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Romantic Depot, Which Sells Adult Toys and Racy Lingerie, Reopens in Sunnyside

Rendering of Storefront (Romantic Depot Website)

Jan. 23, 2021 By Christian Murray

Romance is back.

Romantic Depot, which sells racy lingerie and adult toys, reopened on Queens Boulevard Friday—two years after its former Sunnyside store burned to the ground in a massive fire.

The store, now located at 47-02 Queens Blvd, sells a variety of lingerie in a range of sizes as well as edible underwear, penis enlargement cream and toys for bachelorette parties.

The store sells adult toys such as strap-ons, dildos, harnesses, nipple rings and vibrators. The adult items are on display in a cordoned off section of the store—behind a red velvet curtain. They are not visible from the street.

Romantic Depot Opened at 47-02 Queens Blvd. on Friday (Photo: Queens Post)

Romantic Depot is part of a chain that was established nearly 20 years ago. There are now nine stores–with the re-opening of the Sunnyside location–all in the tri-state region.

The company touts the attitude of its staff for its success.

“The staff at each Romantic Depot store possess a non-judgment attitude, based on our client’s various desires and genders,” reads the company website. “We believe in providing a sex positive atmosphere, sexual wellness and a 100% inclusive environment.”

The main area inside Romantic Depot, which opened in Sunnyside on Friday (Photo: Queens Post)

The sex shop moves into a space that was previously occupied by a number of mom-and-pop stores, such as Optimo Cigars, Veer Mailbox and Avalon Florist. They closed at the end of 2018.

Romantic Depot originally opened in Sunnyside in October 2018 at 45-02 Queens Blvd. but its time in the area was short lived when a fire broke out inside the store on Dec. 13, 2018.

The fire swept through the store as well as New York Style Eats, Zen Yai, the UPS Store, Sidetracks and Better Line Hardware. The stores were destroyed and the lot is now for sale.

The FDNY issued a report in April 2019 that said the fire started inside Romantic Depot shortly after 2 a.m.

The fire began in the ceiling area–and then tore through the walls, floor and contents, according to the report.

Items for sale at Romantic Depot in Sunnyside (Photo: Queens Post)

Romantic Depot was destroyed in a 5-alarm fire at 45-02 Queens Boulevard on Dec. 13, 2018 (Photo: Nathaly Pesantez/Queens Post)

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46 Comments

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Anthony

I don’t understand why people are pressed. Any restaurant would NOT want to have a business in that block as it is weirdly shaped and probably not big enough for what our local restaurants need. Outdoor dining would be extremely difficult for that block (com’on, it is right by a very busy intersection). I read one of the previous comments from here stating that it is inappropriate for schoolchildren who walk by that block on the way to school, which I think will affect nothing, at least it didn’t do anything for me when I used to go to school in Queens that is literally a block away from a sex shop). It is about time this neighborhood has a sex shop. We all can really benefit by going to their workshops and learn what we “think” we know or get rid of any sexual stigma. Learn how to be sex positive, y’all. It is really telling how “sex positive” this neighborhood is prior to the store’s opening.

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Zo. B

Could been in a less conspicuous side? School children are passing by. Not a prude, just not appropriate spot.

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AR

I absolutely agree. This is a Family neighborhood. School lets out kids that cross this intersection frequently. Last we need is our kids/tweens and even teens to be sexually curious and then go ahead and explore on their own.

