Sunnyside Post

Sunnyside NY news

Thai restaurant to open on Queens Blvd

Nodus and Sunnyside NY and Sunnyside QueensJuly 9, By Christian Murray

A Thai restaurant is scheduled to open at 45-04 Queens Blvd in the same location where Nodus operated.

The restaurant, to be called Blue Orchard, will open in about three weeks, according to the owner.

Nodus, which was also a Thai restaurant, operated at the location for about two years before closing in October 2013.


New Post Coffee Shop– after being in business for 50 years– closes for good

New Post

July 8, By Christian Murray

A long-serving Sunnyside eatery has gone out of business.

New Post Coffee Shop, which has been located on the corner of 40th Street and Queens Blvd for more than 50 years, closed yesterday. Several workers were outside the store carting away food items and pots & pans.

The space is most likely going to be taken over by a fast-food franchise, according to a well-placed source. “It’s a franchise everyone will be happy with,” the source said.

New Post Coffee Shop has had many problems with the health department in recent times. In the past two years, the eatery has been closed twice after racking up a lengthy list of violations.

The coffee shop gained a great deal of attention about 10 years ago, when a man was shot and killed inside the eatery in front of several customers (see article). The victim had been in a dispute with a man about a block away from the shop and ran inside to seek refuge.

Five Below, a discount store targeting teenagers, opens on 48th Street

5 Below

July 7, Staff Report

It’s a cut above a 99 cent store.

Five Below, a retail store that targets the teen and pre-teen market, opened late last month at 34-41 48th Street. It takes over the space that was previously occupied by Closeout Paradise.

The store, which sells merchandise for between $1.00 and $5.00, features items such as sporting goods, fashion accessories, school supplies and iPhone accessories.

The new store is part of a chain, which consists of more than 300 stores nationwide.

July 4 crowley

Precinct steps up traffic enforcement, targets drunk-drivers and speedsters

Location of Tenzing Drudak on Thomson Avenue was killed

Location where 16-year-old (Tenzin Drudak) was killed on Thomson Avenue

July 3, By Christian Murray

The 108 Police Precinct has stepped up traffic enforcement this year, with the number of DWI arrests and tickets written for speeding up significantly from 2013.

Captain Brian Hennessy, Commanding officer of the 108 Precinct, said that the precinct had made 86 DWI arrests for the year through June 29, up from 31 for the same period a year ago.

He said that speedsters too have been targeted—particularly around Queens Boulevard, Thomson Avenue, Van Dam Street and Skillman Avenue.

This year, the precinct had issued 259 tickets for speeding through June 29, up from 229 for the same period a year ago.

“Enforcement has definitely stepped up,” Hennessy said. He said that the precinct has focused heavily on areas where speeding has led to fatalities.

The Sunnyside, Woodside and Long Island City region has been plagued by traffic-related deaths in recent years, with 12 occurring (7 pedestrians) within the confines of the 108 Police Precinct last year alone, Hennessy said.

For instance, one woman died in December after losing control getting off the Queensboro Bridge (on the LIC side), while a 16-year-old boy was killed by a vehicle while he was walking on the sidewalk along Thomson Avenue.

So far this year, the number of traffic-related fatalities is zero.

The number of pedestrians struck and hurt by motorists has also dropped. Through June 29, there had been 71 incidents, compared to 86 for the same period a year ago, Hennessy said.

Furthermore, the precinct had issued 229 tickets to drivers who had failed to yield to pedestrians through June 29. That number had increased from 191 for the same period a year ago.

Meanwhile, bicyclists too have been targeted. This year the precinct had issued 76 tickets to cyclists through June 29 for anything from running red lights to disobeying traffic signs. The precinct had issued 35 tickets by this time last year.

Hennessy said that Vision Zero is playing a part in keeping traffic deaths down. He said it has increased people’s awareness of traffic safety issues.

Furthermore, with Vision Zero, traffic-related deaths have become a much higher priority.

“Years ago crime was the main focus [for most police precincts],” Hennessy said. “Today a life lost in a car accident is treated as just as important as one lost in a murder.”

Sunnyside/Woodside’s burglary rate continues to decline

Police in Sunnyside Queens July 2, By Christian Murray

The number of residential burglaries in Sunnyside and Woodside has come right down as thieves are now targeting commercial establishments and apartments buildings more toward Jackson Heights, according to Captain Brian Hennessy, commanding officer of the 108 Police Precinct.

