Two men rob Sunnyside grocery store at gunpoint

Sunnyside Garden Grocery

August 1, By Christian Murray

Two men entered into a Sunnyside grocery store this morning—one displaying a firearm– and took off with about $2,000 in cash, according to police.

The men entered Sunnyside Gardens Market, located at 46-01 Skillman Avenue, at about 2:45 am and demanded cash before telling an employee to get down on the floor.

The men fled with the cash on foot toward 39th Avenue. The police are still investigating.


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83 Responses to Two men rob Sunnyside grocery store at gunpoint

  1. Neighbor

    Uh oh,
    I hope the video is clear. We don't need this crap around here!

  2. D

    El barrio

  3. Mido

    so bad many thing bad happen in sunny side

  4. Gerry

    Wow, no indication of anything about the suspects background and D is already being racist. I wish that was surprising, but the comments section in the Post tend to bring out the worst sorts of trolls.

  5. larry

    Umm ghetto shelters around here go up crime raises umm it's not a coincidence open your eyes people!!

  6. Annie D

    Whoa, that's scary. I pop in there late at night all the time, and in the morning. Hope they catch the people who did it.

  7. Crackerjack

    Is the 108 just too busy taking care of LIC now that that is a "cool" overpriced neighborhood, that they are neglecting Sunnyside? It sure seems over the past year that crime is skyrocketing.

  8. midori

    wow so those WERE shots I heard that apt is only slightly out of frame of that photo.

  9. Jennifer

    Ugh not at sunny side it's always been so calm.... They better catch those fools

  10. anonymous

    the neighborhood is going to shit while politicians put plazas we don't need, nice.

  11. M

    D - el barrio is your side... The south side!! Keep this crap over there.

  12. BornNbredHere

    Thank your mayor. Don't blame the police! People wanted stop question and frisk to end so the police ended it. What message do you think that sent to criminals out there... that they can go back to carrying and not fear getting pat down. Congrats nyc, this is the city you demanded. You wanna know where the 108 cops are? There out there not being proactive because they were asked not to be!

  13. Celtic Bark

    Perhaps SP should do some investigative reporting into these homeless shelters in the neighborhood I keep reading about in the comments sections. Anybody know if this is true? What are the facts?

  14. Mobo

    I will tell you this... if these posts are any indication, there are a lot of angry people in Sunnyside, and that's a shame.

  15. Change

    I think we just need another bar crawl

  16. Pecker

    This would never happen Britain!!!!!

  17. BornNbredHere

    I'm sorry Mobo, please tell me exactly how concerned residents should react after reading a story about an armed robbery? Perhaps we should all sit in a circle and sing kumbaya.

  18. Julia

    Leave it to a news report for the racist internet trolls to show their asses. Sad.

  19. Dorothy Morehead

    I'm not blaming the victim, but there really is no need for that store to be open 24 hours a day. The clerk is a sitting duck, working alone. There is no security and robbers can flee in any direction and disappear in the courtyards. After the bars close, it is the only business open on Skillman Avenue. The Met is open 24/7 and is only two blocks away. They have security cameras and several people on duty at all times so it is much safer for both employees and customers.

  20. Sunnyslider

    Those guys in there are so nice. This is terrible!!!

  21. Kramden's Delicious Marshall

    Dorothy Morehead makes a lot of good points.

    The rare times I ever go into a deli late at night, I always look inside first to make sure the place isn't getting held up.

    Getting held up at gunpoint is terrifying. Trust me, I know.

  22. SuperWittySmitty

    Midori, who said there were shots fired? I don't see that mentioned anywhere.

  23. SuperWittySmitty

    And there aren't any "ghetto shelters" in our neighborhood. People say a lot of nonsense; just ignore them.

  24. 7TrainDelays

    If I were a store owner, I would NEVER be open that late with just ONE employee guarding the place. I would value the lives of my workers more than the few late night dollars I might bring in during the wee hours. Let's hope this owner at least had the decency to have some first rate security cameras installed.

  25. Julia Assange

    Please told tell me the robber was wearing a ski mask and/or hoodie.

  26. Julia Assange

    I meant, "Please don't tell me . . . " can we get a description of the perp? I have always wondered what is stopping somebody from going into one of the bars with a gun and robbing people especially since it is almost impossible for a civilian to get a firearm for protection. You know for sure that it is unlikely that anybody in one of the local pubs is carrying.

