May 6, 2020 By Michael Dorgan
Queens Taste, the popular annual food-and-networking festival, has been canceled for 2020 due to issues pertaining to COVID-19.
The event had already been postponed from May 5 to Oct. 6 but organizers have decided to terminate the gathering for this year.
Safety concerns surrounding COVID-19 along with ongoing economic restrictions are posing too many challenges for organizers Queens Economic Development Corporation and Queens Tourism Council.
“We’re saddened by this decision, but there’s so much uncertainty that even holding it in the fall is not feasible,” QEDC Executive Director Seth Bornstein said.
Queens Taste has been an annual event since 2001 and was scheduled to take place at the New York Hall of Science in Flushing Meadows, Corona Park.
Last year, an estimated 500 people attended to sample cuisine from countries such as China, Colombia, Guyana, Haiti, India, Italy, Malaysia, Mexico, Thailand, Trinidad, and the Philippines.
Several dozen Queens-based restaurants and beverage purveyors were set to provide samples of their products to revelers and help generate much-needed revenue for the neighborhood.
“We were hoping to hold a triumphant, post-COVID affair and show off the borough’s businesses, but this disease is too dangerous,” added QTC Director Rob MacKay.
“It’s a shame, but we’ll be back,” he said.
QEDC has put together a document with information for businesses that may need assistance navigating the COVID-10 economic shutdown.
Experts are warning of impending economic carnage for small businesses in Queens over the coming months.
Tom Grech, president and CEO of the Queens Chamber of Commerce estimates that half of the bars and restaurants in Queens may not reopen. Grech made the startling revelation on the Queens Post podcast last weekend.
His evaluation is based on discussions the chamber has had with landlords, food suppliers and the restaurants themselves.
The full podcast with Grech can be viewed below.