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Quaint Restaurant to Close June 23, Will ‘Leave a Hole in Our Little Neighorhood’

Quaint Restaurant (Photo: QueensPost)

June 13, 2019 By Shane O’Brien

Quaint Restaurant is closing after being in business for 13 years.

Tim Chen, who opened the restaurant in April 2006, posted a notice in the establishment’s front window earlier this week stating that his last day in operation will be June 23.

News of the closure has spread quickly and many residents and business owners are sad to see it go. Chen and his 46-10 Skillman Ave. restaurant are credited with playing a part in putting Sunnyside on the map as a dining destination. His restaurant—described as an American Bistro–won a Michelin “Bib Gourmand” on more than one occasion.

Jean Clancy, owner of Claret Wine Bar, said that Quaint helped change the dining scene in Sunnyside.

“Quaint was one of the first in a new wave of bistros in Sunnyside and definitely paved the way for all of the businesses who followed, including Claret. Tim has been an invaluable part of our community, providing great food and a lovely locale for nearly two decades.

“He has worked hard and served the neighborhood so well and we are very sorry to see Quaint close. Tim has also been very involved in helping promote and improve Skillman Avenue for our community.”

The restaurant–known for its angus burgers to ribeye steaks–made a name for itself by providing quality food at an inexpensive price.

It also gained fans for its outdoor space and distinct minimalist décor.

The restaurant’s outdoor court yard is often packed for weekend brunch. Meanwhile, its interior has a comfortable rustic feel.

Darron Cardosa, a waiter at Quaint for eight years, wrote on his website that its closure will ‘leave a hole in our little neighborhood.

“Another restaurant will eventually take its place, but it will take years for it to truly become part of the community, filling that hole ever so slowly. The hole that will take much longer to heal will be the one in my heart.”

Photo: QueensPost

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62 Comments

Truthhurts

Oh, all of you sad, silly partisan puppets. Ya turn ANYTHING into political drama, including a nice business owner, deciding to start a new chapter. Go get a life away from ALL of your orchestrated, partisan, opinion news puppets. Not everything is about you and the 1 percenters you’d go to war with eachother over. Like they have you over for Sunday dinner. Miserable.

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Good luck, Tim

Sad to see Quaint go. I really enjoyed the place over the years. We took my in-laws there when we moved in together. So many happy times and delicious meals.

Had a horrendous experience the last time we went there, however. On a Sunday last May we walked a few blocks up Skillman to the restaurant past crudely designed fliers on every parked car warning of a “coming parking shortage.”

When we got to the restaurant we noticed one neatly taped on the inside of the restaurant’s window. We almost left, but I thought I could still enjoy a the backyard meal on such a beautiful day. I was wrong and it led me to not return.

With so many new restaurants in the area, it was a monumental mistake to alienate the majority of the customer base who do not drive to places within walking distance from our homes. Still can’t understand it, to be honest.

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Arvin

@Good luck Tim..Spoken like a true hipster!!…Do yourself a favor and stick to the drag queen Sundays at Sanger Hall!!!

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Gardens Watcher

The restaurant business has always been a tough business. Rising costs on everything makes it even tougher to turn a profit.

Thirteen years is a commendable run, so congrats and best of luck!

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Amanda

What a lovely restaurant, I’ll miss the roasted chicken entree and sidecar cocktails! Great little neighborhood spot. So sad to see it close.

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Old Neighbor

Thanks for all the great meals! I loved Quaint and was so happy it was in the hood when I lived there. I remember when it opened!

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Adam Smith

This has EVERYTHING to do with the $15 minimum wage. Restaurants are closing left and right because of this reason. It is way too much money for an owner to bear. Counting down the days until I leave this high tax state for greener pastures. Thousands of people are fleeing California and New York due to high taxes. Get out while you can now!

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bxgrl

Stockbrokers get raises, lawyers get raises, politicians vote themselves raises. Why shouldn’t restaurant workers get raises? They have bills to pay too.

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Pa Ingalls

So it’s okay to keep the minimum wage at pennies so that restaurants can remain open? Meanwhile, they never reinvented themselves so meh.

