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Colombian Restaurant to Expand into Former “One of a Kind Thrift Shop” Space

El Buen Sabor (Photo: QueensPost)

May 26, 2014 By Christian Murray

El Buen Sabor, a Colombian bakery/restaurant located at 45-07 Queens Boulevard, is expanding into the old One of a Kind Thrift Shop space.

The eatery, which has been at its current location for nearly 15 years, is expected to combine the two spaces in about one month’s time.

One of a Kind Thrift Shop, which had been operating at its 45-05 Queens Blvd location for 20 years, abruptly closed its doors in February. One vandal took exception to the closure scrawling: “Gentrification is humiliation” on the window.

Javier Lopez, an owner of El Buen Sabor, said that the Colombian restaurant has done pretty well over the years and is looking to expand its client base beyond the Mexican, Colombian and Central American community.

The bakery/restaurant offers a number of Hispanic staples—from rice & beans with chicken stew, empanadas, blood sausages, plantains, chicken and steak. Many customers go to the eatery for Colombian coffee too.

Lopez said that he plans to offer table service and takeout/delivery in the new space. The menu will offer the same items as now, although Lopez plans on expanding it to include grilled food, such as Rib eye and Churrasco steak.

Lopez, who also will be introducing Wi-Fi, said that all ethnic group’s “want good food for a cheap price.”

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I see Hipster only when I open my eyes in Sunnyside

I’m for making a legal requirement to make English fluency since our laws and labor laws especially for their protection are largely in English.

I went there once and they were out of flan so I said f-this and saw twenty other places with the same men.

We could really use a Vietnamese place or an South Indian place that makes dosas. Hopefully this place ears some of the competition and goes up in quality. The market for any Latin food in sunny side is over saturated as is.

The thrift shop that was there sucked and was disorganized, the one on Greenpoint is so much better.

I love the nail salon employees

Thanks Anon for the link. Fascinating. I definitely love the workers but yeah, I’ll hold that nonsense against the owner. i know they are also watched via cctv for any slacking off. sad


The thrift store was shady. You donate stuff and they give you a receipt for a Church.

Can anyone explain why the streets along Sunnyside are being extended?
I see contractors working late at night. Isn’t that illegal to make a racket this late at night?

Hipsta Thugg

Hipsta Thugg impersonator at 10:09 – with these cheap Sunnyside rents I don’t need free WIFI so would never make such a comment.

Sunnyside Native

The food is yummy and the staff is friendly, but their lack of the English language leaves a lot to be desired. Anna has us grunting and pointing like cavemen. So much for us being evolved. What am I a mime?

Hipsta Thugg

This place at least knows how to run a business – congrats to them and their success. Hope they can expand to the left and take out the nail salon.

Ari Fink

Not a matter of language. There are workers at the Colombian restaurant who don’t speak English and it doesn’t bother me. They don’t make me feel uncomfortable. The problem there are the workers who do speak English.

Flores 65

“One vandal took exception to the closure scrawling: “Gentrification is humiliation” on the window.”

It makes sense. Sunnyside really has been going through gentrification. At least it has ended for now.
P.S.: In regards to Romanian food, I like both Harmony and Romanian Garden, but mostly Romanian Garden. Even my family, who are Romanians themselves, agree. Bucharest Restaurant’s food tastes like it was made by Moldovans, Romania’s neighbors. If you want real Romanian food, then Harmony and Romanian Garden are the ones to visit.


There was def a language barrier at Transylvania but I’ve eaten at both Bucharest and Romanian Garden and have had a great time and lovely service at both!

Dorothy Morehead

I know what you mean about Transylvania. Romanian Garden was the same. However, Bucharest has replaced Transylvania and I had lunch there last week. We had a very nice experience–the food was good and the service friendly. The Sunnyside Chamber of Commerce is having its meeting there on June 11 with Rebecca Reich, Con Ed’s Community Outreach Coordinator, who will be speaking about Con Ed’s energy savings programs. So if you’d like to give Romanian food a try without an attitude, come for lunch.

eastern bloc

You want to feel unwelcome, ever try going to the old Transylvania restaurant on 40th St? …good luck if you dont speak Romanian…..


Ari Fink

Immigrants are beyond criticism. Political incorrectness. Don’t do it or you will be labeled a bigot. Thanks for the knee jerk reaction Anna. Totally expected.

Well, Oil, Beef, Hooked


Even as a tourist, when I travel to other countries, I learn the basics of the language, out of courtesy and respect. I expect the same courtesy and respect from people who come to this country, not just as tourists but to live and work. It’s not an unreasonable request.


I’m glad they are doing well enough to expand both their square footage and their customer base. I don’t know Columbian food, but if it is affordable and good, I’ll eat it.

Dorothy Morehead

Thanks for the info. I’ve walked by hundreds of times but never went in. Will give it a try, maybe practice my Spanish a bit

Plain Spoken

I’m a white human. I go there a lot. The staff is always kind. The menu is posted on the rear wall in English and Spanish.


How much Spanish do you need to know to order an Empanada and point to the buffet? Seriously people, open your minds half an inch! I go there all the time and order in English, and the food is incredible. If you don’t want to live in a melting pot, Queens is not for you.

Ari Fink

Mr. Lopez:

I’m happy that your restaurant is doing well and that you are able to afford the high rents here. We welcome the diversity. Please make your restaurant a welcome place for everyone.

Irving Douglas Estella

Their various empanadas are wonderful: Colombian and Argentine style.

Well, Oil, Beef, Hooked

Agree with Ari Fink

I’ve seen some hispanic restaurants that I might be tempted to try but when a menu is only in Spanish, I don’t bother.

Ari Fink

The food is good but the help is not very friendly if you do not speak Spanish. Sorry to be politically incorrect but if you want business besides the Hispanic population set up a more welcoming environment for everyone.


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