December 20, By Christian Murray
A new bar/restaurant is expected to open in Sunnyside before year’s end, taking over the space that was previously occupied by Café Marlene.
The owners of the 41-11 49th Street establishment, called The Alcove, have rebuilt much of the interior with 1800s reclaimed wood from Pennsylvania. A new bar has been constructed with wood from an old barn, alongside new timber seats and tables. One of the wooden doors is from a monastery.
The establishment is larger than the former Café Marlene, since the new owners have been able to incorporate space that was previously occupied by Pronto Car Service, which is located next door.
Jonathan Cordeiro, a Woodside resident who owns the establishment with his wife, took over the venue in July and had hoped to reopen it with a new name and concept within a month or two.
“We are new to this, so it took a lot longer,” Cordeiro said. Furthermore, he said, “We have changed the concept, we have changed everything. We have really tried to create something unique.”
Cordeiro, who worked at the Copper Kettle (located on the corner of Skillman/51st Street) for 17-years, said the Alcove is able to seat 22 people at tables, 12 at the bar and five alongside the walls.
“We will have a limited food menu at first, but it will be ethnically diverse,” Cordeiro, who was raised in Astoria, said.
“My wife is Colombian, my father is Brazilian, my mother is Italian…we will have things from everywhere,” he said.
Some of the menu items they will be offering include tacos, arepas and smoked burgers.
There will be a focus on cocktails such as mojitos.
The establishment will offer eight beers on tap, including craft beer from the Long Island City-based breweries Rockaway and Big Alice.
Cordeiro said he selected the name Alcove since it characterizes the establishment.
“When you think of an alcove, it’s a cozy, warm hidden place with a lot of character,” he said.
The Alcove is very much going to be a family business and Cordeiro and his wife Maria Posada will be working there full time. Cordeiro said his father, who has been in the restaurant business for decades, helped design the menu while his cousin was the carpenter who selected and worked with the wood used to revamp the restaurant.
Cardeiro and his wife live just three blocks away on 51st Street.
The Alcove will be open seven days per week from 4pm through 2am.
However, in time, Cordeiro plans to open much earlier in the day for the café crowd.
He said that they will offer coffee and fresh fruit, among other items, in the morning—and by 2pm to 3 pm transform the venue to a bar/restaurant.
They do have downstairs space, although it can’t be used at present since it doesn’t comply with building regulations. Cordeiro said he plans to get it up to code in the future. However, it is a project on the backburner for now.
His primary concern right now is opening.
“We should be open between Christmas and New Years,” he said.