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JJ G

Hi Folks, my name is Jose, but everyone calls me JJ. I am a Queens born native New Yorker. I am the new General Manager of Romantic Depot Queens Megastore. I’m going to be humble and shoot honestly from the hip about our new company and store. First I’d like to say the new company has 100% permission to use the Romantic Depot trademark and brand. As you may know, Romantic Depot was voted 2020’s best retail chain by AVN, the industry’s most trusted source of adult retail and lingerie products news since 1981 so safe to say this was a big deal. I’ve shopped at some of
the Romantic Depot stores and was saddened when the Queens location tragically burned down along with my favorite bar Sidetracks. I remember many great nights there with my Irish born wife and our friends. I am a passionate, responsible caring human being who attends church regularly. I love all things Queens. Being from Queens I rep the Mets and Jets, just look at the outside of the store and you’ll see I wear Queens with pride. I have long roots in Queens. Both my parents graduated from Newton High and I spent many Sundays at St. Leo and summers enjoying Lemon Ice King. For me, there is no place like Queens. I wanted to give back to the community that gave so much to me and my family. When this opportunity came up I couldn’t pass on it. I truly believe that many adult products can have a positive impact and improve sexual health and wellness of consenting adults, couples, partners and singles, regardless of age, sex, religion, race or gender identity. The new Romantic Depot Megastore company
was set up in part due to how busy the old business was. Living in Woodside, I saw, over the years,how much the neighborhood flourished firsthand. The abundance of new stores created jobs and strengthened the community. Western Queens became a place people flocked to and it was due time. To be 100% sincere, the brand’s managing member was absolutely devastated about the tragic fire. He lost not only lots of money which is not everything in life, but lost the blood, sweat and tears he put into the store. He felt worse for the local businesses that had long been established. The neighborhood is still recovering from the horrible events of that day.
I understand there are people who are upset and respect everyone’s opinions
because the fire report respectfully said that the fire originated at the old business on 45th St., however the fire was unanimously deemed by all involved insurance company auditors for all businesses as inconclusive as to where and how the fire started because half the block was destroyed beyond recognition. We are saddened but also hopeful that other businesses like ourselves can reopen during the COVID 19 health crisis. For all the time I’ve spent with the former owner I can safely say they would have never partook in its store and other businesses being destroyed intentionally in anyway. Since I know the mindset of both younger and older generations who live in Queens through my relationships and friendships in the borough, I can firmly state there is a huge demand for sexy lingerie & apparel goods, sexual health and wellness products. I literally begged the powers that be, to be part of a new entity to reopen on Queens Boulevard because of the success of the past store. I personally took a major pay cut to train for several months so I could successfully run a clean and upscale store as General Manager. At first the brands owner was skeptical but since I have a proven track record, with references in managing very large fulfillment centers and customer service divisions, it reassured him Sunnyside was ready for a 2nd try. Thereafter, a separate entity utilizing the brand name & the DBA, Romantic Depot Megastore was created. The Romantic Depot brand has been serving the NYC tri-state area, for almost 21 years. The new company and store location is committed to providing a respectful environment. An environment that is fun, safe, upscale and a lively shopping experience. Hopefully we bring this atmosphere to the community as we head into the final months of this awful health crisis.
To all potential community members, shoppers and Queens residents who would like to check out the store we welcome you with open arms. Please note we paid great attention to our Covid regulations and are dedicated in keeping our employees and customers safe. Romantic Depot Queens is providing free masks, free hand sanitizer with multiple hand touch free stations, state of the art temperature readers, in addition to acrylic shields to keep our employees and customers safe. Romantic Depot Queens welcomes and encourages all community members, regardless of age, race, gender, ethnicity and anyone regardless of how they identify, to please stop in and say hello!
We are in existence to help everyone in the community who choose to improve their sexual health and wellness. We are poised and steadfast in making this location one of America’s most successful lingerie stores. This will be accomplished by providing the best customer service in an obsessive manner. That has made the “Romantic Depot” brand a success.

Please note:
*We at Romantic Depot Queens Megastore deeply respect the community, especially the NYPD, NYFD, EMS workers, nurses, doctors, transportation drivers and all other essential workers that put their lives on the line everyday. It is these essential workers that are the true heroes that keep the community safe, as we go through these fast changing times.

Please kindly note:
*If you do not like sexual health and wellness products, no worries the store discreetly stocks them in the back of the store, so you can shop for non sexual items like lingerie, games, lubricants, massage oils and a plethora of other items in the front of the store.
Finally if you do not choose to visit the store and wish us luck we respect your views. Being American, I 100% agree everyone has a first amendment right to free speech. That is something that should always be protected. I still truly wish you the best! I especially wish Sunnyside nothing but the best and will do my very best to run an establishment
that is not raunchy or lewd in any way.
If you change your minds and
give me and my team a chance we will be eternally grateful. We are honored to get to know everyone in the community over time.

Truly yours,
JJ

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We just wished you were more descrete.

This is a family neighborhood.

Children have to walk around here.

The world has already gone to the dogs and we still need to protect children from adult content. That’s why there are ratings in movies and TV shows.

We wish you the best of luck but you must see this from concerned parent’s and teacher’s sides.

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Gardens Watcher

I wish the concerned parents would pay attention to the bills being proposed in Albany re sex workers and decriminalization of prostitution.

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Mike

O.K. great story, sexual freedom, et. al. But why does it have to LOOK so trashy? It really is the ugliest looking store ever. I don’t care what you see in there.

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Curlicue58

It was tacky the 1st time around and is just as tacky the 2nd time. Doesn’t belong in Sunnyside and there is a school down the street. So much polyester is why it went up in flames & should have stayed that way, burnt to ashes. I’m no prude but theses a place for this, just not in this neighborhood!!!!!