The majority of burglaries—or attempted burglaries– in Sunnyside and Woodside have involved retail businesses in the past month. The number of residential burglaries in Sunnyside—which spiked toward the end of last year– has plummeted.

Two stores on Woodside Avenue (btw. 57th and 58th Streets) were broken into on two separate occasions, with one incident occurring on June 22 and the other on June 29, Hennessy said. The perpetrators in both incidents broke through glass to get into the stores and then stole cash. The incidents both happened at night.

There was one attempted break in at Key Food on Skillman Avenue, where a man tried to cut a hole in the roof to gain access without success.

Meanwhile, a food vendor on 46th Street and Greenpoint Avenue was the victim of a “deception burglary” on June 19, Hennessy said. The perpetrator pretended to be a health inspector and started riffling through the victim’s items, before taking off with his cash.

However, in terms of residential burglaries there were few.

There was one incident on June 27 when a burglar got into an apartment via a fire escape on 43rd Avenue between 56th and 57th Streets before stealing items.

There was one “domestic burglary” in Sunnyside—where a man broke into his ex-girlfriend’s apartment and stole some of her belongs.

The only other incident was on 44 Street, between 47th and 48th Avenues—where a perpetrator broke in through the front door during the day on June 12.

Throughout the precinct—which also covers Long Island City and the edges of Jackson Heights and Maspeth, there were 26 burglaries for the past 28 days ending June 29, compared to 29 for the same time period a year earlier.

In other items, Hennessy said that the case involving Roberto Martires, who died as a result of being punched in the face on June 21 on Roosevelt Avenue, is still ongoing, although he said the police had leads. The incident was the first murder in the precinct this year.

Hennessy also debunked a published report that said that were street walkers/prostitutes working on Greenpoint Avenue between 43rd and 46th Streets.

“I have never seen a streetwalker on Greenpoint Avenue,” Hennessy said. Furthermore, he said, the only complaint about streetwalkers on Greenpoint Avenue he has heard of was made at a community precinct meeting earlier this year, which was picked up by a reporter.

He said that while the precinct monitors the Greenpoint Avenue area, “We haven’t had any undercover officers working there,” he said. “It’s not a trouble spot.”

The police tends to focus on Roosevelt Avenue by 69th Street when it comes to streetwalkers. In fact, six johns and one prostitute were arrested there last Thursday, Hennessy said.

Van Bramer wants feedback on how best to spend $1 million in city funds, to host meeting on participatory budgeting

July 1, By Christian Murray

Residents of Sunnyside, Woodside and Long Island City will soon have a direct say on how $1 million in city funds will be spent in the district.

Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer, who each year allocates city funds on local parks, clubs and schools, plans on introducing participatory budgeting in the 2015/2016 fiscal year, where about 30% of the discretionary funds he receives will be put in the hands of the community to spend.

Next week, Van Bramer will be hosting two “Participatory budget information session” —one in Sunnyside, the other in Queensbridge–to explain to residents how the process works and how individuals should put forward their ideas for the neighborhood. (see meeting details below)

The participatory budgeting program allows residents to determine where to allocate funds for capital projects in the district. The community might decide to spend funds on, say, improving a Long Island City park to funding a Woodside dog run.

The process involves holding a series of town hall meetings and workshops where residents present their ideas to the community and a vote is held on whether an item is worth funding.

“I’m excited by this,” Van Bramer said when he announced it at a Community Board 2 meeting earlier this year. “It is a community driven process that allows people to vote,” he said at the time. “It is a way to increase transparency.”

Van Bramer said he was reluctant to allow the community to vote on all–or most–of the discretionary funds the district is allotted. He said that some groups that are not as well organized might be overlooked in the process. However, he said at time, he would monitor how it works out and would make changes accordingly.

Participatory Budgeting info sessions-1

Latin bar/restaurant to open on 48th Avenue, btw 46th and 47th

46-19 48th Avenue

46-19 48th Avenue

June 30, By Christian Murray

A Latin bar/restaurant is expected to open on 48th Avenue, between 46th and 47th Streets.

The establishment, to be called Amanecer Caliente, will be taking over the space that was previously occupied by a pizzeria.

The owner of Amanecer, who spoke to Community Board 2 about his liquor license application earlier this month, said that he plans to operate the business as a restaurant by day and a bar by night.

The owner told the board that he would like to open at 7 am for breakfast each day and remain open until 2 am Monday through Wednesday—and until 4 am from Thursday through Sunday.