  27. Julia Assange

    Oh, yeah: the other store owners that don't have security cameras - get them - like now! I remember the Wendy's Massacre that left five people dead (in Flushing).

  28. John Doe

    no more homeless people/shelters!!!!

  29. " Sunnysider"

    They have cameras in the store... lets hope they find the two and put them away fast.... . nice to have these stores open late for buisness but we do not want to have crime visit us as well..

  30. Andrew

    While I do also ask myself why that store needs to be open 24hrs since there is little to no activity that late at night here, but it is also their right to be open whenever they want for however long they want regardless of how many employees they have in there. Having more employees does not guarantee that you will not be robbed, especially since these guys came in with a gun. I also am not aware of any "ghetto shelters" opening up here, so not sure where they are getting that from. But I agree that they should at least install security cameras inside and out. I hope they catch these guys like they caught Wade Harriston for robbing that guy in front of Stop and Shop and lock them up.

  31. 5FootGremlin


    LOL You dimwitted, mouth-breather! The South side doesn't get murders, gunpoint robberies and their rims jacked. So actually, the North side is the ghetto of Sunnyside. Be careful when you walk your dog, you wouldn't want to get mugged on those dark lit streets with the pretty trees.

  32. Flores 65

    Is it me or is Sunnyside becoming more dangerous to live in? Thank goodness no one got shot.

  33. Chris

    Private security force. Who would be up for contributing??

  34. Woodsider

    I live on the border of Sunnyside. I spend most of my time over there in my free time. The news reports lately are getting more violent in nature.... I feel I NEED to take a cab more often to be safe. This shouldn't be....

  35. slur

    5 foot Gremlin: Newsflash: "Mouthbreather" is a slur. Google it.

  36. M

    5FootGremlin - is that a threat?

  37. D

    Gerry you are a racist moron. El barrio describes a place not a person. You must have some serious white guilt issues

  38. Luvu2

    Heard they wore ski masks

  39. D

    Gerry you are a racist. El barrio describes a place not a person. You must have some serious white guilt.

  40. Crane

    BornNbredHere, how do you expect stop and frisk to stop this from happening? I am still all for that and screw that "profiling" stuff, if you act suspicious you should be frisked, but if there are no cops around what difference does it make.

    I think these thugs follow SP very closely and they learned 108 is not doing much so they realized they can terrorize sunnysie.

  41. SunnysidePosthatesme17

    I was one of the first to tell you all that this would happen to Sunnyside, and you mocked me, you called me a troll, you told me to leave Sunnyside.

    And I have been right about EVERYthing..about your leaders...about the problems being ignored...and now you notice.

  42. Craic Dealer

    The only way to resolve these crimes is the give business owners the right to carry. Thieves would move along towards people they can take advantage of.

  43. Craic Dealer

    Legalize Liberty!

  44. Same old story

    *yawn* when are the latino looking hand sketches being released?

  45. Sunnyside Nostalgia

    Fear mongering?

  46. angela

    Jimmy our counsel person wants only to deal with LIC and no where else -- and why is 108 Pct. not caring about Sunnyside or Woodside that much -- only LIC --

  47. Luvu2

    Where are the police ? Obviously the perps had cased the store and knew guy would be alone

  48. Pete

    The perpetrators are most likely not homeless people. I volunteer with homeless people, and those who are truly homeless are financially destitute and therefore could not afford a gun. Guns commonly run into the hundreds of dollars. How would someone who can't afford to buy lunch for $5 afford a $300 gun?

  49. anthony blackwood

    The robbers were african american (fact) so that should take the mistery out of that. 3 robberies at gun point in the last month. cant remember the last time a robbery at gun point before "stop and frisk" stopped. Hmm wonder does that have anything to do with it. And Morehead by the way the shop has the right to stay open all the hours it wants. When Mayor Bla Bla is reassigning cops from our area to high crime areas (fact) this is what happens

  50. Beenhere25years

    Dorothy Moorehead's points are stupid. She is blaming the victim. That's like blaming the way a woman dresses if she gets raped. Blame the criminal. He has a right to open as long as he likes without the fear of crime. Common Dorothy.

  51. 7TrainDelays

    Beenhere25years wrote:

    "Dorothy Moorehead’s points are stupid. She is blaming the victim. That’s like blaming the way a woman dresses if she gets raped. Blame the criminal. He has a right to open as long as he likes without the fear of crime."

