March 31, 2022 By Michael Dorgan
A Chinese restaurant that specializes in hot pots will open in Long Island City this summer.
Da Long Yi, a global franchise that is known for its signature Chinese hot pots, will open in August at 42-22 Crescent St. – a new 9-story mixed-use building near Queens Plaza South.
Chinese hot pots traditionally involve a boiling hot broth made with fresh herbs and spices with the option to mix raw meat and vegetables inside a large metal pot.
The company was established around nine years ago in Chengdu, the capital city of China’s Szechuan province, and has grown to more than 400 restaurants worldwide. The vast majority of Da Long Yi restaurants are in China with other locations in Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia, Canada and Singapore.
The Long Island City location will mark the company’s first in Queens and second in New York City following on from its Chinatown outpost in Manhattan.
Da Long Yi, is taking 4,000 square feet at the Long Island City building, consisting of a ground floor space and an area in the basement. Both floors will be used by the restaurant to serve food with the basement area being used for private dining events.
The new restaurant will be operated by James Chen, 26, who is originally from Beijing. He opened Da Long Yi’s Manhattan restaurant in 2019.
Chen moved to New York around 12 years ago and has lived in Long Island City for the last three years.
He said there is a growing Asian population living in the area but not enough restaurants specializing in Chinese food. He has decided to try and capitalize on that gap in the market.
The restaurant, Chen said, will offer a wide range of spicy dishes and he is also looking to attract people of other ethnicities in the neighborhood who enjoy such food.
“I feel Long Island City has so much opportunity and it’s a good area to explore,” Chen said. He said it is also very accessible given it is close to Queensboro Plaza subway station.
Chen said the restaurant will offer a range of hot pots such as the benz tallow pot, the double flavored tallow bullfrog and the traditional beef tallow spicy broth.
The restaurant will also serve spicy pork ribs and spicy beef sirloin dishes as well as pork kidneys. Chen said that customers can customize how much spice they want in their hot pots and other dishes.
There will be a wide array of seafood options which will all be served raw, such as, scallops, squid, fish fillet, crab sticks as well as fish tofu, Chen said.
The restaurant will also offer cocktails, beers and wines, he said.
Chen said the restaurant will have a modern look with seating for around 90 people on the ground floor. The basement area will have room for around 30 customers and will be reserved for private events.
Chen said he decided to convert the basement area into a private function space given his previous experiences dining in Long Island City.
“A lot of my friends go out in groups and we find there are not enough restaurants with private dining areas in Long Island City so it’s hard for us to stay together,” Chen said.” So I thought it would be a good idea to open one in my restaurant.”
There is also a 300 square foot area to the rear of the restaurant which will be used for outdoor dining purposes, Chen said.
Chen said he is excited to bring hot pots to Long Island City and is grateful his Manhattan location was not forced to shutter during the pandemic.
“I wanted to open in Long Island City for a while and I thought I was too late with rent prices rising again,” Chen said.
“But when I came to check the space I was impressed and got a good deal. So I thought it was a good idea and the timing was right.”
Opening hours have not been finalized yet, however, Chen said the restaurant will likely be open Mondays through Sundays from noon to 10 p.m.