Sunnyside Post

Sunnyside NY news

Veteran dentist to leave Sunnyside–unable to renew lease


bank siteAugust 21, By Christian Murray

Long-time Sunnyside dentist Dr. Arthur Kubikian will be closing his practice later this year—following his inability to renew his lease.

Kubikian, who has maintained an office at 43-34 43rd Street for nearly 15 years, is a tenant in the former Dime Bank building that was sold at the end of 2012 for $6.675 million. The building, which used to contain a Dime branch, is currently occupied by Center Cinemas, Kubikian and PJ Horgan’s.

Kubikian, who runs the practice with his wife Dr. Louiza Puskulian-Kubikian, is required to vacate the space by November 1.

“I thought we had the right to renew the lease for another five years but when their lawyers looked through the documents they showed us that we couldn’t,” Kubikian said. “We were surprised.”

Kubikian was not offered a new lease.

Kubikian, who has had a practice in Sunnyside since 1977 (with his first office on Queens Boulevard), said that he will be relocating to New Hyde Park and is hoping that many of his patients will stick with him. He said that he will be closing his Sunnyside office in the middle of October and is getting the word out now about his departure.

Meanwhile, Center Cinemas’ lease comes to an end December 31 and Rudy Prichard, the owner of the movie theater, has yet to hear whether his lease will be renewed. He is not hopeful.

As for PJ Horgan’s, its lease ends June 2018. The owner of the bar could not be reached for comment.

The former bank building, on paper, is owned by 45-25 Queens Boulevard Realty Corp.

However, according to several sources, Gina Argento, the president of Broadway Stages, the Brooklyn-based TV and movie production company, is the owner.

Argento could not be reached for comment.

City council looks to put gun offenders on public registry– like sex offenders


August 20, By Michael Florio

Individuals busted for gun offenses will most likely be listed on a public registry- much like sex offenders.

The city council is introducing a bill tomorrow–co-sponsored by Astoria Councilman Costa Constantinides–that aims to combat gun violence by mandating that all gun offenders are listed on an online registry, which the public can search. Individuals can sign up for free notifications, so they can be warned whenever a new offender moves into their neighborhood.

The bill, if it were to become law, would operate citywide. However, the city council is looking to pass a resolution that would ask the state to pass a bill that would put this registry into effect statewide.

According to the NYPD there were 1,103 shooting in the city alone in 2013. As of June 22, 576 people have been shot so far this year, an increase of 11.8 percent compared to the same period in 2013.

Van Bramer takes the ice bucket challenge

Book club forms, with meetings at Sunnyside bar

Pat Burke, the owner of the Courtyard Ale House

Pat Burke, owner of the Courtyard Ale House

August 19, By Christian Murray

A group of Sunnyside residents have formed a book club and meet at the Courtyard Ale House once a month.

The club was formed in July and the members meet the first Monday of the month at the bar, located at 40-18 Queens Blvd.

At the first meeting 16 people attended and the group decided to read “The Night Circus” by Erin Morgenstern.

Sinead Curran, a bartender at the Courtyard, formed the club after she discovered that many of her customers enjoy reading and talking about books. She said Pat Burke, an owner, supported the idea.

“People are always discussing books—debating whether they are good or bad—as well as their favorite authors,” Curran said.

Curran said that it made sense to have a club where people could spend an hour to discuss a book and enjoy a drink. She said many people, however, go home when the meeting ends, since it’s a Monday night and people have to work the next day.

“It’s a good way for people to get to know each other a little better,” Curran said, adding that “Sunnyside brings people together from all walks of life.”

At the second meeting in August, 12 people attended—with some being away for summer.

The group selected “The Story of Edgar Sawtelle, by David Wroblewski.


Time: First Monday of the month, at 8 pm

Location: Courtyard Ale House, 40-18 Queens Blvd.

Bar 43′s expansion begins, as it starts construction on space next door

Nick Murphy

Nick Murphy

August 17, By Christian Murray

When Bar 43 & Grill opened in May 2008 many thought it would fail.

It moved into a location where many bars had come and gone—off the beaten track of Queens Boulevard and Skillman Avenue.

But six years later, the bar—located at 43-06 43rd Street—is expanding. It is taking over the 500 square foot space next door to it that was previously occupied by the Sunnyside Meat Market, a European butcher shop, which moved to 43-10 43rd Avenue earlier this year.

The gut-renovation of the old butcher shop began last week and the addition should be completed by November.

The bar, which is about 1,000sqf today, currently has about 55-60 seats indoors, with an additional 20 outside. However, with the average customer staying at the pub for 2 ½ hours the place often gets packed.