    And I have the right to leave my windows and doors unlocked and wide open all the time without the fear of being robbed. But I'd be damn stupid if I did.

  52. Beenhere25years

    It's sad that you can't leave your windows open. It's sad that criminals determine how we live our lives. Let's all hide in out houses. Stores should all close when it gets dark. There's a difference between common sense and giving in to criminals.

  53. Luvu2

    Too many felonies lately does mayor blabla know?

  54. Luvu2

    Van Bramer too busy with his plazas

  55. Hoof Hearted

    "Two men rob Sunnyside grocery store at gunpoint"

    May I suggest a slight change to the headline?

    Two "cowardly scumbags" rob Sunnyside Grocery Store at Gunpoint

  56. Same old story

    wheres da sketches...? too busy over there at the 108?

  57. joe king

    I think of the grocer had a shot gun things would be different . I propose a neighborhood watch armed with baseball bats and crow bars ..

  58. BornNbredHere

    Crane: Have you seen crime increase since SQF stopped? Sure ya did. And I'll bet you all the tea in China that these low lives are not from here but know this neighborhood is an easy target because crime is low so there is a less police presence. Here's the catch when SQF was in effect cops were hands on in high crime areas, so less perps carried weapons and rarely did they dare leave their comfort zone with a weapon. Unfortunately, perps are now calling the shots and testing the cops. Sadly, the city has made most cops feel that their pension is not worth risking to continue to SQF and great neighborhoods like Sunnyside are going to start experiencing some very sad realities of the evil that lives among us.

    There is no perfect art to policing. People will always complain about the law and those that enforce it. I'd rather live in a society where some innocents are frisked than no one frisked at all. And, until we get away from this being a racial issue sadly, everyone will suffer. We elect politicians. They work for us. Let's take back our neighborhood and work with the police. Not against them.

  59. Julia Assange

    Bornnbredhere has some good thoughts and ideas.

  60. South Side Johnny

    SQF was bad news, it was ineffective, and in goes against the Constitution, 4th amendment. Hundreds of thousands of people were stopped and frisked, and an average of 88% were completely innocent. This is how come so many people are against the cops now, and it's not good to have problems between cops and general public.

    Go live in a police state if that is the life you want! Here, I can walk around and know police cannot bother me just because they "think" I am a bad guy. I am protected by laws against unreasonable search and seizure. God bless America.

  61. Oldschool Sunnysider

    TEN PERCENT of people SQF were arrested.

    THREE PERCENT of people SQF has guns/weapons on them.

    LOOK at all the convictions of Brooklyn DA's Charlie Hynes' being overturned.

    Are willing as a society to go back to the days of Jim Crow...the days of when "Any N---er will do" ????

    Get the cops OUT OF THE CARS and BACK ON THE STREET...where the belong.

  62. Native NYer

    Welcome to life under DeBlasio.

  63. BornNbredHere

    Actually if you read the law and know the 4th ammendment it's protects people from an unlawful search and seizure. Under Terry v. Ohio, police can frisk anyone who they have reasonable suspicion to believe is carrying a weapon. You can Bless America and spew clichés all you'd like, but last I checked NYC is still America and it is illegal to carry any firearm if you are not a member of law enforcement. Thus if an officer sees a bulge, he can stop you. Get. Over. It.

    As for the amount of people stopped versus those arrested, not every bulge is a weapon, thus a lot of frisks turned up cellphones or wallets. I'd love to know how many readers on here were actually stopped and frisked in Sunnyside? Also, did you know that if a crime occurs and a description comes over the radio and you fit it you, under the law, can be stopped and held for a period of time required to undergo an investigation. This also produced a stop question and frisk report. Not all people stopped were frisked. But, keep feeding into media generated numbers with zero investigation done on your own and you'll wind up right where you are. Chock full of information you don't even understand. Both of you have different percentages. Shocking.

    As for a police state. Get real. I am pro police not a police state. What you have right now is an attack on police because it's become some sort of fad. Wake up. Stop buying into media bs.

  64. Anonymous

    Some crimes are up some are down depending whether you're looking over last year, last five years, last 21 years, and type of crime.

    Overall 2013 2014 no increase.