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David

Adam- Please stop posting Fox News misinformation and propaganda. I ran a fact check on your post. California will not have a population loss next census. NYC is gaining and projected to gain however Upstate NY is losing and projected to lose population in the next census.
https://www.democratandchronicle.com/story/news/politics/albany/2018/12/19/leaving-new-york-population-loss-steepest-u-s/2362167002/

With slightly more than 39 million people (according to 2016 estimates), California is the nation’s most populous state—its population is almost one and a half times that of second-place Texas (28 million). … By 2050, California’s population is projected to reach 50 million people.
Public Policy Institute of California › publication ›
You’re proven wring yet again.
To quote the article NY saw largest population loss “Illinois saw the second largest population loss. West Virginia, Louisiana, Hawaii, Mississippi, Alaska, Connecticut and Wyoming saw a combined loss of 33,661, according to the report.” West Virginia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Wyoming and Alaska are all red states.
Overall NY State population is 19.5 Million NY is projected to lose an estimated 45,000 people (net) which is less then .25%. The city continues to grow however, upstate with its harsh winters is losing population. Most leaving are retirees.
According to the article NY “may lose one seat in the next round of redistricting”

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David

Adam_ I spoke with the owner and $15 has absolutely nothing to with this restaurant closing. Stop with the Fox News misinformation lies distortions and outright propaganda.

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Joe at the Berkley

Adam- I heard the opening of the new Ramen Noodle Restaurant, the Firefly and Sofra Mediterranean Grill had everything to do with the new $15 an hour minimum wage which doesn’t exist yet. hahaha As of December 31, 2018, the minimum wage in New York State will be set at $11.10 per hour, which is higher than the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour. The previous New York State minimum wage was $10.40 per hour. On December 31, 2019, New York State’s minimum wage will rise to $11.80 per hour. You really should get informed before shooting your uninformed mouth off.

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I agree, why should an employer pay their employees' wages?

Customers should pay employees their wages directly. Who’s supposed to pay employees…the employer?!

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Zul

For your information the restaurant rate of pay in New York isn’t $15 an hour it’s $10 an hour with 11 employees or more and $9 an hour if under 11 employees. It’s different from the $15 an hour minimum wage. I know I work in the industry.

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Name a source

Outside New York City the minimum wage is $11.10 per hour. The minimum wage will continue to increase every year across New York State until it reaches $15.00 per hour in 2020. Wage orders published by the Department of Labor can modify the minimum wage rate for workers in certain industries.
NYC.gov › nycbusiness › description

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Ohlily

Rising costs plus bike lanes affected the business
I’m sure the three people who use the lanes and jimmy Van Bramer happy

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wat

Bike-lane hating boomers: “There’s so many people in the bike lane it’s a safety hazard!”
Also bike-lane hating boomers: “There’s no cyclists in the bike lanes no one uses them!”

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Anonymous for the Voiceless

Farewell! Time to bring in Vegan restaurants. The world is changing.

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David

When I lived in the neighborhood back when Quaint opened, it was basically the only “nice” restaurant. I moved away and then moved back to Sunnyside a few years ago, and Quaint was still nice, but the small menu hadn’t changed, it seemed. The food was reliably good, but I feel like they should have mixed things up a little. It got to feeling stodgy. Also, I don’t think I ever had a good mixed drink there. Never underestimate the importance of a good bartender. All in all, though, I am sad they are closing, and I thank them for being part of the neighborhood.

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Pa Ingalls

You think saffron is better? This area shouldn’t be known for nice restaurants, but pubs and such. Real, homey foods.

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Sunnysideposthatesme

Sunnyside is the new Detroit. Its finally collapsing in on itself after years of attempts to gentrify. Really estate ran wild with planted articles about how sunnyside is the place to be . It’s a mess and im happy to finally be out of that neighborhood .

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Joe at the Berkley

Sunnysidpohatesme- Yes the new Detroit. LOL You’re ridiculous. A restaurant closes after 13 years of service and its the end of the world. Fire Fly, the new Turkish restaurant on 46th street off Greenpoint and the Noodle place on 47th street and Queens Blvd have all open in the last few months. Knock off the hysteria.

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Mac

gen·tri·fy
/ˈjentrəˌfī/
verb
renovate and improve (a house or district) so that it conforms to middle-class taste.
make (someone or their way of life) more refined or polite.

Sunnyside was always middle class and never needed to gentrify. Are you looking for a pat on the back or something?

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Chip

Closing due to lack of business and never updating the menu in 13 years. True it was nice in the beginning but it never tried to reinvent itself. Look at the front of it couldn’t even buy paint to spruce it up or hang a decent sign. Never knew if it was open or closed.

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Local Eater

Agree. The food was good but I was always surprised at how few sides and other options they offered. One trick to making money as a restaurant is to sell low-cost starters/sides/desserts/options at a high markup. Typically you’ll have a few popular standbys and then rotate in new ideas periodically – that’s how you find your new standbys.

