Feb. 28, 2019 By Christian Murray
The owner of the Sunnyside UPS store that was destroyed in the massive fire on Queens Boulevard in December is opening a temporary location next week.
Tony Tang, the long-time owner, said the pop-up store will be located at 45-18 Queens Blvd. and will be open until the fourth quarter of 2019. He said that he will then move to a permanent space at 45-12 46th Street, where he has secured a 10-year lease.
The pop-up store is currently occupied by “The Case World,” and is on the same block where the fire broke out. He is in the process of moving in equipment and setting up his systems.
Tang said that he is grateful to Eugene Choe, owner of Case World, for subletting him the space. Choe also owns the Verizon shop at 45-06 46th St.
“It’s been tough looking for new space,” Tang said. “I’m so grateful to everyone for helping me.”
Tang’s permanent space is currently occupied by La Nacional, which is vacating the premises at the end of June. Tang will then revamp the space and then move in.
Since the December fire, Tang has been servicing his Sunnyside customers at his Long Island City location at 46-28 Vernon Blvd. His customers with mail boxes have been going there.
Some of his Sunnyside employees were reassigned to his Vernon Blvd. store. Unfortunately, Tang had little choice but to let some go.
He said those employees have been aided by the funds raised by the Sunnyside Shines Relief Fund. The fund raised $165,000 and is being distributed to the employees of the six businesses that were destroyed who lost their jobs.
Tang, 65, is a popular businessman who was named the The Luke Adams Sunnysider of the Year in 2018 by the Sunnyside Chamber of Commerce.
He has been on Queens Boulevard—between 45th and 46th Streets– for more than three decades. He ran Flagship Entertainment, a photo and video store at 45-04 Queens Blvd., for nearly 30 years before closing it in 2011. He then divided the space to create two store fronts, one of which was the UPS. The other storefront went through several restaurant concepts before becoming Zen Yai restaurant. It too was destroyed in the fire.
Tang’s wife Lena, also a well-known figure, works alongside of him.
The UPS store is the second business to come back following the fire that also destroyed Sidetracks, Zen Yai, Romantic Depot, New York Style Eats and Better Line Hardware.
Better Line Hardware reopened about two blocks away at 43-24 Greenpoint Ave. last month.
Tang said that he is looking forward to reopening in Sunnyside. “We love the people of Sunnyside. The people here are just amazing. I’m so glad that I have been able to come back.”