  65. Pete

    @BornNbredHere: guns technically are not illegal in NYC or anywhere else in the country; the Second Amendment (for better or worse) is a federal law and as such trumps local statutes. The Bloomberg administration would have us believe otherwise, but one may easily argue that the bureaucratic, time consuming and expensive process of attaining a gun "permit" in NYC is unconstitutional. I support general background checks but what they do in NYC supersedes a reasonable background check. It is designed to legalize arms for the affluent and keep them out of the hands of the less affluent. As with the Bloombergian "poor door" policy in luxury buildings, money and social class determine access to all things.

    Also what does "reasonable suspicion" mean exactly? I hear that a lot but have never seen or heard it properly defined.

  66. Scoler

    Is true, BurnedBread, stop & frisk was no good, and people did not like it. Today's cop has problems defusing situations (like that grandma in Brooklyn last week, dragged out of her apt in her undies) or arresting someone without resorting to using choke-holds; I don't want them looking at me and suspecting I have a gun. Unless they have probable cause, they can't be frisking just anyone. Get real and quit listening to right-wing conservative propaganda. You are their tool.

  67. SuperWittySmitty

    The problem w/ S&F was that it was being used injudiciously; cops were jumping to conclusions just because they saw a bulge. If you want to refer to Terry v Ohio, remember that the police officer has to have a reasonable suspicion that the person has committed, is committing, or is about to commit a crime and has a reasonable belief that the person "may be armed and presently dangerous.

    Before stopping and frisking someone, you need a reasonable suspicion that there is a connect to the person and imminent criminal activity; way too many of the hundreds of thousands who were frisked and subjected to unfair and humiliating harassment by the police had NOT done anything to give cops "reasonable suspicion." Far too often, they were stopped and frisked because they were not white. That is a huge issue, and that's why we got rid of stop and frisk, because it was BAD, UNFAIR, and RACIST.

  68. Sunnysidster

    That store is a rip-off! More like 'Sunnyside grocery store robs customers'.

    All jokes aside, De Blasio is gonna run place into the ground! We ain't seen nothing yet!

  69. Pete

    @SuperWittySmitty: that's part of my point. Those are a lot of criteria to put on an officer under the rubric of "reasonable suspicion"; they're forced to be mind readers. And they're human like the rest of us, so they make mistakes more often than not.

    When I go out I have bulges in my pants (no jokes please) because I'm carrying keys and a phone and a wallet. I've never been stopped or frisked in NYC. A friend of mine in Woodside who is an African American male in his 20s who tends to wear hip hop style clothing was stopped & frisked last year on his way home from a volunteer project no less. This guy is a church goer, does tons of volunteer work around the city and is the nicest person you will meet. So what's the difference between him and me? I can't think of anything other than our respective ages, races, and modes of dress.

  70. BornNbredHere

    Actually SupperWittySmitty if you can articulate that you have reasonable suspicion that someone is about to or has possibly committed a crime you are within the legal parameters of being able to stop someone. When people talk about stop question & frisk they get very hung up on the frisk. A lot of those reports were written just based on a stop and a brief convo. You can always refuse to give a police officer your ID. If you're innocent but fit the description it's not the police officers fault.

    There were a lot more black and Hispanic people stopped, because more violent crime occurs in abundance in areas that are more richly populated by black and Hispanics. That is irrefutable fact. If you went to a precinct in Flushing you'd find more Asians were stopped... is that racist? Is it racist to stop more black people in a black neighborhood? I'd think, that by the definition of racism, it's actually more racist to stop a white person in a black neighborhood than a black person in a black neighborhood. Maybe I'm wrong.

  71. BornNbredHere

    Pete, if a federal law trumps all local statutes then explain why you can not carry a firearm in the city of ny? You may however have a firearm unloaded inside your home. So yes, you may own a weapon. However, you may not place it in your waistband or holder upon your belt and carry it around if you are not a member of law enforcement. That's the law. I'm not exactly sure where you get your information about the affluent having an easier time obtaining a firearm in order to keep them out of the hands of the less affluent. Last I checked there were more illegal guns on the streets of nyc than legal guns... and if this point you make is true then why are there less shootings in Midtown and downtown manhattan as opposed to the Bronx? Maybe I'm missing your point.

  72. Pete

    BornNbredHere: my information about the city attempting to keep guns in the hands of the affluent is based on the application fee for a gun permit. It is currently well over $400. That may not sound like much to a middle class person, but if you're in a lower income bracket that could represent a month's rent in a subsidized apartment. I agree that illegal guns are making their way onto the streets anyway, but if you get caught with an illegal weapon in NYC you face very stiff penalties including potential prison time. As most poorer people can;t afford the time or money for the arduous gun application process, they may be relying on cheaper black market goods and thus risk imprisonment if caught. I'm not saying this is a good choice on their part, but when institutions exclude people from a market this is what happens.