However, Patrick O’Brien, chairman of Community Board 2’s City Services and Public Safety Committee, told the owner that the committee prefers new establishments to start off with more limited hours. He said that if all goes well, the hours can be expanded at a later date.

The owner emphasized that the establishment would be small and that it would not generate much in the way of noise.

He said that there would be 10 tables, which would cater to 36 patrons, as well as 6 stools at the bar. He said that there would be security guards working on Friday and Saturday nights (from 10 pm through 4 am). The owner also said that there would not be any amplified music or dancing.

“Food is the breakeven point…and beer, wine and liquor is what generates profit,” the owner said. “We ask for there to be some consideration about generating a profit,” he said, in a plea for the board not to cut back his hours of operation.

However, while the board had no issue about recommending the license, it did want to clip back the hours.

O’Brien said to his fellow board members: “It is a bit volatile area over there and there are apartment buildings right there… between 46th and 47th Streets.”

Board member Norberto Saldana, who lives near the proposed establishment, agreed with O’Brien’s assessment, and said that it can get very rowdy in that section of the neighborhood at night.

The board approved the license but limited the hours to 11 pm Sunday through Thursday and midnight on Fridays and Saturdays. The vote was unanimous.

Sunnyside Shines provides grant to local restaurant–as part of effort to combat graffiti, beautify neighborhood

I Love Paraguay (transparent gates)

I Love Paraguay (transparent gates)

June 29, By Christian Murray

Sunnyside Shines, which introduced a program earlier this year to help business owners cover the cost of replacing graffiti-prone front gates, announced Friday that a local restaurant owner received a $500 grant to make the change.

I Love Paraguay, which is located at 43-16 Greenpoint Avenue, was the first Sunnyside business to receive the grant money, which was put on offer as part of a pilot program that was launched in February.

The program was introduced in an effort by Sunnyside Shines to help businesses come into compliance with new security gate regulations and to improve the look of neighborhood storefronts.

Transparent gates, according to Sunnyside Shines, contribute to a safer-feeling neighborhood during evening hours and allow window shoppers to browse even when businesses are closed.

Importantly, transparent gates also discourage graffiti by reducing the surface area available to vandals, according to Rachel Thieme, the executive director of Sunnyside Shines.

The gate replacement grant program provides a 50% reimbursement, up to $1,000, for Sunnyside businesses to replace their full metal security gates with a new gate that is at least 70% transparent.  By 2026, all businesses must install security gates that meet this standard.

“We wanted to provide an incentive for local businesses to come into compliance with the new regulations, as well as to contribute to a safer-looking neighborhood,” Thieme said. “We are glad that I Love Paraguay took us up on our offer and we hope to expand the program to more businesses in future years.”

Fabricio Ojeda, owner of I Love Paraguay, said, “We’re very happy with the new gate. When we close for the day people can still see the restaurant. Having an open gate looks better in the neighborhood and is good for business.”

Sunnyside Shines plans to make further grants to local businesses.

Businesses interested in taking advantage of the program should call Sunnyside Shines at (718) 606-1800.

I Love Paraguay (old gates)

I Love Paraguay (old gates)


Brutal killing in Woodside was not racially motivated, police say

Wanted for questioning

Wanted for questioning

June 26, By Michael Florio

The police are NOT treating the brutal killing of a 56-year-old man in Woodside Saturday as a hate crime.

Roberto Martires, a father of two and limo driver, was punched in the face in front of 69-04 Roosevelt Ave at approximately 12:10 am Saturday, before dying at Elmhurst Hospital from his injuries on Tuesday.

Despite reports that he was asked whether he was Filipino by the suspect before being struck, the police do not believe the attack was racially motivated.

The police are still looking to question a man described as a Hispanic male, in his early-to-mid 20’s, last seen wearing a white T-shirt, blue jeans, and a dark colored baseball cap.

A memorial featuring flowers, candles and a flag of the Philippines, has been erected near where Martires, a Woodside resident, was attacked.

Sports bar on Greenpoint Avenue to open next month



June 26, By Christian Murray

A new sports bar with a focus on soccer is expected to open next month.

The bar, to be called Vivire, will be located at 41-21 Greenpoint Avenue on the same block as Thalia Theater and C-Town. The space was previously a medical office.

A contractor has gut renovated the space, by ripping out the old interior walls and the ceiling. The original interior brickwork is now exposed and a timber bar has been installed. The front is about to be replaced with glass—with the front door moved to the side.

The operators, who aim to have the bar open before the World Cup Final, said that they want to cater to a mainstream audience.



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