This month, the Aperitif Bistro Lounge Wine Bar opened at 213-41 39th Avenue, in Bayside. (It’s the former location of Bentley’s Off Bell, which is predictably located right off Bell Bouelvard.) This is the second location of the restaurant; the first is located in Long Island. The menu focuses on “French cuisine infused with a Mediterranean and Asian flair,” with dishes like tuna and steak tartare, scallops and shrimp with sautéed leeks, steak frites and a seared duck breast. Here’s the menu for the Long Island location, where entrees run from $21 to $34.
The two-floor restaurant seats 148 and includes a bar and lounge area. Right now, Aperitif serves dinner daily and will start serving lunch and brunch in the next few weeks. The current hours are Monday through Thursday, 5 to 10 pm and Friday and Saturday, 5 to 11 pm.
Check out two more interior shots after the jump — the space looks great. GMAP
Calling all renovators! This Ridgewood townhouse at 18-40 Summerfield Street has got promise but it’s going to need a lot of work. It’s currently configured as three different apartments over a semi-finished basement, but this would be beautiful as a single-family home. The single interior photo shows that there are still traces of original detail to work with. There’s also a (rundown) two-car garage and (rundown) backyard space. Basically, work will be needed all around, which is why we think the ask of $887,000 is just too high. What say you?
If you’ve never been to the Broadway-Flushing section of Queens, it’s worth a visit — it’s home to some of Queens’ finest architecture, having been part of the Rickert-Finley real estate development around the turn of the 20th century featuring large plots, wide lawns, and beautiful, eclectic buildings. I’ve been familiar with the neighborhood since 1993 when I moved to the area from Bay Ridge to be closer to a job. Broadway, which runs from Northern Boulevard/Crocheron Avenue north to 29th Avenue between 158th Street and Utopia Parkway, is named for a former name of Northern Boulevard (the local LIRR station never dropped the name).
Though Broadway-Flushing was designated a Historic District by the United States Department of the Interior and was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on May 12, 2006, the Landmarks Preservation Commission has decided against making the neighborhood a historic district. Because of that, developers eyeing the area’s large plots are likely making plans to demolish many of the homes and fill the lawns with concrete.
Today, though, my attentionis restricted to a small triangle formed by Northern Boulevard, 162nd Street and Crocheron Avenue, for many years consisting of just concrete, but now gussied up with bushes and trees, and a sign reading “Studley Triangle.”
The triangle honors the formidably named upstate New Yorker Elmer Ebenezer Studley (1869-1942), a lieutenant in the Spanish-American War, attorney, and Congressman from 1933-1935. He was a Flushing resident in his later years and is buried in Flushing Cemetery.
The latest book obsession over at Q’Stoner is Queens: A Culinary Passport by Astoria-based food writer Andrea Lynn. The book is an awesome guide to eating in Queens, highlighting more than 40 diverse restaurants and food stands throughout the borough. There are also recipes inspired by Queens dishes, interviews with chefs and local foodies, and suggestions for under-the-radar grocery stores, markets and delis.
We spoke to Andrea about her experience writing the book, tips on navigating unfamiliar dining scenes, her top restaurant recommendations and more. You can purchase her book online on Amazon or in person at Astoria Bookshop.
Brownstoner Queens: What neighborhood do you live in and how did you end up there?
Andrea Lynn: I live in Astoria. My story for arriving into the neighborhood isn’t super original: I already knew a handful of people in Astoria, plus it was close to Manhattan for an easy work commute.
BQ: Where did the idea for a Queens-based food book originate?
AL: Well, I think Brooklyn gets a lot of hype for its trendy food scene, as does Manhattan, of course. Queens has such a fabulously diverse food culture which doesn’t get the merit it deserves. While specific Queens restaurants certainly get a bit of buzz, I felt the borough as whole doesn’t get the culinary love it deserves. So I had the idea to showcase the irresistible, ethnic food of Queens.
BQ: How would you describe the food scene in Queens right now? What was most important for you to capture in your book?
AL: I live off of 30th Avenue in Astoria, and it kind of blows my mind the amount of trendy restaurants and fancy cocktails in Astoria versus when I first moved here seven years ago. Same for Long Island City. But as far as the book, I wanted to capture a slice of the ethnic variety. A Culinary Passport isn’t just a catchy title but in Queens, you really feel like you’re traveling and experiencing so many other cultures.
Property Markets Group just paid $30,900,000 for the Long Island City Clock Tower, a sale that highly threatens the recent efforts to landmark the building. Criterion Group sold the property at a huge profit after just buying it in May for $15,000,000. Property Markets Group also owns the property adjacent to the tower, paying $46,300,000 for it earlier this month. A push to landmark the structure, designed by architect Morrell Smith, picked up this fall, with more than 800 supporters signing a landmarking petition.
But Christian Emanuel, who has helped lead the landmark effort, told The Real Deal that late last week commercial tenants in the clock tower were told to vacate within 180 days because of coming demolition. The group has already filed paperwork with the Landmarks Preservation Commission proposing the landmark, but no one knows if the LPC will actually move ahead with the designation process. We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again — this building deserves to be saved, especially considering the rate at which buildings are now demolished in Long Island City.
This Saturday, November 29th, Sunnyside Shines is hosting a “Small Business Saturday” in the neighborhood. From 12 pm to 1 pm, you can pick up a copy of Sunnyside’s Shop Local Holiday Gift Guide and a “Shop Small” bag at Bliss Plaza, Queens Boulevard and 46th Street. The guide offers gift ideas at 22 local businesses within the Business Improvement District. There will be free giveaways and live music at the plaza, and discounts at local stores like Bing’s Hallmark, Avalon Florist and Red Wing Shoes.
Sunnyside Post also reports that the guide will be sent to 18,000 addresses within the zip code 11104, as well as certain sections of Woodside.
The Queens Courier reports good news that construction is moving on 78-19 Jamaica Avenue, the Woodhaven building that partially collapsed last year. After the collapse, and after much community concern, the Department of Buildings declared the structure hazardous and prepared to demo it after the owners failed to show up in court several times. This summer, the owners reached an agreement with the DOB to rebuild rather than demolish, and now the second floor is built up.
Construction is slated to finish by the end of the year. No word on what will move in once the structure is standing again; a furniture store was forced out due to the collapse.
The Long Island City Partnership, which runs the current LIC Business Improvement District, is looking to expand the boundaries of the neighborhood BID. Right now, the BID covers Queens Plaza North and South from 21st Street to Jackson Avenue as well as Jackson Avenue to 45th Avenue/Thompson Avenue. The expansion proposal, first published in the Court Square Blog, “would include properties on Jackson Avenue, and portions of the Vernon Boulevard and 44th Drive corridors.” If brought into the BID, these areas would receive increased sanitation, beautification and marketing services.
The LIC Partnership is planning to mail a survey to all the tenants and property owners within the potential expansion area boundaries. For now, the Partnership is just looking for feedback and opinions on the proposal. You can read the full letter sent to tenants here or check out the survey here.