The bar, however, wasn’t an overnight success when it opened and the owners Nick Murphy and Mickey McCreesh continued to change the formula in order to get it right.

When the bar opened, the establishment was more of a party hangout, where the focus was on drinking and music. However, that dynamic changed when the kitchen opened about six months later and people came to eat and drink.

“We opened the kitchen since many party places can be the ‘it’ bar for a while and then go out of favor,” Murphy said. “Our goal was to be a casual hangout where we could appeal to everyone.”

When the kitchen opened, the bar initially focused on offering higher-end traditional Irish food. However, they decided to move toward offering American bistro—placing a lot of attention on burgers, sandwiches, chicken wings, salads and nachos—which sports fans and casual diners enjoy. About two years ago, the owners then struck a deal to sell Atomic Wings.

“While people come here to watch sports, we have made an effort to appeal to everyone,” Murphy said. “We have outdoor dining, weekend brunch and events such as Trivia Nights.”

“It’s a place where you will often see parents bringing their children,” he said.

However, for the hard core beer drinker, Murphy created a beer club and also doubled the number of beers on tap—to 32—bringing on a slew of craft beers.

Failed bar

Previous bar

“The craft beer world has exploded,” Murphy said, who said the bar initially offered the standard beers on tap such as Guinness, Bass, Stella, Bud and Coors when it first opened.

The addition is likely to add a significant amount of seating—since a large portion of the bar’s existing space is used for stairs, a bathroom, doorway and the bar area.

“The space for our customers right now is about 450 square feet…so we are essentially doubling that,” Murphy said.

Murphy estimates that the bar will have about 95-100 seats after the addition, with about 30 seats outside.

The number of TVs is likely to double, too—from 10 to 20.

The bar will only need to close for a week during construction, since the old butcher shop will be completely revamped before the wall separating the two spaces is smashed down to connect them.

Murphy said the bar will essentially be the same just bigger when the job is done.

“The look and feel will not change,” he said.

Sunnyside resident–who is a dwarf–asks for some respect

August 17, Staff Report

One Sunnyside resident is fed up by the way people treat him.

Jonathan Novick, a dwarf, told the Huffington Post that every day he is gawked at, photographed by strangers, harassed and mocked.

Novick, who is 22 and has a type of dwarfism called achondroplasia, says he became so “fed up” with these countless negative encounters that he finally decided to do something about it.

“I wanted to stop telling people what happened to me and I wanted to start showing people what happened to me,” he said. “I wanted to show everyone what a day in my life was like.”

Sunnyside declared a “Bike Friendly Business District” by transportation advocacy group

August 15, By Christian Murray

Is Sunnyside a bike-friendly neighborhood?

One transportation advocacy group thinks so and is planning to celebrate the fact on August 23 with a bike tour around the neighborhood—which encompasses a visit to a number of bike-friendly businesses.

Transportation Alternatives, a group that is advocating for safer streets, has declared Sunnyside a “Bike Friendly Business District.” The neighborhood is the first to be bestowed with that title in Queens, and will join just two other bike-friendly businesses districts across the city.

There are 70 businesses in Sunnyside that Transportation Alternatives views as “bike friendly”—a number that led it to give the neighborhood its own designation. The 70 businesses were deemed “bike friendly” for supporting Transportation Alternatives’ campaign for a safer Queens Boulevard.

Transportation Alternatives is calling on the Department of Transportation to study—and ultimately—redesign Queens Boulevard and has been soliciting the help of local businesses and the community board. In 2013, six people were killed on Queens Boulevard and more than 150 pedestrians and cyclists were injured.

The Sunnyside bike tour will kick off at Bliss Street Plaza (46th and Queens Blvd) at 2 pm (August 23) and bicyclists and pedestrians are invited to tour six pre-selected businesses that Transportation Alternatives deems “bike friendly.” Those businesses include: Café Colombia, Bar 43, Go Natural, Arriba Arriba, Jack’s Ale House and Aubergine Cafe.

“We want to showcase the neighborhood and introduce people to businesses that are bike friendly,” said Celia Holl Castellan, the Queens organizer, for Transportation Alternatives.

Sunnyside Shines and Sunnyside’s Boulevard Bars are sponsoring the event.


Lounge bar opens on Queens Blvd, with promise of good music and upscale food


August 13, By Christian Murray

A new lounge bar opened on Queens Boulevard last month that aims to cater to music lovers, sports fans and residents who enjoy eating Mediterranean cuisine.

Over Time Lounge, located at 39-31 Queens Blvd, has been up and running for about three weeks.

To date, it has been open just on Friday and Saturday nights. However, next week, the lounge bar’s kitchen is expected to open—and the establishment will begin operating each day from 11 am until late.

