Nov. 27, 2010, Christian Murray
Cafe Marlene, a Sunnyside eatery that opened two weeks ago, is holding an “official opening night” on Dec. 4 that will feature an impersonator of Marlene Dietrich, the German-born Hollywood actress, who inspired the café’s theme.
“Café Marlene represents the golden age of Hollywood—and people’s way of life at the time,” said Kandi Kitich, who co-owns the eatery with her sister Ana. Marlene Dietrich was an internationally acclaimed actress in the 1930s known best for her exotic looks and glamour.
The café has a cozy upstairs space and large downstairs area. The Kitich sisters intend to use the downstairs area for singer-song writers, poets and stand up comedians. They plan to play independent films down there as well.
The café offers a European-style menu with wine, beer and desserts. The sisters pride themselves on their crepes and paninis. The café will be open from 7am until midnight daily.
Kandi is familiar with Sunnyside. She is the owner of Queens Gyrotonic, which is opposite the Sunnyside Post Office at 45-08 44th Street.
She said she has always wanted to open a café, and had worked in many while she got her Gyrotonics business up and running. Her sister too has experience.
Kandi said that she discovered the location in July and loved it. However, after she signed the lease she found out that Aubergine Café was around the corner. Kandi said that she and the owner of Aubergine know one another and don’t view themselves as competitors—but two businesses that will make the neighborhood more attractive.
The “grand opening” will be on Dec. 4, starting at 9pm. The Marlene Dietrich look alike will put on a two hour show. The show will include drama, music, and sing-alongs. Cafe Marlene is located at 41-11 49th Street.
When I originally commented I clicked the “Notify me when new comments are added”
checkbox and now each time a comment is added I get several e-mails with the same comment.
Is there any way you can remove me from that service?
Happy to see independent business remaining a viable part of Sunnyside, just wish we could have something in between bodega and gourmet (and not DD or Starsucks). This place seems more fit for Williamsburg. We already have Aubergene, something different would have been a welcome change. The last live music place Diving Bell is now closed, some entrpreneur out there please figure out a way to have live music exist in Sunnyside.
would like to check out Big Spirit Yoga but it doesn’t look like they have any morning classes?
Welcome to the neighborhood, Cafe Marlene! I am always happy when ‘nicer’ cafes & restaurants open up. But- keep in mind the economy is still down. People are still out of work, so be cognizant of that, keep prices fair & you will make it- and stay alive! And we need that in Sunnyside. Fresh, inventive, quality food, attentive service, a good coffee or mocha, a lovely crepe…. it’s a sure recipe for success!
A bien tout!
By the way- Big Spirit Yoga is right on 49th Street, very nice studio!
Hate to burst your bubble, but Sunnyside isn’t going to remain cheap forever. It’s inevitable what happened to Brooklyn will happen to Queens. Personally, I haven’t gone to Cafe Marlene yet but am very excited about checking it out. “Cheap you buy, cheap you get” is almost always the golden rule.
Time’s up your time is up!!!!!!!
Hey Conrad: My wife. Pay attention.
I just had breakfast at Cafe Marlene on Monday. Yes, it was a bit on the pricey side, but it’s worth every penny. But this isn’t your grab-and-go deli coffee that you wash down your throat on the way to work (as Anonymous said). Frankly, I thought their mocha was better than Aubergine’s—but I don’t believe their coffee menu is the main draw. You come for the crepes, order a coffee to go with it, and stay for the ambiance and spectacular service. The crepes are reasonably priced at the same amount you’d see at a street fair or other creperie. In regards to Manhattan price comparison, some of us don’t want to shlep into the city on a Saturday morning to lounge and read over a mocha or panini.
What happened to “you get what you pay for”?
as a recent vistor to queens, en route to manhattan, i could not resist
paying a visit to cafe marlene. or rather should i say my husband could not resist taking me there, he has been an admirer of dietrich for as long as i can remember. my spoken english is not as good as it should be, but i found the staff to be both patient and courteous, and my husband and i had a truly wonderfull experience, having had the opportunity to have visited marlenes former home in beverley hills , some years ago, i would say the decor in this cafe is something she would be proud of.
having spent many years travelling around europe, and staying in many hotels and guest houses, with my husband i can say that the coffee here is some of the best i have tasted outside of europe.
i cannot compare this cafe to dunkin donuts or starbucks, my husband simply refuses to use them. as proprietors of small businesses ourselves we tend to support the independant retailers where we can.
so many communities i have seen have been blighted by corporate takeover. i wish this enterprise every success, and will take fond memories back to paris with me
au revoir, mon cherie.
