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Floresta, Restaurant on Greenpoint Avenue, to Close

Jan. 6, 2011 Staff Report

Floresta, the highly-rated Argentine steak house located at 41-08 Greenpoint Ave., is scheduled to close. On its website, it read: “we have poured every ounce of our passion into Floresta but unfortunately passion does not pay the rent.”

The restaurant also sent out an e-mail to its customers late last night notifying them of its decision.

The restaurant, viewed favorably by its customers on YELP , did not specify when it would close its doors.

Here is a copy of the e-mail:

Florestians,

As the holiday season comes to an end so does our time at Floresta. During our short time in operation, we have been fortunate to have shared memorable celebrations, and milestones with our guests, friends and family.

Here’s your last chance to stop by and taste what everyone has been talking about! Beginning January 15, we will be operating exclusively on the weekends presenting special themed Prix-Fixe meals. Our team will be preparing a unique culinary experience showcasing cuisines from France, North America and Italy. February will kick off with a Super Bowl Party followed by our renowned Tango Night. There is something for every carnivore during our Meat Feast 2011. For a complete listing of events, featured menus and NEW hours visit our website FlorestaNY.com.

Be sure to stop by and bid Floresta a grand farewell. Thank you all for the support and hope to count on you for our next endeavors. It has certainly been a pleasure serving you all.

Yours in food,

Chef Alejandro “Blu” Cantagallo
Cynthia Chico, General Manager
Tel 718 784-1305
Fax 718 784-1335
[email protected]
www.FlorestaNY.com

email the author: [email protected]

26 Comments

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simon

I found all of this today!!
Sunnyside BID hired a New Jersey resident,who, according to himself “new nothing about Queens” before being hired!!

Here is the Executive Board of Sunnyside BID

The Chairman of Sunnyside BID lives in Lindenhurst, Long Island.
The Treasurer of Sunnyside Bid is selling his property in Sunnyside!
The Secretary of Sunnyside BID is closing her store!
James Bray, Executive Director of BID lives in New Jersey!!

A Disgrace

Simon

From the Sunnyside Post below, form one year ago,

Sunnyside Shines, a local business improvement district (BID), hired 23-year-old James Bray as its new executive director.Bray, who said he knew “nothing about Queens” before joining the BID, was hired as a part-time worker in November to help Sunnyside Shines with is computer and network problems.

The BID’s role is to promote business in Sunnyside. Its function is particularly important right now as a slew of businesses are struggling to survive. In recent months many businesses have closed,

Bray, who said he knew “nothing about Queens” before joining the BID, was hired as a part-time worker in November to help Sunnyside Shines with is computer and network problems.

He was able to get the job through his father Thomas Bray, who reports to John Vogt, the regional director at White Castle. Vogt is the chairman of Sunnyside Shines.

Vogt, a Lindenhurst resident, is also the chairman of the Sunnyside Chamber of Commerce .

This will be Bray’s first executive role. .

Bray, who is being paid $41,600 (without healthcare), said that he brings a “fresh perspective to the job.” Many people in Sunnyside’s local organizations have been here a long time, he said.

T
4 COMMENTS:

Gary the Agnostic said…
Sunnyside Shines is going through Executive Directors the same way that Steinbrenner used to go through managers. How many have they had in the last year? Three? Four?

TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 16, 2010
Anonymous said…
On that salary, young lad will finally get to move out of parents’ house.

Naturally, the job of Sunnyside BID exec. dir. was not open or advertised anywhere. It was given to Bray.

That’s just how Bloomberg hires, too. He may be inexperienced, but he’s got connections.

TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 16, 2010
Anonymous said…
what a joke… advertise a job in an obscure website, then claim nobody wants a $41,600/yr job in this economy? give me a break. At least get someone who knows where Sunnyside is. Nice step up from selling patio furniture though.

TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 16, 2010
Anonymous said…
Been to Sunnyside lately? Empty storefronts galore, the new businesses feature eyebrow threading, eyebrow threading, and eyebrow threading. By the way, I am unemployed, and would have jumped at the opportunity to improve my community – but maybe some kid from New Jersey that probably never set foot in Queens can do a better job than me?