    In terms of local statutes that make gun ownership difficult, as I said earlier this is a political policy pushed by the Bloomberg administration. It is contradicting the Second Amendment but it survives because of the political status quo in the city, not because of its legal validity.

  73. Julia Assange

    Bornnbred has good comments. Yes, welcome to life under Deblasio and it is going to get worse. Al Sharpton is really our mayor.

  74. BornNbredHere

    Pete, please find me a source that cites people who are locked up for gun charges ever even attempting to obtain a license for a hand gun and I will buy your point. Until then I think you are trying to make a point for law abiding citizens to carry weapons, which is not the problem we are facing. I sincerely doubt this grocery store was held up by two men with legally purchased fire arms. City laws are strict because of the population. Most people under pressure are a terrible shot. If you don't like the gun laws in the 5 boroughs please move upstate where the laws are less strict... or Texas. They appear to have this all figured out.

    Also, WHERE ARE YOU PAYING $400 FOR RENT? sign me up...

  75. Paul

    Stop and frisk was a horrible failure because the officers responsible for identifying possible weapons, making a stop, and executing a frisk were not properly trained to do so. They were forced by superiors to make X number of stops per month, and in extreme cases were TOLD to targets blacks and latinos. The only people left supporting stop and frisk in its current state were white people living in communities isolated from crime through either affluence or geography. I am a teacher, and when I see straight A students having trouble with school because they have been stopped every day for the past 2 weeks simply for having their book bag (and being a minority) I realize the policy has failed.

  76. Pete

    BornNbredHere: Touche, I have no such document at this time. Fair enough. However, my basic point is that the current NYC regulations on firearms do indeed contradict the Constitution. That said, I also believe that arms need to be kept out of the hands of those not suited to have them--which doesn't necessarily mean class or race but rather mental constitution and observed criminality.

    Paul: good point. I have a friend in Woodside who is a church going individual who spends much of his life volunteering to help others around the city. He was stopped and frisked last year. And this guy is completely decent, sane, non-violent, and cares for others more than most of us--and is also African American and male. This doesn't bode well for the underlying logic of stop & frisk.

  77. consideredsunnysider

    Can sunnysiders please start a neighborhood watch. Sunnyside is becoming a place that is no longer safe to live. Our car has been broken into twice this summer, people are getting caught casing houses, all these armed robberies. If the cops arent going to do anything about it then we should all band together and do something. Anyone agree?

  78. Ken

    Hopefully they had a security camera inside the store and will be able to identify the two punks.

  79. BornNbredHere

    Pete - I am very sorry for your friend if he felt like his rights were violated. However, my boyfriend comes home from work at 4am. He is tall, bald, muscular, and white. He also apparently fit the script for the burglar breaking into homes on 44th-46th street last summer/fall. One early morning he felt like he was being followed by a car. To his surprise, he was. Two men jumped out of the car and question where he was coming from and going to. They were plain clothes cops. While he felt rattled, he understood why they stopped him. time, place, description and he was carrying a backpack. Is it fair for him to say he was racially stopped or stopped based on a description that fit his race? I understand it is a blurred line and a slippery slope. Was your friend possibly stopped because he fit the description of a crime in an area more populated by blacks and Latinos. Or was he stopped right outside queen of angels after attending Saturday night mass? Both those factors create two very different scenarios.

    Currently, the media depicts an image that ALL cops put on their uniform and walked out with the INTENT of targeting only black and Latino males solely for their racial make-up. What about if we looked at it like this? Cops in low income areas, which are mostly populated by blacks and Latinos, stopped mostly or only blacks and Latinos because that was what they were told to look for based in a description. Now what if the police officer is also black or latino... is this still a racially motivated stop?

    perspective is everything. Often when he feel strongly for one thing we forget to switch perspectives.

    Most, in fact majority of cops are not racist. Yes, some are. Unfortunately, some cops did take advantage of a good policing tool, however doing away with it is also not the answer.

  80. Julia Assange

    How was stop question and frisk a failure? Right now, without it, we have a big increase in shootings. Big spike. I hope DeBlasio is proud - he ran his campaign against the police and had the nerve to put his son in his commercials. Now he has Sharpton on his case. Bratton needs to go to more celebrity parties. I will bet he enjoys being in gossip columns.