As it happens, a restaurant being around for 13 years is a good run and I don’t doubt that someone else will know what to do with this space. Effective delivery service is also a key to succeeding in the Seamless era – many restaurants have few seats taken but the kitchen is firing away, busy as ever. Quaint was always extremely reliable with their quality on delivery food and should have had more things for me to order!

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Critic Al

My family enjoyed eating there. Nice people all around. Is it closing for lack of business or the owner wants to do something else?
(SSP-I just clicked through about 10 CAPTCHAs to post my very important comment. Oy vey!)

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Billy O

Nothing to do with $15 an hour like you’re hoping. I’m told 13 years is enough, time to move on.

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Joe at the Berkeley

Milton, we see you’re avFox News uniformed viewer and parrot. The living wage of $15 is not arbitrary it’s determined by calculating the PPS- purchasing power standard of a country.The hourly minimum wage in Australia is US$14.14, Luxembourg at US$13.14 per hour, New Zealand at US$11.28 per hour, France at US$11.24 per hour, while the Netherlands offers US$11.01.

The hourly rate in the United States yields the equivalent of US$6.63 of purchasing power, according to the report, almost four times that of Russia’s, which is worth only $1.87 in purchasing power terms.
Purchasing power standard (PPS) is an artificial common reference currency unit used in the European Union which eliminates the differences of price levels between countries.

Theoretically, one PPS can buy the same amount of goods and services in each country. The aggregates expressed in PPS are calculated by dividing the aggregates expressed in current prices and in national currency by the Purchasing Power Parities (PPP). The good people of Quaint feel it is time for a new venture after nearly 15 years. Good luck to them and thank you for the delicious meals and wonderful memories.

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Oh, Lily

wrong: a bunch of restaurants in SAN FRANCISCO, that liberal haven, closed after they instituted the $15 an hour wage. You know nothing about the restaurant business but then again, you are probably glued to CNN every night.

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David

You’re wrong again Lily.From the look of the contents of your-posts and the way you’re constantly schooled on this comment stream, its you who appears to know nothing.

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Rachel Maddow is lovely and amazing

Says “genius” David #chrismatthewsspitsalot

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Alice

I was in Quaint last weekend and the waiter told us they would be closing because the owner felt after 13 years it was rime for a change. Best wishes and thank you for all those wonderful meals.

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Oh lily

Usual excuse
Time to move on
Business down and the cost of doing business too high
Raising minimum wage did not help

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Wow Alice you have an ENTIRE anecdote?

It must apply globally without exceptions!

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Oh, Lily

Do you ever tire of quoting Rachel Maddow? I know she is lovely and amazing, but still . . .

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McMahon

Oh Lily flips burgers in McDonalds for 10 years and now thinks he could run the place.

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Optics

It’s true! San Francisco is running out of places to eat. Tech billionaires are going hungry. It’s a tragedy that the mainstream media refuses to cover.

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Oh lily

Wrong but glad you mentioned big tech
Middle class leaving San Fran

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Thomas Sowell

Minimum wage keeps unskilled labor out of the workforce and unfairly targets minorities. They also force owners to cut their workers’ hours to remain profitable. You can’t force a business owner to run their operation at a loss (unless you want to institute a “command economy” – good luck with that), so entrepreneurs will leave to invest in a less regulatory environment. This is economics 101, and we see the effects of such restrictive labor laws in Europe where unemployment is much higher than here. Seen those protests in Paris?

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David

Thomas- However there are no protests in Germany, Australia, Canada, Norway etc. etc.

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Donough

That’s because in Europe they actually count all the unemployed, unlike the US where we hide all of the long-term unemployed and stop counting those out of the labor market for over four weeks.

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Thomas Sowell

The other false assumption you are making is that people who work in restaurants need to earn a “living wage”. Serving jobs are good entry jobs for young people who may still live at home, who are not the sole breadwinners in their household.

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Doubting Thomas

Thomas- False assumption?!? You’re absurd. People are working and working for money so they could access the free market for goods and services . If they wanted to donate time or work on an internship they would have applied for those very positions.

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Pa Ingalls

Ok… these jobs were designed for people who need a part time job while going to school or something. They were not designed for full time workers. Now they are used for full time workers and here is where the 15 minimum wage is killing establishments.

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Bks49

That was true many years ago. When I was in highschool and college most min wage jobs were filled by young people in school. All those jobs are filled by adults today. Most households need 2 incomes and the kids have a hard time getting those jobs today.

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