The owner, Christos Ioannides, said the bar will be a hotspot for people looking to enjoy a drink and listen to DJs playing house, hip-hop and reggae music. The establishment is large, providing plenty of room for dancing. Furthermore, there are plenty of mirrors that wrap around the interior walls in order for party goers to check out their moves.

“We have a great atmosphere here,” Ioannides said. “I want everyone to come here and have a good time.” He said his extensive cocktail list (which includes strawberry mojitos to water melon martinis) adds to the positive vibe.

otloungeIoannides, who is from College Point, said that Over Time is going to be an upscale establishment.

“I want this place to be nice, where people dress properly and executives feel comfortable coming here,” he said. For instance, he is enforcing a dress code, where people with excessively baggy clothes or guys wearing tank tops/white T-shirts will not be let in.

The venue has plenty of high tables and tall stools in the middle of the lounge/bar that can be easily moved for dancing. In addition, there are some couches placed alongside the walls for hanging out.

Ioannides said that he also wants sports fans to take advantage of the six big-screen TVs and come and watch the big games. “I want everyone to come here and have a good time.”

The kitchen will be serving dishes such as chicken/lamb Souvlaki, bacon wrap scallions, filet mignon burgers and salads. Ioannides’ chef, Ronnie Rowe, has spent the past 15 years working in the kitchen at Disney’s Grand Floridian resort in Orlando.

The food will be upscale, Ioannides said, although at a reasonable price.

This is Ioannides’ first bar/lounge. He said that so far he is enjoying it.

“I like people, I like food and I like to impress.”

For more information, please click here


Sunnyside non-profits to teach children how to ‘code’

August 12, By Michael Florio

This neighborhood’s local kids will have the opportunity to learn computer coding.

Two non-profit organizations, artspaceQ and the Variety Boys & Girls Club, are teaming up with the Sunnyside branch of the Queens Public Library to offer a free six-course class to 14 local children (ages 7-9), called “KidCode.”

KidCode, will be taught on Mondays and Tuesdays at 4 pm, starting October 6th. Hal Eager, programming designer with Door3—a Manhattan-based software/design firm– will be teaching the class.

Coding is the term used for creating instructions for a computer in order to get it to do something (see video of similar programs).

“Kids have the capacity to enjoy and invent their own concepts…building on the skills they are already picking up from games,” said Eager, who has a 7-year-old son.

The library will provide space, Wi-Fi and laptops for the class. The children will not need their own computer to take the course.

The program will be offered to local children on a first-come, first served basis.

For people with children interested in the program, please e-mail


Village Voice names top 10 restaurants in Sunnyside/Woodside

Salt & Fat and SunnysideAugust 12, Staff Report

The Village Voice published an article today naming the top 10 restaurants in Sunnyside/Woodside.

The list featured restaurants such as Salt & Fat to I Love Paraguay.

For the full list and article, please click here.

Two new businesses open on Queens Blvd, following departure of long-time establishments

Affordable Dental, Bonjour Hair

Affordable Dental, Bonjour European Hair Design

August 11, By Christian Murray

Bonjour European Hair Design, located at 44-19 Queens Blvd, opened Saturday taking over the space that had been previously occupied by Magic Touch Hair Salon for decades.

Sergio Cassandres, the owner of Bonjour, has been part of the Sunnyside hairdressing landscape for several years. He had owned a hair salon at 43-46 44th Street, called Europea Hair Salon, for 5 years prior to closing it in March–after his lease expired.

Cassandres’ lease came to an end around the same time that Magic Touch closed. Magic Touch closed after the long-time owner died and the deceased’s daughters struggled to keep it going, several sources said.

“My new location is bigger and nicer [than the 44th Street space] and there is more opportunity being on Queens Boulevard,” Cassandres said.

“I also wanted to stay in the neighborhood after my lease came to an end since I live around the corner and I have a steady clientele,” Cassandres, who has lived in Sunnyside for the past 10 years, said

He said he had to renovate the old salon from top to bottom since it had not been updated in 30 years.

Cassandres’ former 44th Street location is now occupied by Lucky’s, which does facials, waxings, hair and threading, while Bonjour focuses solely on hair.

Meanwhile, a dentist office—called Affordable Dental—is opening at 44-17 Queens Boulevard next week.

The dental office took over space that was previously occupied by Carpati Transport, which was in the business of shipping items to Romania. The owner of that business retired and the dentist took over the lease.

In other business news, a new physical fitness studio called Blaze Fitness is coming to 45-12 43rd Avenue, in a small space that was previously occupied by Vizhnay Accounting & Tax Services.

Carpati Transport, Magic Touch

Carpati Transport, Magic Touch