June 6, 2017 By Christian Murray
A new coffee/sandwich shop opened on Queens Boulevard two weeks ago in the location that once housed the Meat Boutique.
The shop, called Brookside Market, is located at 43-15 Queens Blvd. and is owned by Paul Longo, who co-owns Ida’s Nearabout, a bar that opened next door last year.
Brookside is still in its soft-opening phase, Longo said, adding that he has yet to start offering sandwiches, juices and smoothies.
He said the focus has primarily been on coffee and pastries to date.
“We’ve really just been honing in on our coffee and pastry program so far,” Longo said.
He said his staff has been undergoing training with Brookside’s coffee provider Stumptown Coffee that has involved several classes. He said that he has also been working with Amy’s Bread, the Long Island City-based provider of the shop’s pastries.
Longo anticipates that he will start offering juices and smoothies this weekend. “We will have 10 made-to-order juices and about four or five smoothies to start,” Longo said. He said the smoothies will range from chocolate to banana to peanut butter.
“We want to start small and go from there,” he said.
Longo plans to start offering sandwiches in about two weeks. “We plan to do about six or seven hot sandwiches and about six or seven cold sandwiches.”
Hot sandwiches will include classics such as a Meatball Parmesan hero to the more obscure such as an Irish-breakfast style item. He said cold sandwiches will include items such as a tuna salad, chicken club sandwich, to a roasted red pepper prosciutto and mozzarella cheese item.
“We don’t want the menu to be too big since,” he said. “We want to make sure we are offering quality sandwiches and then can get the customers out the door,” he said.
He said Brookside is geared toward grab-and-go food for people on their way to work or coming home.
He said that there will pre-packaged items made fresh each morning and that customers will also have the option to get items made to order.
The shop open is currently operating from 7:00 am to 7:00 pm each day. However, once he starts offering the sandwiches and smoothies those hours are likely to extended, from 6:30 am through 9:00 pm.
The shop has a limited number of seats. However, there is a rear yard that Longo plans to open in two weeks.
He plans on having a grand opening after July 4 once everything has been rolled out.
Longo, who lives in Greenpoint, said that he got the idea to open the shop while constructing Ida’s Nearabout last summer.
“I’m a coffee shop guy and I realized that one didn’t exist in the general vicinity of Ida’s,” he said.
Longo said he named the shop after his family’s farm stand in Woodbridge, Connecticut. The stand, called Brookside Market, has been in his family since the 1940s.
The store logo is a picture of a Brook trout, since he is an avid fly fisherman.
“I come from a farm boy, country background so I’m excited to bring some of that here.”