  81. Pete

    BornNbredHere, what we need to resolve this question are statistics. We're both offering anecdotes back and forth, which is fine, but one anecdote cancels out another. We need to know the statistics on crime and race versus stop & frisk and race. That would be illuminating. I'll have to look for it. I'm willing to bet though that during the s&f era, many more minority men were pulled over than white men. Sure, some white men may get pulled over (sorry for your bf) but statistically it must be the other way around. Otherwise, the decades-long widespread public perception on the issue is off base. Whatever the case, if they're pulling ANYONE over, they must have a very clear cause beyond they "look" a particular way. That was criminology in the 19th century.

  82. Pete

    Here's what a quick we search rendered:

    I'll also add that I've been the victim of stop and frisk in my own lifetime back when I was a teen, and I'm white and male. Regardless, it is embarrassing for anyone (one of my neighbors witnessed it). The officers who conducted it were rude and bullying and only reluctantly told me upon being asked that my car make & model was supposedly involved in an armed robbery earlier that day in a nearby town. The car was almost brand new and belonged to my parents and had valid license plates. Thus, their explanation didn't add up to me.

  83. BornNbredHere

    Pete- I want to Thank you for being open to my opinion and listening and having a debate that didn't come to cheap shots and low blows. It's very easy to get emotional behind a computer screen.

    Sadly, I don't know if we ever will get the true stats of SQF but if I shed a slightly different perspective for you to think about then I think this whole thread was Damn well worth it. It takes a lot to see things differently, and I think I felt a lot like you before my bf was stopped. Then I became a little more aware and thankful. I felt like the police were doing their jobs, which I'd often accused them of not doing and never being around.

    It's been a great discussion and I hope we all do what we can to keep this neighborhood as wonderful as it is.


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Latest News

Town hall meetings scheduled this week, with advice provided on snagging an affordable unit on LIC waterfront


Sept. 28, By Christian Murray

Sunnyside and Woodside residents will get their chance to learn how to apply for an affordable rental unit on the Long Island City waterfront this week.

The application period to snag an apartment in the Hunters Point South complex is expected to begin shortly and Community Board 2 leaders—along with the development company– will be holding two meetings this week telling residents how to apply,

The applicants will be aiming to get one of the 925 affordable apartments that are expected to be completed early next year.

The first meeting is scheduled for Monday, Sept. 29, at the Sunnyside Community Services Center at 7pm. A second meeting will be held at the Big Six Towers on Wednesday, Oct. 1 at 7 pm.

Community Board 2 residents—who currently live in Sunnyside, Woodside and Long Island City—will be given priority over outside applicants on 50% of the units.

The income requirements are broad and tailored more toward middle income earners. For example, units have been set aside for individuals/families who make very little to those who make up to $190,000, based on numbers released last year by the Bloomberg administration.

For details on the meetings, see below:

HPS Town Halls Flyer 091714-1

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Sunnyside Restaurant Week kicks off October 20, more than 30 restaurants participating
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Sept. 25, By Christian Murray

Sunnyside’s second annual restaurant week is scheduled to take place next month and 32 restaurants have already signed up to participate.

The event, organized by Sunnyside Shines, aims to showcase Sunnyside as a destination for high-quality cuisine. Its goal is tempt residents to try new places and draw foodies from other parts of New York City.

The event begins on Oct. 20 and concludes on Friday, Oct. 24.

Each restaurant will serve a three course dinner menu for $25 with many offering additional lunch specials.

The participating restaurants span the globe. There will be Japanese, Turkish, Irish, Italian, Romanian, Mexican, Peruvian, French, Colombian, Filipino, Paraguayan, Tibetan, Thai, and Seasonal American food on offer.

Restaurants from Skillman Avenue through 47th Avenue have signed up this year. Last November, when Sunnyside Restaurant Week was launched, 17 restaurants took part.

“Last year’s event was a big success for neighborhood restaurants,” said Rachel Thieme, executive director, of Sunnyside Shines. “I am proud that we have doubled the number.”

Participating restaurants will also include newcomers to the Sunnyside scene—such as Tibetan Dumpling Café and Blu Orchid. Venturo and Salt & Fat, which were recently recognized as Michelin “Bib Gourmands,” will be participating again this year.

