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Mediterranean Deli Opens on Queens Blvd Today

Finishing touches on Parrot (Saturday)

July 19, 2011 Staff Report

A Mediterranean deli and grocery store opened Tuesday at 45-15 Queens Blvd, which was the former location of the Diving Bell.

The store, Parrot Coffee Shop, features products such as olives, meats, teas, nuts, dried fruit, spices, sea products, and cheeses. Many of the items are imports from Bulgaria, Romania, Poland, Germany, Turkey, Greece, Albania, Serbia, and Croatia.

This store is Parrot Coffee’s third. It has one in Astoria and one in Ridgewood.

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I stopped in this shop and they had some nice items. They just opened so I will try them, but I was disappointed to see the olives, spices and other items so open and exposed. I get that it’s meant to be like a marketplace with bulk spices and such, but all I could think of was bugs, people sneezing, and dirty hands dipping in. They do seem to have a lot of international sweets and other products that you see in other shops around the neighborhood, but also some different ones.

I was disappointed with the hideous awning, the awful metal gate (even though it has some mesh at eye level) and the over-bright factory-type fluorescent lighting.

It’s a shame that they didn’t go for nicer lighting and a more pleasant environment. That said, I’m glad it’s not another pawn shop or cell phone store, or corner store.

It’s important to have some variety in the neighborhood and not everything needs to have a clinical, chain-store, manufactured-experience type feel, so I will give them a chance.


gotta agree w the first 2 posters – yeah, its great for a nice store to open up, but they obviously went cheap on their sign/awning/gate and it shows.

the city passed a law eliminating non see through gates. these owners beat the deadline by a matter of weeks, fully aware of the rule and despite the wishes of neighbors. to then install a crappy sign shows they dont really care about how their store looks and adds to the streetscape.

I hear what the longtime residents are saying about a place like this opening. but there is a reason the neighborhood is still second-tier in lots of ways, and that won’t change with the same old mentality.


th1 I love your comments about comments people should respect the golden rule. We are so blessed to make comments on this site and give feedback to others and talk to each oher . this is truly fantastic. I admit some are harsh and cruel . Plus this site really keeps us all up todate with what is happening in or town.

We are all going to have some new favorite stores to shop in but lets not forgot our old friends as well if we do they will leave us forever.


I’ll give Orchard a try today or tomorrow – never been there before for some reason. I’ll also swing by this place to take a look.


I agree local, Orchard is a great addition to teh neighborhood and we need to support all of our local businesses!

BTW, I’m not a health food girl, but those vegan samosas they have at Orchard are DIVINE!


It is an interesting place and I did shop there. BTW: the Thai-Malai place on Skillman Avenue between 51st and 52nd is really great. The food is good and the prices very reasonable.


Finally got a chance to visit today, and it looks great. Very clean and bright and open.

It’s a great specialty market, with lots of European products, and an especially large selection of: nuts, dried fruits, cheeses, olives, honey, candies, cookies, spices, coffee.

I think I’ll still stick with Orchard Market — which I happen to love (great selection, staff, products, & especially prices) — for my everyday grocery shopping, but I’m so glad to have Parrot in the neighborhood for specialty ingredients, foods-as-gifts, and other treats. Looking forward to checking out the renovated Habibi soon too.


I agree with the first two posts since I thought they had passed two ordinances against these things. But oh well… maybe the iron curtain there is perforated and thus abides by the ordinance. The gentrification trend definitely requires signs/awnings that are elegant and not in the nyc-eye-sore style of trying to fill every possible space on it with information. Whatever – I’ll definitely take a new store as opposed to another vacant storefront.

As for what they bring to our neighborhood – well I’m excited about it and will visit this shop soon.

Habibi’s renovations look great! It really upped the ante for being at 43rd on 43rd. This is exactly what I mean and what we need to see more of in Sunnyside.

Another example: Met’s renovations are almost complete – they’ve widened most of the aisles, changed most of the refrigeration areas and upgraded the fruits and vegetable area. Now… if they could only set up an indoor bug zapper (so many other places need these to cut down on the fruit flies – yuck).


Sunnyside Up, I am with you on that bookstore idea, maybe the three musketeers above can actually pick up a book and read.


Obviously some people have problem reading or understanding what they read. Specifically Southie and Sunnyside 13 . Wow, you have been in sunnyside for 21 years.. Yet you could not leave your trashy personality behind wherever you came from 21 years ago.