Reply
Conrad

To all the people who think Floresta is too expensive, have fun eating McDonald’s. They’re still open. For quality delicious, unprocessed whole foods, Floresta is NOT expensive. Dinner at Bliss Bistro, The Kettle, Dee Thai and various other restaurants would be comparable (assuming you’re not going with the porterhouse or whatever the most expensive item on the menu is). I know times are tough, but if the cost is too prohibitive, eat at home more often and use the occasional night out at a restaurant to treat yourself.

Reply
Luke

I was shocked and saddened when I read in the Sunnyside Post that Floresta, the wonderful steakhouse at 41-08 Greenpoint Ave., is closing. This is not only a loss to its owner Chef Alejandro Cantagallo, but for Sunnyside as a whole.

What happened, you ask? There are several factors that contributed to this tragedy. The location did not help as there is little foot traffic in that section of Sunnyside to draw customers. Greenpoint Ave, particularly at night, is dead.

We have many absentee landlords who do not understand that the property they own is not worth the rent they are asking. Many of these landlords need to visit their properties in person to see what is really going on in our town.
I do not put the blame on all landlords, as I know we do have some fine ones, but there are many who are out of touch with recent economic trends hitting us all.

The exorbitant cost, government red-tape, and ultimately the legal baloney involved in getting a liquor license caused the restaurant owner much angst.
Floresta did all the right things in promoting itself. The restaurant participated in both the Taste of Queens and the Taste of Sunnyside. It also was part of ³Groupon², where people could access a discount on line.
Furthermore, the product was first class. Its Porterhouse was as good as the famous Peter Luger Steak House in Brooklyn and on Long Island.
It would be impossible to get away from the doom and gloom that may or may not be our current economic situation. It¹s different for everyone. What we do know is that we all have two options: quit or press on.

Many restaurant and bar owners are now asking themselves how do I stay alive, or, in fact, flourish in this tough economy? Unfortunately there is no magic solution.

As residents, we must support them as best as our limited budgets can.
The closing of this restaurant is a major blow to the revitalization our Sunnyside community. Floresta offered upscale dinning, and contributed to the growth and reputation of our restaurant community.

Thankfully, we found out about before they actually which is set for end of February, in time to remind my neighbors so they could give it a try for themselves, they will be closed during the week and will stay open only on Weekends. They are setting special menu for their final goodbyes. For more details and to make reservations, space is limited. Their telephone # 718-784-1306. I wish them all the best, and will pay a visit one of the upcoming weekends and I hope to see many of my neighbors!

Reply
sunnysider

Hi Sunny blue I guess we need a huge stumulus check for all these businesses I agree with you it is a big town but we have alot of people that live here. I guess we need a lot of help

Reply
Sunny Blue

From Skillman Ave. to Queens Blvd. between 48th St. and 43rd St. there are about 15 places to eat. That’s a lot of support to give.

Reply
sunnysider

We need to get a stimulus check for the businesss in our town to keep them alive in certain times of the year to keep them floating. Or maybe sunnyside shines can come up with a quick coupon for saving restaurnats and other when times are bad or slow to help our town out or maybe the banks can offer some help to help pay rent short tern to keep our busines open. It is a shame to lose any business here

Reply
Kathy

In its brief life Floresta has proven to be a wonderful friend and neighbor to all of us here across the street at Thalia Spanish Theatre. We are so sorry to be losing you! I think the problem is simply that “the rents are 2 damn high” (if you’ll pardon the expression). We used to boast of having our own “Restaurant Row” across the street but now it’s a sorry row of blank storefronts, a story that we see repeating throughout Sunnyside. The city needs to do more to help small businesses to thrive in our communities.

Reply
Krissi

Chef,

Thank you so much for giving Sunnyside a chance. I agree that more pressure needs to be put on the landlords and I hope you have the opportunity to come back to our little neighborhood as a long term tenant. I will certainly be taking advantage of your last days here!!!!

