Oct. 23, By Christian Murray
An Italian restaurant will be opening in Sunnyside—at the very location where the New Post Coffee Shop was located for 50 years.
One of the two new owners is a Sunnyside resident who lives on the same block as the 40th Street/Queens Blvd restaurant. He is from Milan and has recently sold an Italian restaurant that he owned in Spain in order to focus on this restaurant. His business partner is from Puglia who manages an Italian restaurant in Manhattan.
The owners signed the lease Tuesday and plan to spend in excess of $200,000 on gutting the premises—from floor to ceiling—and rebuilding it. The establishment will have a new kitchen, floors, walls and bathroom. It will also come with a coffee station, pastry counter as well as a bar.
Construction is expected to take 3 months. The owners, who have yet to come up with a name for the establishment, are hoping to open the restaurant by February.
The owners also plan to provide outdoor seating on the 40th Street side of the property. The goal is to have it ready by summer 2015.
The Sunnyside owner, Valerio, who elected not to provide his last name since he is working at an Italian restaurant at present, said he wants to change people’s mentality of the location.”People know this place as dirty and I want to change that,” he said.
New Post had been closed by the Health Department several times in recent years.
The Italian restaurant will primarily be a café in the morning, offering coffee and pastries. It will sell items such as paninis, pastas and salads for lunch.
The dinner menu will be comprised of traditional meat, fish and pasta dishes, Valerio said. However, he said he is working on the finer details.
Valerio has lived in Sunnyside with his wife for the past 10 years—although he has spent most of his summers at his former restaurant in Spain. The 34-year-old has been in the US for 12 years.
Valerio said he wants to focus on Sunnyside. He has a 7-year-daughter who attends PS 150 and a 3-year-old daughter who will be going there soon.
“I love Sunnyside, the people make this such a great neighborhood,” he said.
He said the restaurant will be good for neighborhood. “It will improve how the corner looks and will offer great food.”