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Close it down

Looks like Bedford Falls has turned into Pottersville. Our councilman is totally useless!

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SunnysideBetter

Wait. So all the kids walking to the train to IS125 are going go get a good glimpse of this? We could do better Sunnyside, which politician is the owner paying under the table?

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First thing a cult does is tell its members everyone else is lying.

@SunnysideBetter- Hopefully the students aren’t distracted from their daily assaults, vandalism and stealing zip cars from the garage on 47th Street (all events verified by archive search in SP) by this shop.

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Mac

Looking forward to the Mayors open storefronts program and Outdoor Shopping at this location.

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January

Where there’s great demand, the supply chain will follow! Like prostitutes – You don’t want it in the neighborhood, then stop purchasing their goods!

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Michelle Lanceman

I wish them the best. The staff are very friendly and polite. It’s supossed to be a liberal city and its not as if they are running a gentleman’s club. One could easily claim drunken bar patrons are a menace and they could be considered a bigger nuisance 2 or more to a block on some streets.

Too many folks want to pick winners and losers in a time when the opening of any small business should be applauded especially with the tough challenges they’ve encountered trying to open. Let them get on with their business. No ones forcing anyone to patronize them.

Best of luck to them.

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Yiayoa

I thought Veer and the others had to move because that site was getting reconstructed. Is this a newly constructed building?

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Pho Lover

I would rather have Zen Yai and Sidetracks back. Ironic that this is really the only store that is coming back so far, besides the essential UPS store. And the fire started in the Romantic Depot, which is, btw a chain of 11 stores as the article pointed out.

The fire was suspicious, but I would be cautious pointing fingers…Who really knows. The Amazon deal was really coincident though. Curious to see how long this place lasts.

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danthe man

Is Jimmy van Bramer going to bike over with his husband to the store, he was at a bakery today and posted it .Hopefully it is located not to far off a bike lane and Jimmy can make a purchase and support another local business. I will check JVB page later to see if he went.

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Outraged in Sunnyside

The reopening of the store responsible for the devastating fire that cost Sunnyside the long-standing businesses NY Style Eats, Sidetracks and others just a couple of blocks away from its new location is a slap in the face to the community.
Who are the local leaders who approved of this embarrassing and offensive establishment to reopen just a short distance from a middle school and a block away from a residential neighborhood? This is humiliating for Sunnyside.

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43rd & 43rd

It’s not their fault at all. It was bad wiring. It would have happened to whatever business was renting that spot at the time. There’s nothing to blame them for.

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Mitch

That fire was a bad break. So lets support this business’s resurgence, after all this is is NYC, and lets all agree our urges are as natural as the birds and the bees, no hang ups

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Optics

Oh, great. No Zen Yai or Sidetracks, but this place is back? I went in there once and they offered me a discount if I would post a good review on social media (and show it to them). Uh, no.

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SuperWittySmitty

My problem was with their grimy sidewalks. They were really dirty and I don’t think they ever were washed. I think they used to drag their bags of garbage out the front door and all the way down 45th street to that nasty alleyway next to the hardware store. You could actually see the grease trail on the sidewalk and the garbage dumpster alley was gross. Can’t say I ever tried their food but I’ve heard it was okay. I was too turned off by the dirty sidewalk in front of their building.

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Michael Fandom

Thank science!

When I met the owner and manager back in 2018 they were so nice and accommodating. Glad they’ve come back to the neighborhood. Welcome back! I’ll be seeing you soon.

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Side Tracks is missed

Me- The family who own NY Style Eats were looking to close before the fire. A family member who was a key instrumental figure in running the establishment has passed away.

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Lol.

I remember all the seedy sex shops in the city when I was a kid and all the effort to change the area for the better. Now it seems everything is the opposite. Sex shops, drugs, and vulgar behaviors are making a comeback with much support. It’s cyclical apparently.

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Howard brickman

so how does this store get to open up three blocks away after causing so much damage to our town and the other business owners as well.. I would not have approved their business.. not in sunnyside….

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43rd & 43rd

This is just bizarre…it was faulty wiring. Not the fault of the business who was renting at the time. If your neighbor got hit by lightning, would you shun them and stone them? Most of us have moved past caveman superstition. It’s not the business’s fault, it was just bad luck. (And maybe the landlord’s negligence…)

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Holmes

Faulty wiring doesn’t “just happen”. The store was renovated by the tenant shortly before the fire. Any old wiring should have been removed and brought up to code. It goes without saying that any new wiring should have been installed to code by a qualified person. Electrical fires are both predictable and preventable.

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