Reply
Chef Cantagallo

Thanks for all the support folks, I’m happy to hear that during our brief stint we were able to take care of a community we care about. I recognize that prices for the neighborhood may seem high, but our strategy was to avoid using processed foods, and focus on handmade preparation of at least 92% of our menu. Unfortunately that translates into higher costs, but it also means more jobs (we employ 12 people) and higher quality food. It was a deliberate choice we made and hope that those who dined with us enjoyed it.
I thank each of you who have come and supported us and welcome the rest of you to come by before we leave for good. We are offering four course Prix-Fixe menus on the weekends starting the 14th of January.
As for our future and the future of the neighborhood, more pressure needs to be placed on landlords who have been in full ownership of properties for years yet still charge entirely too much for square footage in an area that needs affordable space for local business to thrive.
Times are hard, but there is something in the air this year that feels like despite the downturn in the economy, the rising tide of global violence, people are beginning to help each other more – the world is slowly correcting itself, one good deed at a time. Whether its helping people dig their cars out of a storm, helping the elderly navigate the dangerous streets, feeding the poor and hungry, its our chance to change our world for the better

I leave you all on that note and hope to see you before we depart and hopefully in our next venture, wherever that may be.

Thank you Sunyside

Reply
sunnysider

Artie, thanks for the heads up. I am glad the map is there. But without your input knows it is there. I guess the chamber of commerce has not advertised to our community that they have made this map. In my opinion they should put this map in strores in a book style so we can carry it to find thsese businessses if we are out and about. But thanks for the heads up we all know what you know. this web site is very inportnat to our area thanks Sunnyside Post

Reply
sunnysider

Budling up and keeping warm is a great idea for a walk to greenpoint from skilllman ave. Or from greenpoint to skillman. I donot know if is the weathre or if our neighborhood does not have the money, time or know where all these restaruants are hidding. Maybe we need a map of our town that is always chaging with where everything is so we can find things. We their wevbiste address, emanils so we can call or visit on line and make all buynng services that much easier for everone. Even poeple that work in our town but do not live here. We would all benfeit from it. But who is going to make such a map and print it and distripute it

Reply
brien o brien

how about bundling up and wearing gloves,hat etc…then u could get up off the couch and get out for a walk!

Reply
sunnysider

Maybe we need a neighborhood bus or car service just for our little local town here just to make it easier for those people to get around and shop and eat out and have a movie night or sunnysie out for the day or night or weekend. just someting to get our town moving. It is winter and cold and many people do not want to walk in the cold. anybody have any other ideas.

Reply
Mallory

I think you are right about Skillman being a better location. Even 43rd Avenue might have been better. I try to support local restaurants but walking to Greenpoint from the north side of Sunnyside is not easy.

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Krissi

I think they may fave done better in Sunnyside North or Skillman. It’s hard on Greenpoint.

Reply
Diamond Dave

We were just there on Wednesday night for the first time on a recommendation from our buddy Colm and his wife Sascha.
I had the porterhouse for 2 and my wife had a NY strip.These guys did an awesome job with the food.I had planned on going again next week.Ive been passing this place for a long time living in the neighborhood but never knew the food was so good.This is a shame and I do agree that the locals should support each and every business in Sunnyside.

Reply
oldskoolsunnyside

It is a shame, but I think the pricing was too aggressive for Sunnyside. It was simply too expensive and that’s why it didn’t succeed. If they had dropped their prices by 25% they might have made it. Sunnyside may be on the map now, but it’s a problem when a restaurant menu’s pricing rivals Manhattan’s.

Reply
sunnysider

What a shame for another restaruant to go out of business. We need to do a better job of advertising or marketing our businesses. I realize that it is expensive to do this. Maybe all our business need to advetrise as a group so no one gooes out of business. Sunnyside shines does a great job of markting that area but I guess some business leave anyway. I feel like our neighborhood failed. I never at there but I do not know if our entire neighborhood knew that this restaurnat was there to give it busiess

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Mallory

Very sad, very sad. I remember Nancy’s Argentine Steakhouse on 43rd Avenue and it is long gone.

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Conrad

That’s a shame. Floresta serves great food and the staff is terrific. I noticed it was for sale a month ago on Craigslist, though. The location isn’t really ideal for a restaurant and it was always empty whenever I’ve dined there.

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