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Big Numbers Show Up For A Taste of Sunnyside’s Restaurants

Real Santa Fe Steak House

Oct. 20, 2010 By Christian Murray

Local residents and New Yorkers from afar turned out en mass to participate in the inaugural Taste of Sunnyside at Master Billiards & Cafe on Tuesday night.

The attendees were there to sample the cuisine provided by 18 local restaurants. Throughout the evening a continuous wave of nearly 600 people kept coming through the doors as the night rolled on.

The aim of the event, put on by Sunnyside Shines (with the help of the Chamber of Commerce), was to showcase many of this neighborhood’s restaurants that many people may not ordinarily go to. Furthermore, it was a way for Sunnyside Shines to showcase this area as a point of destination.

That goal was clearly met, judging by those who attended.

“I’ve always loved DeMole’s and Dazies,” said Jessica Laudicina, a local resident in her twenties. “But I’ve never gone to Santé Fe Steak House or Dee’s Thai Restaurant – I will go to those restaurants now.”

Meanwhile, Elizabeth Joseph, from Jamaica, who had seen an ad for the event on NY1, turned up out of curiosity. She said she was very impressed by the food on offer.

The restaurants set up their displays on top of Master Billiard’s pool tables and served their samples at a furious pace. Many restaurants had to call in to their stores for deliveries to get more food.

“We were told to bring about 200 to 300 plates,” said Alim Maruf, who owns Bliss Bistro and Basmati Table. “But we went through 500 plates for each restaurant.”


However, Maruf didn’t seem to mind.  “This is an opportunity for us to get better known throughout the neighborhood,” he said, adding that “the event showed that people care about the community.”

This was the first Taste of Sunnyside and “I imagine there will be one next year too,’ said John Vogt, the chairman of Sunnyside Shines.

“Some restaurants were unsure how the event would turn out and didn’t make it,” said Artie Weiner, the treasurer of the Sunnyside Shines. “I’m sure they will be here next year when they hear about its success.”

The Sunnyside Chamber of Commerce played a role by convincing some of the the restauranteurs to participate in the event. Tim Chen, the owner of Quaint, was instrumental in getting some of them to join.

Assemblywoman Cathy Nolan said that the spirit of the event “reaffirmed that Sunnyside is one of the best neighborhoods in NYC.”

Meanwhile, Don McCallian, the president of the United 40s Civic Association, said: “I’ve been around Sunnyside along time and this is one of the best attended events I’ve ever seen.”

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Life Long Resident Of Sunnyside

This was a blast! It was great to sample some of the cuisine from our neighborhood restaurants. granted, I have been to most of them but I did get to discover some new ones that I will definitely be giving my patronage to.

This was an excellent concept and a big success.

The only one problem, very limited seating.


That’s great that the neighborhood was able to pull off a good event. Keep up the good work Sunnyside Shines.

Diane K

I couldn’t attend but am super glad so many people turned out. Sunnyside has the best food – we’re all so lucky to live here!


The event was a ton of fun and the food was great and I would have said all that even if I didn’t win a gift card to Quaint. I’ll definitely attend again next year, but they’ll need a bigger space.


Great job by the sunnyside shines and this web site to publize this event and keep the buzz going for 2 to 3 months. Advertising does work in this town. We need to do more of it for the rest of the businesses and run sales for the public to come out and spend their money. Great showing 600 people is fantastic great job by sunnyside shines to promote this and this web site as well. Keep up the great work you are both doing it all payed off


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