Restaurant offering Asian bistro to open on Queens Blvd in two weeks

Blu Orchid on Queens Blvd

August 4, By Christian Murray

A restaurant focusing on Asian bistro is opening on Queens Boulevard in two weeks.

Blu Orchid, which will be located at 45-04 Queens Blvd, will be offering an assortment of Asian menu items—from tuna noodles to Pad-Thai.

The restaurant, which is taking over the space formerly occupied by Nodus, will be owned by three Queens residents who all have a long history in the Thai food business.

Salang Niphitkumthong, who previously worked at Topaz in Manhattan for more than a decade, said that the restaurant will be offering a mixture of Thai, Japanese, French and even Spanish dishes.

“There is already Dee Thai, Yum Yum and I am Thai in the neighborhood and we don’t want to compete with them,” Niphitkumthong said.

He said his plan is to open a high-end Asian fusion restaurant that will be on a similar level as Salt & Fat and Venturo. He said his aim will be to attract local residents as well as people from outside the neighborhood.

Niphitkumthong and his partners decided to open in Sunnyside claiming the neighborhood is on an upswing. “This area is getting more popular,” he said. “People are moving to Astoria and Sunnyside,” he said.

Prame Sakul Clanuwat, a Woodside resident who is also a partner in the business, also comes with a deep background in the Thai restaurant business. He has managed Sea Thai, a popular Thai restaurant in Brooklyn, for several years.

The restaurant has hired Sakul Clanwat’s aunt to be the chef. She is presently a chef at Kittichai, a well-known Thai restaurant in Soho.

The third partner owns a Thai restaurant in Coney Island called Lotus.

The restaurant, which has room for about 30 diners, will offer items such as:

Chicken lollipop, fried calamari, rock shrimp, BBQ ribs, corn soup, salads, Pad Thai, duck confit, hanger steak, grilled salmon and tiger prawns.

Salang Niphitkumthong

Salang Niphitkumthong

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30 Responses to Restaurant offering Asian bistro to open on Queens Blvd in two weeks

  1. nobody

    empty storefront in 10-12 months. has the proprietor not looked down the block, across the street, and around the corner?

  2. Another Southie

    Looks like it'll be dimly lit and relaxing - excellent! Look forward to trying it! Glad to see more non-fast food / takeout options in the neighborhood.

  3. sunnyside/woodside

    Sigh... I'm sure this new restaurant will be nice, however we need something different. We are over populated with Asian restaurants, dollars stores and shady cell phone places. IF there's going to be another Asian restaurant, why not a ramen, pho or dumpling place? Korean food? How about a healthy sit-down option? Ethiopian? Anything! Anyway no disrespect to the new restaurant or it's owners. Just griping.

  4. Beenhear25years

    Stop complaining. No matter what they would open you would complain.

  5. Beenhear25years

    Yeh, that's what would make Sunnyside complete an Ethiopian restaurant!

  6. Crane

    I wish the owner best of luck, I hope this one stays open longer than others, I wish them the success of the restaurant next door (NY Style Eats). It's just that these Asian places haven't had the success probably due to higher than normal Asian food prices, but if they are decent enough and just gets going with food that appeals to everyone not just Asians, they will succeed!

  7. Anonymous

    Good luck to the owners. It sounds like they know what they are doing.

  8. The Grimster

    NY Eats is awful ate there once never went back too many LOUD aNNOYING PARENTA AND THERE DEMON SPWAN.

  9. Flores 65

    "He said his plan is to open a high-end Asian fusion restaurant that will be on a similar level as Salt & Fat and Venturo."

    Can we please not make this place into one of those young trendy places? Does it really have to be high-end? I will still visit though.

  10. Old-timer

    Don't we already have a place like this? There is one on 50-19 Skillman Ave.

  11. anonymous

    thai don't know how many more of these restaurants we need.

  12. Anonymous

    Venturo sucks, went there for brunch once and the food was a huge disappointment. No idea where any of the hype comes from.

  13. Concerned Hipster

    @Flores65 - Weren't you young and trendy once?

  14. longtime resident

    I hope they take down the TVs Nodus inexplicably put up. My husband and I ate at Nodus a lot (the food was pretty good there), and it really annoyed us when they put up the TVs. Even when you want to pay attention to the people you're eating with, your eye keeps getting drawn to the moving images on the wall your facing, and it turns meal time in to a more difficult social experience.

  15. Plain Spoken

    I'll give it a try.

  16. Greg moris

    I didn't see any permits, what's going on???

  17. Woody Woodpecker

    Venturo rocks Anonymous is one of the old farts who needs to go away!!!!

  18. Beenhere25years

    I would like to see the Sunnyside Post go away. I didn't think there were this many idiots in the neighborhood until I read this rag.