This site and the comments really blow because everyone is looking for an opportunity to attack one another. If any one of you were in a social meeting and made any one of your stupid remarks against any of the opinions, you would get a big smack right in the middle of your face, and big kick in your skinny asses. So before you criticize others comments, think as if they were right in front of you, and then post it.

The comments are for the post/news article.
I do not own any stores and I am not jealous, you idiot Albion. All I said was that their sign was an eye sore from what I can see in that picture above. Learn to respect others opinions without attacking them.

Sunnyside Up

I am always glad to see new, quality stores and restaurants opening up in the neighborhood but yes to be fare, their sign could use some graphic designing skills! Other than this I visited the store and I pretty much like it. Interesting products, great olives, feta and other cheeses, good olive oil, looking-forward-to-try coffee etc. I would definitely recommend it and I believe it will do very well in this up and coming neighborhood. I m still waiting for my bookstore though 🙁


The openings of Parrot and the new deli-bakery department at Key Food don’t augur well for Orchard Farmers Market on Greenpoint Avenue. Despite a corner location across from the Sunnyside library, Orchard apparently never caught on, and has been in obvious decline for about six months now.
It’s rare to see more than one customer, and staff and inventory have been reduced.


I haven’t seen Parrot Coffee all closed up, but when open, it looks great on the inside – clean and spacious (for those stroller-pushing moms who hated shopping at the Met pre-renovation). Yesterday I purchased olives, deli meat, whitefish salad and dried fruit – everything was fresh and delicious.

Tomorrow evening, Habibi opens on 43rd Avenue at 43rd St. They sell many of the same types of products, with the addition of hot food made on the premises. Their renovations look terrific, too. I’m so glad to see businesses opening that are not mobile phone shops or nail salons.

I have no connection to any of these businesses. I’m just glad to see improvements and hope that people will buy what they can locally to help the neighborhood thrive.


Great news to have a nice, clean open store right there. Looks like a terrific addition for the neighborhood. I hope they start serving fresh premade foods soon in their salad bar area, so we could go in and buy lunch already made — and sandwiches!


Ha, yeah not a hater, haven’t been in the shop yet — not jealous, just laugh at store owners thinking a virtual metal wall covering a store front is acceptable — plus the graffiti epidemic will make that shop look terrible pretty quickly. Most likely, the commentators gushing about Parrot are probably connected to the owners. I will check the store out this weekend, but wish owners had a better grasp of aesthetics.


This looks great! Looking forward to checking it out. Their other locations in Queens are much-loved.


Congratz, Parrot on opening your 3rd shop!
Let me tell you one thing, this store is an amazing.
It has the finest European goods in the neighborhood, at the best prices Gaurenteed! Oh, and I forgot to mention, they’re staff is unbelievable helpful and trained.


I do find the first two comments retarded, as Melissa said..
How rude! LMAO, ehh, jealousy kills get well soon haters!



SunnySide 13.

The first two people are obv. some ignorant people who are owns of shops around our neighborhood gaurenteed. Jealousy Kills my friends.
I’ve lived in this nieghborhood for over 21 years. I’ve seen it change dramatically. I am extremely happy, that finally a shop with such culture and unique foods from all around europe opened up! No need for me to go to the bronx or astoria anymore!
That being said.. I checked the place out today, and let me tell ya it was packed, it had some of my favorite cheeses and spices.
One of em being the Ajvar. Anyways, just speaking my mind on this..
The first two comments were so disrespectful, oh well…now a days.. people have no respect. GOOD LUCK & NICE JOB PARROT COFFEE YOU’LL BE SEEING ME OFTEN!

– Melissa.

Long time resident

I’m a little sad to see such a big change to the spot. I thought the interior of The Diving Bell, or whatever it was called before that, was kind of nice. Of course I knew it had to change…


Their seems to be a lot of new business opening up in our town right now. this is fantastic. Lets keep our fingers crossed and hope we can all share the holidays together as one big happy family.

We are going to need a new map of stores to know where all our new and old frends are. all current maps have disco buisness on them as well unless I am wrong.


Seriously?!?!? A new business that is not a restaurant or a hair/nail salon and there are still complaints??

What exactly would make you good people happy?

I was peeking past their construction boards over the weekend. It looks like a great place. Sorry it is already so terribly disappointing to the first 2 commenters. I look forward to stopping in today.


And they have an awful street killing security gate too — surprised that is still allowed (oh wait the city grandfathered these gates so no need to change them until the year 2222 or something like that).


Wow, that looks like an awful sign. Is that really going to remain like that? What happened to the the clean awning/signage act & all those tickets/fines city issued on small business few years back for not having simple signage.


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