Sunnyside Shines has listed the 32 restaurants on its website. The list also includes those restaurants that have put a special menu together for Sunnyside Restaurant Week.

Restaurant week will also feature contemporary art, which will be placed at five participating restaurants. The art is being curated by No Longer Empty, a contemporary art organization, and will include work from three Sunnyside artists.

The artwork will be on display at Bucharest Restaurant, Los Verdes, PJ Horgan’s, Salt & Fat and Venturo.

“We are really looking forward to Sunnyside Restaurant Week this year,” Thieme said. However, she said: “there’s a huge problem – figuring out how to eat in all these amazing restaurants in just one week!”



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Venturo, Salt & Fat win coveted ‘Bib Gourmand’ award

Venturo sunnyside

Sept. 24, By Christian Murray

The Michelin Guide has just released its 2015 “Bib Gourmand” picks and Salt & Fat and Venturo were among the picks for the best value for money.

These two restaurants were the only Sunnyside restaurants to receive the highly-coveted prize. Restaurants are evaluated for excellence on a budget (defined as two courses and wine or dessert for $40 a head).

The Bib Gourmand restaurant winners are widely considered the best and most affordable restaurants in New York.

The popular Thai restaurant Ayada, located at 77-08 Woodside Avenue, also received the award.

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Sunnyside farmers market will be open all-year round, if organizers get community support

Sunnyside Farmers Market1

Sept. 24, By Christian Murray

The Sunnyside Greenmarket might be open all-year round if the organizers get enough support from the community.

The market, which is located on Skillman Avenue between 42nd and 43rd Streets, is currently open on Saturdays from May through December.

However, Jessenia Cagle, the coordinator of the market, said that the farmers are willing to come to Sunnyside all-year round. She said that she has been circulating a petition calling for market to remain open every Saturday–including during the cold winter months. So far she has 800 signatures.

The petition has recently gone online and can be found by clicking on this link:

“I think the neighborhood is ready for it,” Cagle said. “There are a lot of people in the area who like fresh, local food—and they don’t want to have to go too far to get it especially in winter.”

The market, which opened in June 2007, has been a success, Cagle said. Presently there are 16 farmers/vendors out each weekend selling items such as bread, vegetables, meat and fish.

This year the market opened a month earlier than in previous years and plenty of residents came out and bought items, Cagle said. “We were very busy, it was great,” she said.

The move to open year round would not be unprecedented in Queens. Cagle said the market in Jackson Heights, which was once seasonal, now operates all year round.

Cagle said that not all of the vegetable providers will be able to come out in winter due to the seasonal nature of their produce. However, she expects about 10 vendors will participate during the cold winter months.

“I think if we get enough support, there is a strong possibility that we will be open this winter,” she said.

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Van Bramer’s hit-and-run bill is passed by the city council
Van Bramer, xxx , Melissa Mark Viverto (Source:  Bill Alatriste)

Van Bramer, Martha Puruncajas , Melissa Mark Viverito (Source: Bill Alatriste)

Sept. 24, By Christian Murray

The city council passed legislation yesterday that would fine drivers who flee the scene of an accident up to $10,000.

The Council voted 49-0 in favor of the legislation that was introduced by Jimmy Van Bramer following three hit-and-run deaths that have occurred in Western Queens in the past year.

“I am proud to have sponsored Intro 371, the ‘Justice for Hit and Run Victims Act,’” Van Bramer said in a statement. “I was moved to introduce this bill in response to the death of three people who were killed in my district by drivers who fled the scene.”

Last September, Luis Bravo, 19, was killed crossing Broadway in Woodside. Meanwhile, Karen Pheras, 20, was struck and killed around the same time crossing Queens Plaza North. Then in March, Kumar Ragunath, 64, was killed crossing Northern Boulevard in Long Island City.

“They all lost their lives because of the unconscionable actions of reckless drivers who showed no concern for the lives of these three people,” Van Bramer said. “We will never know if one or all of them could have been saved had the drivers done the right thing: stopped their car and called 911.”

All three drivers have yet to be caught.

“It’s something you never get over,” said Bravo’s mother, Martha Puruncajas, at a recent council hearing.”The pain is unbearable, the pain stays,” she said, adding that she hopes stiffer penalties would prevent future tragedies.

Under the bill, those who leave the scene of an incident without taking action would be subject to pay a civil penalty of up to $500 if property damage stems from the incident; $1,000 to $2,000 if a person is injured; and $2,000 to $10,000 if there is serious injury or death.