Who orders a Diet Coke at Claret?
Well regarding the rent you are wrong, Sunnyside rents are quite high also.
You can’t get a space here for under $3500. Queens Blvd up to $7000, that is not much cheeper than in Manhattan, considering prices here are cheeper then in Manhattan, so I don’t think Mr. Time is up you are talking out of experience of having business in Sunnyside.
Also are you a coffee expert since those two places you have mentioned have by standard of coffee on the market the lowest. Enjoy your Starbucks, Dunkin’ Donuts or other, all the best.
Well is it matter if the coffee is not the same price like Dunkin Donuts coffee. Cafe Marlene is not Dunkin Donuts or Mcdonalds. It’s the place where you have a good quality of time. Nobody is forcing you to pay 2.50 for a coffee. You have a choice and there is no need to criticize the place just because of one cup of coffee. There are plenty of places where you can find a coffee that is very cheap, it all depends how much you care about the quality of the coffee and the ambient.
Not to argue with those of you who addressed me, but:
A Grande coffee at Starbucks is 16 oz. and costs $2.29, with tax, in Manhattan. A large (e.g.) Dunkin’ Donuts coffee is the same size and costs $2.31 – in the Bronx. So, assuming the $2.50 coffee here is the same size, then it is indeed pricier than Starbucks.
I understand that people like to “treat” themselves. But my point is that many of us choose to live here, despite being able to afford a more expensive neighborhood, precisely because of its relative inexpensiveness. I mean, as much as I love Sunnyside, I can get gouged in a much nicer neighborhood.
When you go out in Manhattan, there’s an implied surcharge due to the insane rent that these places have to pay. Generally, restaurants and bars in Queens pay significantly less, so it’s an insult for them to charge the same prices.
And it’s funny you mention Claret. My wife and I went once. I got a beer, she just wanted a soda. They charged $2.50 for a regular Diet Coke. I suppose the ‘hood is desperate enough for a nice wine bar that it can get away with this. But that’s just wrong.
Krissi, for sure girl, people who live here are just fine with those prices, take a break and treat yourself with a nice cappuccino listen to some nice music and lets be happy we have something like this in our Sunnyside 🙂
I was about to say that, Anonymous. If people are willing to go to Starbucks, why wouldn’t they be willing to pay similar (even slightly cheaper) prices to go to a cute local place? I will be stopping by to check it out!!!
Time’s Up, Claret offers wines, beers and coffees at almost Manhattan prices and does very well (from what I can tell – they are always packed!). Middle class doesn’t mean we can’t treat ourselves 🙂
Coffee is great, I’m willing to pay $2.50 for a cup of good coffee, and not just some cheep one you get in the deli,
I’m so happy this place has opend, great for Sunnyside, coffee shop with class.
Most people that live here go to Starbucks and their coffee is not so great and much more expensive, so welcome Cafe Marlene and I will be there to buy your coffee. For those who can’t pay for a good cup of coffee $2.50 and good quality tea around the same, should get their hot drinks in the deli. You get what you pay for, it’s allways the rule.
James, I don’t know their prices, but there is Spirit Yoga right up the street from Cafe Marlene on 49th St before you reach 43rd ave.
The yoga classes at gyrotonic are $18, so I doubt this place will be any different. Because its the only yoga studio in the area they have been able charge so much. A cafe in sunnyside is a different story, when Ave Coffee opened (greenpoint & 45th) they learned very quickly that the vast majority of sunnyside residents are not interested in “gourmet”. Having lived here a long time I can tell you these sorts of places never last, maybe in williamsburg or park slope but not sunnyside, part of what makes this neighborhood so great.
The place is lovely and the coffee is good but I went recently with my
friend, we got a small coffee and a tea and and was 6.50!!
these are prices that I wouldnt even pay in manhattan.
I love the place and want to support it but I cant pay almost
7 dollars for a filter coffee and tea.
Welcome. And best of luck.
And in the slim chance that the owners read this: please remember that this is a middle class enclave, not Manhattan or Park Slope. That means that $4 coffees and $9 beers will be a very bad fit.