese rice dish with steamed vegetables and spicy peanut sauce. The next market will be held at the church on Saturday, March 28th from 12 pm to 5 pm. To keep up with upcoming markets, follow the Facebook page.

Woodside Gets New Indonesian Food Bazaar [C+M] GMAP

Photo by Premshree Pillai for Chopsticks + Marrow

queens-brewery-ridgewood

Queens Brewery, who announced their first-ever brick and mortar location last week, have something pretty special in the works for Ridgewood. The location of the brewery is 15-39 Covert Street, between Wyckoff and Irving avenues and just a block away from the Halsey Street L train. Nelson Rockefeller, the founder of Queens Brewery, searched for a space for about three years with two things in mind. He wanted the brewery to be located in Queens, and he also wanted it close to the L train. As for settling on this particular warehouse, “It was the right place at the right time,” Jason Grad, a rep for the brewery, told us. “This area of Ridgewood was primed for moving in.”

Construction will kick off in the next couple of months, with an anticipated opening in September. On the first floor of the warehouse they are building out a beer hall; the second floor is where the brewing will take place. The warehouse also comes with a large outdoor space, and there are plans to eventually open that area as a beer garden. Next month, Queens Brewery plans to launch a Kickstarter to help funding for the new equipment and construction costs.

That’s not the only exciting news Queens Brewery has to share. The beer will be served at Citi Field this summer, and there are also plans in the works to widely release the beer in cans. (If you own a bar and are interested in stocking the cans, get in touch with jason@queensbrewery.com.) Check out a photo of the future cans after the jump.

Queens Brewery Plans to Set up Shop in Ridgewood [Q'Stoner] GMAP

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03/09/15 2:00pm

gang-jong-kitchen

Popular Tibetan restaurant GangJong Kitchen, located on Roosevelt Avenue in Jackson Heights, has opened a second location in Sunnyside. The restaurant’s new spot, called Punda, is now serving Tibetan food at 39-35 47th Avenue between 39th Place and 40th Street. Jackson Heights Life commenter Jeffsayyes offers more details:

SO, this is a big deal because the chef there is finally getting the kitchen he deserves. He has been an executive chef all around the world, probably the most respected in the community here, but at Gangjong he only had a very small space to work with. The new place has a very large kitchen and everything is new. The space is large and they have a backyard – which I definitely want to use for movies or other events. I went there last night for a preview, and he does everything so clean, also had the best version of phingsha i’ve ever had (mushrooms, rice noodles, potatoes soup/stew).

This is actually the third Tibetan restaurant for the neighborhood… Tibetan Dumpling Cafe opened this past August. Maybe Sunnyside is shaping up to be the next Little Tibet? GMAP

Photo by Ju L. via Yelp