Currently there are no “civil” penalties in New York City if someone flees.

Criminal penalties are determined by the state lawmakers.

Mayor Bill de Blasio is expected to sign the bill into law. The law would take effect ninety days after he signs it.

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Sunnyside Street co-named after famous sporting arena

arenaSept. 23, By Christian Murray

City officials and boxing enthusiasts turned out Saturday for the co-naming of 45th Street to pay tribute to the now-demolished Sunnyside Garden Arena where fighters and wrestlers used to duke it out.

The Sunnyside Garden Arena, a 2,000-seat venue that was once located where Wendy’s now stands at 44-11 Queens Blvd, hosted boxing events from 1945 to 1977 during the golden years of NYC boxing. Many famous fighters from that era got their start at the arena, and it was a stepping stone to the brighter lights of Madison Square Garden.

Members of the Ring 8 Boxing Association, a group for retired boxers, unveiled the new street sign along with Dave Diamante, the official announcer at the Barclays Center, and Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer.

Two years ago, many of the same boxing enthusiasts came out when a memorial was placed on the front lawn of Wendy’s that also marked the location.

John Edebohls, who was raised just a couple of blocks away from the arena, said when the memorial was unveiled:“This place launched many careers: Emile Griffith [middleweight world champ] and Jose Torres [light heavyweight world champ].”

The arena was where Gerry Cooney launched his professional career, Edebolhs said. Cooney would go on to fight Larry Holmes in 1982 for the heavyweight title. Cooney lost.

Luke Adams, a member of the Sunnyside Chamber of Commerce, said when the monument was unveiled that the arena was not just for boxing. “They had proms there, they made a movie there (Mr. Universe), and in 1960 John F. Kennedy had one of the first rallies of his Presidential campaign there.”

Sunnyside Gardens Arena

Sunnyside Garden Arena

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Irish Music Festival to hit Boulevard on Saturday, wounded veterans to benefit
Irish Music Festival

Irish Music Festival

Sept. 22, By Michael Florio

Eleven bars and restaurants—known as Sunnyside’s Boulevard Bars–are teaming up to host an Irish music festival this Saturday.

The eleven establishments, which are located on or near Queens Blvd, are hosting the 2nd annual Halfway to St. Patrick’s Day music festival.

The event will kick off at 6 pm, Sept. 27, with live music and drink specials at every participating bar.

The drink specials are for party goers who purchase a $10 wristband. The specials, which are available at all 11 establishments, include $3 ciders, $4 well drinks and $5 craft beers. Each bar/restaurant may also offer its own additional specials.

There will be live music, dancing, bagpipers and DJs. There will also be authentic Irish meals, such as Bar 43’s Irish festival menu, which will consist of Irish beef stew, Irish style fish and chips and an all day Irish breakfast.

Proceeds from the event will be donated to wounded veterans who are currently being treated at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center.

Participating bars include, The Courtyard Ale House, Bar 43, McGuinness’s Saloon, PJ Horgan’s, Molly Blooms, Jack’s Fire Dept., Bliss Street Station, Arriba Arriba, The Gaslight, Sidetracks, and Maggie Mae’s.

The event will be the Boulevard of Bars’ sixth major event in the past two years. So far, it has raised more than $25,000 for charities and local organizations.

Music Lineup - Boulevard Bars-1


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Sunnyside resident documents the rise and fall of Comic Book Heaven

Comic Book Heaven from E.J. McLeavey-Fisher on Vimeo.

Sept. 22, By Christian Murray

A well-known comic store called Comic Book Heaven closed last year after being in operation for about thirty years.

Joseph Liesner, 80, the owner of the comic store (which was located at 48-14 Skillman Avenue), said last year that he decided to shut down the business since there was little interest in comic books anymore. “The store’s not making any money and, besides, I’m as old as Methuselah,” Liesner said last year, with a wide grin.

Sunnyside resident E.J. McLeavey-Fisher released this video documentary on Liesner and his store.

Liesner claimed last June that the digital age is what has killed his business.

“The kids today play video games and spend all day texting their friends,” Liesner said.  “Gone are the days when kids would collect things, like stamps and sports cards.”

Comic Book Heaven moved to Skillman Avenue three decades ago, after doing a brisk business at a flea market at the corner of Queens Blvd and Jackson Avenue.

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Rosh Hashana Beginners Experience
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