August 11, 2012 By Bill Parry
A Colombian restaurant opened this week on the northern edge of Sunnyside Gardens in the location that many residents once feared would become a strip club.
Emilio Rubio and Lyda Barona, a husband and wife duo, are the owners of Baru Restaurant, which offers typical Colombian fare– from pork, seafood and chicken dishes. The restaurant is located at 47-15 Barnett Avenue, the site of a former warehouse.
Rubio was caught up in a firestorm of controversy years ago when residents thought he was going to open a strip joint at the warehouse location. At the time, Rubio said, he called the restaurant “Punto G”, which translated into the G-Spot. According to reports, he said it was just an error, since Punto G was a replacement for his first choice “Golden Point’ which was taken by another business.
Several years later, the couple is now opening a restaurant.
“It took us many years of work to get to this point,” Barona said. “My husband worked here when it was a shop [warehouse]. The bar at the entrance used to be a loading dock.”
The restaurant has a lounge area in the front and a dining section toward the rear. The interior is brick and iron, and it has tile floors. The walls are adorned with Colombian art.
“We are open seven days a week from 11:30am to 8:30 pm serving lunch and dinner. Once we get our liquor license we’ll stay open later,” Barona said. Customers will not be allowed to bring wine and beer to the restaurant in the meantime. “We don’t want any misunderstandings with the Community Board.”
The restaurant has a dual-language menu, which features a $4.95 lunch special and a children’s menu. It also offers delivery service. A chef, delivery man and three waitresses have already been hired.
“We will be looking to hire additional staff once business picks up,” Barona said.
pretty nice guy
They should open a Hooters in Sunnyside. Then you get the girls showing skin while you eat the deep fried pork skin.
@ all this comments are crazy high schoolers and really racists, I supposed this sunnyside post has no filter whatsoever.
@craic dealer….i don’t differentiate between drunks and did not do so in my post…..they’re all annoying!….not did i assume the ethnicity of the patrons who will be frequenting the resteraunt….i just prefer not to have screaming,yelling drunks walking around the neighborhood in the middle of the night, peeing on everything and passing out on the sidewalk or on someones property….no matter who you are.
I forget that sunnyside started out with immigrants…. if memory serves me correctly I still see Irish immigrants coming in to the local neighberhood.
who am i to judge tho?
long as the neighberhood is safe and sound I welcome the diversity!
Or did we all forget the Irish Famine that did away with The majority of Irelands best and brightest and became Americas best and brightest.
Joke of the day.
What do you call a seven course dinner?
a six pack and a potato.
Just ate there…
A few kinks to be worked out, it seems, but they seem to be slowly putting the place together. The food was pretty good – I mean, you can’t go wrong with DEEP FRIEND PORK SKIN!
@sully: Yea Colombian drunks are not a classy as the Irish drunks. Get your drunks straight.
…i wish them the best and hope they do well….i am also hopeful that this new business and its patrons are respectful of this community…i am ashamed to admit here my assupmtion that there will be screaming,rolling, drunks weaving down Barnett Ave….but i am hoping for the best and look forward to sampling their cuisine….
It looks like one of Dick Cheney’s secret hideouts.
What a shame! I’d rather have a strip club than yet another Colombian restaurant in Sunnyside. One just opened this past week on the south side of Queens Boulevard next to Lowery Liquours. The name is La Hoguera Paisa, and you can order a whole roasted pig with advance notice.
I’m with you Joey, Hopefully this solves all my drug dealing, dirty stripper and stolen car tire rims issues in one spot!
I’m disappointed. I wanted a strip club because I’m tired of the girls in Scandals.
Horrible location for that restaurant. Almost zero foot traffic among casual diners. Terrible local parking options. I wish them luck, IF they behave themselves (i.e., keep the noise level down, keep area clean), but better places with better locations struggle and close quickly.
All these establishments are just fronts of what is happening after. Yea they sell food but are funneling money in other forms. Good luck Sunnyside Gardens in your new drug haven location. Looks like your area is no different than any other part in Woodside/ Sunnyside. I get a kick out of some of you individuals acting as if your old money of the upper east side. Guess what you eat, breath and live in an area that is no different than any other.
Cheers to your establishments.
A club on QB & 40th sounds like a good thing. Do you think of that part of town “residential?” I’m gonna go check it out.
Ruben (above) is EXACTLY right….he took the words out of my mouth.
Is that a paper sign?
Sort of like Arriba Arriba on 40th. At night that place is a straight up CLUB with bouncers. This place will be the same. Restaurant by day, adult club by night. good luck residents!
Doesn’t look very inviting from the outside. Looks like some sort of bunker.
the interior looks cute! good luck!
its a real nice place the food good..wish them the best
I will not give them any business.. They will gain trust then open late and be loud all night. they were testing speaker system full blast… for a restaurant?
i’ve been wondering what this place was going to be. i walk by here frequently and have been seeing people working on the place. i’ll definitely try and check it out.