09/08/14 2:00pm

vivire-bar-sunnyside

Last Thursday, Vivire Bar opened up shop at 41-21 Greenpoint Avenue in Sunnyside. As Sunnyside Post points out, it’s a stretch known for lots of empty storefronts — Vivire replaced the vacant Lowery Medical Care space. While the owner initially planned to open a sports bar here that focused on soccer, he changed his mind and decided to cater to young professionals in the neighborhood. Vivire offers a selection of wines, scotch, craft beers, seasonal cocktails and a happy hour special from noon to 7 pm.

Vivire, a Greenpoint Ave. Bar, Opened Last Week [Sunnyside Post]
A Sports Bar Is Slated for Sunnyside [Q'Stoner] GMAP

09/04/14 2:00pm

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The uber-hip music venue Trans-Pecos, located at 915 Wyckoff Avenue in Ridgewood, has a lot going for it this upcoming fall season. Brooklyn Vegan posted an update from the owners, who say that “Trans-Pecos’ full liquor license is in process to be issued by the New York State Liquor Authority, and was recently approved by Queens Community Board 5.” The venue will have a dry period this month, starting September 13th, before the liquor license is issued. Trans-Pecos also opened the El Camino Cafe last month inside the venue, and it’s open from most days from noon to 8 pm. Hours are expected to expand soon. And finally, the backyard space was just fully renovated with “custom wood tables and stools, patio tiki lighting, and plant life.” It’ll be open as a bar area once the liquor license comes through.

For a list of upcoming music shows here, check out Brooklyn Vegan. GMAP

Photo by Ridgefood via Twitter

08/27/14 2:00pm

tibetan-dumpling-cafe-sunnyside

Sunnyside just got authentic Tibetan cuisine in the form of the Tibetan Dumpling Café, now open at 49-08 Queens Boulevard between 49th and 50th Streets. The menu includes a number of Tibetan classics, including thali, a traditional platter including rice, lentils, curried meat or vegetables, cooked greens, yogurt and homemade pickles, thenthuk, a hand-pulled noodle soup and momos, the very delicious handmade Tibetan dumplings made of chicken, beef or vegetables. The cafe is the only exclusively Tibetan restaurant now operating in Sunnyside. Sunnyside Shines released a press release with this statement by the owner, Tashi Chopel: “The neighborhood is beautiful and filled with different kinds of food from many countries over the world. We decided to add a little taste of Tibet in the mix of all the beautiful flavors. Tibetan dumplings are a must-try – they are made from scratch from dough knotting and mincing meat, to shaping, steaming and serving fresh. Momos are a big part of the Tibetan culture!” You can see a photo of him in front of the cafe after the jump.

The Daily News also gave the Tibetan Dumpling Café a little love this morning; Chopel tells the News that he hopes to bring more familiarity and name recognition to momos. GMAP

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melas-cafe-kew-gardens-hills

Tomorrow Mela’s Cafe is opening at 71-02 Kissena Boulevard, on the corner of 71st Avenue in Kew Gardens Hills. Queens Courier got a sneak peek of the restaurant, which will serve creative Latin dishes. The space sits 90 people and has a bar, booths and tables. The interior looks nice and contemporary, with lots of exposed brick. The owners tell Queens Courier that they’ve set up USB ports and Wi-Fi to attract a younger crowd from nearby Queens College. It’ll be open 7 am to 11 pm every day.

Take a First Look Inside Mela’s Café in Kew Gardens Hills [Queens Courier] GMAP

Photo via Instagram

08/26/14 11:00am

Maspeth isn’t a location many associate with DeWitt Clinton (1769-1828), a founding father who served as NY State Assemblyman, NYS Senator, NYS Governor, US Senator and NYC Mayor during an illustrious career capped by his indefatigable support for the Erie Canal. Several streets around town were named for him, including Maspeth’s own Clinton Avenue, and when Green-Wood Cemetery opened in Brooklyn in 1838 his remains were later exhumed from the original burial plot in Albany, NY and moved to Brooklyn — as a tourist attraction for the nascent burial park.

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NYS Governor DeWitt Clinton lived in Maspeth for several decades in this house that had stood near Newtown Creek. Judge Joseph Sackett built a two-story wood frame mansion with porches around both levels in the area behind Clinton Hall (pictured after the jump) in 1750. During the Revolutionary War the house was occupied by American physician and general, Joseph Warren, and British Gen. William Howe planned an invasion of NYC via Newtown Creek from the mansion after its capture. (more…)

08/22/14 2:00pm

tazzina-forest-hills
Yesterday, Forest Hills got a new fancy Italian joint. Tazzina opened at 102-15 Metropolitan Avenue, off 71st Avenue. DNAinfo previously reported that the chef, who has appeared on the TV show “Chopped,” moved the restaurant from its original location in Glendale to accommodate more patrons. This Forest Hills space seats around 50, with 15 more spots at the bar. An outdoor patio area will open next year.

