June 30, 2012 By Christian Murray
In April, Rae Arora, a Flushing real estate developer, bought a failing Sunnyside bar/lounge with the aim of turning it around.
The business, called ‘Boulevard’ when he bought it, was a club that had a distinct Eastern European flavor to it. “The first week I opened, just four people came by,” Arora said.
The club, located on 47th Ave (btw. 39th Place and 40th Street), was renamed “Off the Boulevard.” “The name ‘Boulevard’ seemed strange to me, since we are not on Queens Blvd.”
Arora said that since he has taken over the bar, he has built a steady group of regulars. He said he offers a range of different activities, such as Monday night movies, salsa night on Tuesdays, with other evenings dedicated to wine and beer tastings, and even comedy. Most of the events are held in the large patio area in the back of the bar, which is viewed by many as the lounge’s best feature. The lounge also offers a full menu.
The club will soon be introducing a gay night. “We are an inclusive club, where both gay and straight people feel comfortable and are welcome. After all, Sunnyside has a diverse population.”
He is very optimistic about the bar’s location, believing that section of the neighborhood is on the rise. “Everyone talks about Skillman Avenue as the place, but I think this section of Sunnyside is the next hotspot. There is a lot of potential here.”