  19. Same old story

    whats with thai people? after one fails they open up more in the same location. Greenpoint an 42nd had like 3 in a row that failed, now its bbq hut.

  20. Natty

    I've lived here for over 40 years and I welcome anyone who tries to improve this neighborhood. You will not please everyone all the time. We just don't need any more 99 cent stores, cell phone stores, pawn shops, nail salons, and all the other crappy stores. They bring the neighborhood down.

    @Beenhere25years - I love Sunnyside Post. It's very informative and entertaining with the comments from the "idiots in the neighborhood". I like to know what other people think.

  21. NathanFielder

    I think this neighborhood needs a Dumb Starbucks.

  22. longtime resident

    Did Sunnyside post post the financial statements for modus? There are many reasons for a business owner to decide to close a business, some of which have nothing to do with financial failure.

  23. SunnysidePosthatesme17

    Pretty soon they're gonna have to name Sunnyside, AsianBistroside! mmmright? cmon...who's with me??


  24. Critic

    No. That wasn't funny. Try again.

  25. hipsters are making me rich!!!

    signs a neighborhood is getting better - more thai places

    signs its heading south fast - pollo ala brasa

    signs you should really cut your losses and move out - polla ala brasa, two or more on one block with specials hand written on fluorescent paper. oh man, the kiss of death...

    if your a homeowner in Sunnyside show your appreciation, thank a hipster today that we are seeing thai

  26. Concerned Hipster


  27. Hipsters are dirty and moronic

    Thank a hipster if your a homeowner? Has to be one of the stupidest things I've heard. How about thanking all the people that have careers in the six digit income category moving to the neighborhood and contributing to the census polls.
    It wouldn't have anything to do with the high Asian population living in the area that contributes to the opening of this restaurant?

  28. Baby Boomers are grouchy defeatist sellouts

    Asian people generally like to eat food that hasn't been watered down, a la Elmhurst.

  29. sunnyside/woodside


    I'm really impressed (not) that you've been here so so soooo long. Guess what? We haven't, but what we all have in common is that we're interested in the community and hope to see Sunnyside and its businesses prosper and NOT crash and burn after a few months. Look around you, there are a lot of empty store fronts. As a resident, I would love to stick around the hood for great entertainment/food and not have to commute into Manhattan or BK, and I have a feeling from the other posters that they probably feel the same way from looking at the comments. So your comments about us being 'idiots', shows how ignorant you are. If you don't like Sunnyside post, exit stage left.

    Buh bye.

  30. Henry

    Hey Hipsters are dirty and moronic, not sure if you realized this but most of these so-called "Asian" restaurants are frequented by more non-Asians in the neighborhood. Such a stupid comment. Replace Asian with white or European and see if you would say the same thing about a so-called white or European restaurant.


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Latest News

Sunnyside resident jumps in front of LIRR train at Woodside station, critically injured

Woodside subway

Sept. 30, By Christian Murray

A 39-year-old Sunnyside man was struck and seriously injured this morning when he jumped in front of an eastbound Long Island Rail Road train at the Woodside Station, according to the MTA.

The man, whose identify has not been disclosed, jumped from the station platform into the path of a Ronkonkoma-bound train at approximately 10:30 AM, according to the transit agency.

The man was removed from under the train with severe head and leg injuries and was unconscious when he was rushed by ambulance to Queens Hospital Center in Elmhurst, the police said.

The LIRR was forced to suspend eastbound service from Penn Station, except for the Port Washington Branch, for about an hour.


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‘The Good Wife’ to film in Sunnyside Tuesday

GoodwifeSept. 29, By Christian Murray

Several Sunnyside streets will be taken over Tuesday to make way for “The Good Wife.”

The CBS show, which has received widespread acclaim, will be shooting on Skillman Avenue (between 48th and 49th Streets), as well as on 48th Street (btw. 43rd and Barnett Avenues) and 49th Street (between Skillman and Barnett). Vehicles parked on these streets Tuesday are likely to be towed.

The show focuses on the fictional character Alicia Florrick (Julianna Margulies), whose husband Peter Florrick (Chris Noth), a former State Attorney, has been jailed following a notorious political corruption and sex scandal.

The series was partly inspired by the Eliot Spitzer prostitution scandal, as well as by other prominent political sex scandals, particularly those of John Edwards and Bill Clinton.

The show, which premiered in 2009, has won five Emmys.

Film crew getting ready for shoot on Skillman Avenue

Film crew getting ready for shoot on Skillman Avenue

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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
Blu Orchid on Queens Blvd

Recently-opened Blu Orchid part of Sunnyside Restaurant Week

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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