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Skillman Avenue Sees New Businesses, Closed Stores

Esperanza Laundromat at 45-12 Skillman Ave., which recently closed. (Photo: Queens Post)

Dec. 28, 2018 Staff Report

Skillman Avenue has gone through several changes in recent weeks, with some longtime business closing and new businesses already emerging.

Saffron Garden, the sizable restaurant located at 46-11 Skillman Ave., closed in the first week of December, according to neighboring businesses.

The owners of the Indian restaurant, Samin Rana Magar and Nezli Fernandes, had renovated the site only last year, and were the third set of owners to preside over the location since 2010.

It is unclear why the restaurant closed. When reached, Magar said, “We shut down the business for good,” and did not respond to additional questions about the closure.

Saffron Garden at 46-11 Skillman Ave., as seen early December. (Photo: Nathaly Pesantez)

One block over on 45th Street, Esperanza Laundromat has also recently closed.

Juan Calvo, the longtime owner of the small laundromat at 45-12 Skillman Ave. is in poor health, according to his daughter, who did not wish to provide her name.

Calvo’s daughter said her father owns the building via a family trust, and that the family closed the laundromat while they decide what to do in light of his health.

Further east on the avenue, two new businesses have opened.

NaNa Nail, a nail salon, opened on Monday at 49-18 Skillman Ave., replacing the former Olympic City Real Estate at the site.

The nail salon offers manicures, pedicures, waxing, cleansing facials and massages, and joins the multiple nail salons already in the neighborhood. Manicures start at $12, while pedicures are priced at $24. Special package pricing is also available.

NaNa Nail at 49-18 Skillman Ave. (Photo: Queens Post)

Meanwhile, at the corner of 49th Street and Skillman Avenue, the law offices of Voicu & Nica are taking over the former Attorney at Law site.

The former firm at 48-23 Skillman Ave. was run by Andreea Dumitru, who pleaded guilty to criminal tax fraud in a scheme involving Evgeny Freidman, the infamous ‘Taxi King’, and who was recently sentenced to prison for operating an asylum fraud scheme in a separate criminal case.

The new law offices are founded by Diana Voicu-Marinescu and Florentina Nica, who specialize in real estate, immigration, family and matrimonial law and personal injury.

The team has a combined 20 years of experience in courts throughout New York, and already has a presence in the area, with an office at 44-03 48th Ave. in Woodside and membership in the Sunnyside Chamber of Commerce.

48-23 Skillman Ave., where the offices of Voicu & Nica PC is opening. (Photo: Queens Post)

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typical sunnyside post commenter

I knew those bike lanes would hurt businesses!

Wait, there’s no bike lane on this street?! How do I blame bike lanes?!


Despite some good new places opening up in recent years, Sunnyside still seems like a weird pocket of NY real estate that time has passed by. I hated the crowds, noise, and high prices of the East Village, but at least there were things to do. Where’s Sunnyside’s cool dive bar/music venue. Where’s our great deli? Where’s our park space?


We’ve got some decent dive bars around, but I’ve never understood why there is little if any live music. Soooo many musicians live in the area, it seems like a no-brainer.

Park space is one of my only true laments about the neighborhood. Nearly everywhere else has at least a few small parks with grass nearby. Us? Outside of Doughboy (which is more dirt than grass) it’s pavement all the way. I never understood why that massive remodel of Lou Lodati didn’t include grass. Do they really think we’re better off playing volleyball and soccer on asphalt??

Carbie Barbie

I agree with you–there’s a real lack of grass, but to be fair, I think it’s hard to maintain. If it’s a flat grassy space, I think it will turn into a dust pit from people playing sports on it.


I once spoke to one of the main people behind building the dog park when Lou Lodati was redone a while back, and he gave me basically the same explanation. I don’t buy it though.

There are small parks (one block or less) with grass in neighborhoods all over the city, and the parks department obviously has the budget to take care of them. Why are we one of the few exceptions?

Gardens Watcher

Good luck to all of the new businesses! And thanks and a sad goodbye to the ones that are closing. Thanks for taking a chance and starting a business.

The restaurant business is always risky, faces a lot of competition and requires a lot of capital, talent and luck. All need our support during the slow winter months.


I was in there just before the closed it. It sounded like the owner’s children had no interest in carrying on the business. Or at least they need to regroup and decide how to reopen it.

Carbie Barbie

Sorry to see Saffron go. It was better than the previous Indian restaurant that occupied the place. Hoping for another Indian upgrade there, actually…

Firefly is awesome

Not on skillman but the micro restaurant firefly (next to rite aid on 43rd) is awesome. Best new place in the neighborhood and competes with the alcove for best food overall. Highly recommended!

Laszlo Toth

Just ate there today for the first time… very good & fresh food, pleasant low background music & wifi, will definitely return.


Saffron never ever had customers and i believe that scaffolding that’s been there forever now is also taking a toll on all the stores there.


i dont get it, Astoria can have an abundance of nice stores and restaurants but not Sunnyside. Nail salons and 99 cent (and up) stores work fine. everyone else struggles like it was a depression


many people struggled to save up to buy an apartment in the area. eating out is not an option when the mortgage is due.

Skillman rocks

Funny, after not being able to get a table at aubergine, dawa, copper kettle, or cote de soleil a few weeks ago another group who were also trying to sit down commented that they’ve never seen things busier. Amazing what pedestrian upgrades can do!


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