There are two menus for both the bar and the restaurant. The focus is old-school Italian with a twist, and dishes include gnocchi, mussels, pastas, risottos, steaks and fish. (The bar menu will feature more small plates, including bruschetta and meatball parm sliders.) Check out awesome photos of the space and the opening night party right over here. GMAP

Photo by Elena D’Este Photography via Facebook

08/21/14 2:00pm

29-12-23rd-avenue

The other week, we snapped a photo of a commercial space under construction at 29-12 23rd Avenue, between 29th and 31st Streets in Astoria. It’s a work-in-progress by the owners of Sweet Afton, a popular Astoria bar. We Heart Astoria shares details that this bar outpost will be called The Bonnie. The space has been under construction for about three months and the owners hope to open later this year. We Heart Astoria gives the impression that the interior will be very much transformed — can’t wait to see the final product.

The Bonnie on 23rd Avenue Will Open Later This Year [We Heart Astoria] GMAP

08/19/14 12:30pm

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The Spot: fresk’o, 31-19 30th Avenue, Astoria.

The Deal: The newest frozen yogurt shop in Astoria, which opened June 1st, is nestled between a Baskin Robbins and a 16 Handles on 30th Avenue. The independently owned fresk’o sets itself apart through owner Gus Prentzas’ dedicated search for the perfect frozen yogurt and Greek yogurt flavors.

Prentzas is from Greece, where his grandparents and great grandparents owned a farm with sheep and goats and yogurt was a staple on the dinner tables. He translated that love of fresh and wholesome flavors into a three-and-a-half-year endeavor to find the ultimate frozen yogurt flavor. Fresk’o even translates from Greek to mean “fresh.”

The Greek heritage also influenced the shop’s location in Astoria, considered the heart of the Greek community. The frozen yogurt shop has already generated a large Greek following. Café tables outside attract a crowd on a warm afternoon, and Prentzas is in full swing greeting customers. “When someone walks in, they’re a customer, but they leave a friend,” he says.

In addition to the traditional frozen yogurt shop set up with soft serve fro-yo and a wide selection of nuts, chocolates, and fruits (bought fresh daily) as toppings, fresk’o also serves up a creamy Greek yogurt made from a combination of cow and goat’s milk and served with olive oil, walnuts, or Greek honey. With Greek yogurt for breakfast and frozen for dessert, the two options fulfill the shop’s motto of “Once a day is never enough.” The shop’s 10 am to midnight hours mean there are plenty of opportunities to come multiple times a day.

As the temperatures drop, Prentzas plans on adding waffles and hot cocoa to the menu.

Read about the Signature Dish from fresk’o after the jump… (more…)

08/18/14 2:00pm

cafe-bene-ditmars-astoria Caffe Bene, a Korean coffee chain, has picked up on the coffee craze in Astoria. Astoria Post writes that the cafe will open two outposts in the neighborhood next month: one at 32-14 Steinway Street, off Broadway, and another at 30-31 Ditmars Boulevard (pictured), off 37th Street. The cafes will serve traditional offerings — coffee, hot and cold beverages, pastries, sandwiches, waffles, gelato — as well as a selection of Korean food items. The Steinway cafe will be 1,960 square feet and the Ditmars cafe will come in at 1,770 square feet.

The chain opened up in Sunnyside in May, and there’s another location in Flushing. Do you think these locations will see good business with all the local coffee spots now open in Astoria?

Caffe Bene Set to Open its Two Astoria Stores Next Month [Astoria Post]

mu-ramen-rendering

The folks behind Mu Ramen, the very popular ramen shop that originally operated out of Bricktown Bagel in Long Island City, are making progress on their brick and mortar restaurant. Yesterday Eater published an interior rendering of the space, which is located at 12-09 Jackson Avenue, between 48th Avenue and 47th Road. The opening date? Hopefully around late September, or October at the latest. The restaurant has been under construction all this summer.

Most importantly, there’s now a menu to peek at. It includes a selection of steamed buns, mussels, deep fried chicken wings, spicy miso and of course ramen. One or two dishes on the sample menu may change before the grand opening. Salivating yet?

Glimpse the Menu for Mu Ramen’s Triumphant Return [Eater]
All Mu Ramen coverage [Q'Stoner]

Rendering via Mu Ramen