Opening a restaurant in NYC is a tough business, and the road to profitably is even tougher these days. Maybe that’s why there was a paucity of notable restaurant openings and announcements in LIC in 2016. In addition, there are a number of prominent restaurant spaces that remain vacant, most notably the city-facing corner location in the Hunters Point Commons building on Center Boulevard, the “Prime Retail Space” at the corner of 1 Vernon Jackson , and The Bread Box on 11th Street. Thus this year we have decided to include any establishment that allows imbibing on premises in our round-up, because who needs food?
Gordo’s Cantina – Mexican, what else, near Queensboro Plaza
Hansik – pop-up Korean in old Re-Pub-Lic space
Jackson’s – gastro-pub replacing Station LIC location. Where else but on Jackson Ave
PokeLICious – LIC joins the poke craze. Six months ago it was Pokemon, six months from now it’ll just be Po’
Ramen Shack – the newest in noodles for LIC, and they also serve their self-created ramen burger. If that’s not kooky enough, they have a quirky storefront, are located next to Queensbridge, and the hours are spotty. Nevertheless Gothamist named their ‘Quiet Storm’ one of the 10 Best New Bites of 2016
Sapp’s – the first in a troika of restaurants coming into Rockrose-owned townhouses on Jackson Avenue in Court Square. This Japanese eatery is expected in “early 2017” and will be co-owned by Shih Lee
Toby’s Estate Coffee – the second of the Rockrose grouping, it’s going to be a close call whether this small batch brewer with outposts in Brooklyn and Manhattan will open their LIC cafe ahead of their neighbor above
Levante – the final Rockrose location will be a pizza-centric eatery founded by the owners of Luzzo in the East Village. It looks to arrive a little further in the future than it’s siblings, but if you want up-to-the-minute updates on these three establishments tune into The Court Square Blog
Fifth Hammer Brewery – this 5,000 square foot brewery on 46th Avenue just east of Vernon Blvd was supposed to be completed in the Fall. Of course as any seasoned restaurant critic/campaign reporter knows, putting a timeline on a restaurant opening is as predictable as calling a two-candidate national election. Though the website is now listing Spring 2017, co-owner Chris Cuzme shared with us that “most of the work to be completed by early Spring, allowing us to open in late Spring. But we expect all things to take longer than expected so if we expect that and we expect it to take longer than expected, what does that actually mean for a realistic time line? We have no idea, haha.”
Hoo boy, reading that makes me glad I have a safe part-time desk job with unlimited pretzels. Anyway, Chris added that “We have received our Federal licensing from the TTB as a production brewery and as soon as we send pics of our tasting room to the State Liquor Authority we’ll have state approval as a micro-brewery and farm-brewery (dedicating certain of our beers to incorporating significant portions of NY State Grown ingredients). Our brew house is completed and is sitting with our manufacturer in Nebraska (American Beer Equipment). While not onsite, it is ready to be shipped just as soon as we are able to receive…which will hopefully be in early April at the absolute latest.
Sage General Store Space – we’ve received a scoop that this storefront has now been leased and the expectations are that it will be a bar and restaurant serving fast casual mediterranean-inspired food. No name yet, but hoping to open in May, a date I share with a ‘haha’ clause
Two Boots Pizzeria & Vanessa’s Dumpling’s – just announced today by Qns.com, these two establishments will both be located in The Factory, a warehouse/office building at 30-30 47th Avenue. Expected to open between February and April and should be a nice addition for workers in this non-residential neighborhood
COMING NOT SO SOON
Mothership Meat Company – Josh Bowen, the owner of John Brown Smokehouse, is bringing his newest BBQ adventure to Dutch Kills and adding a few twists to his mix, such as yuzu, garam masala, and frogs legs. Though earlier publications hinted at its opening in the Fall, the ‘haha’ factor has crept in with the last word coming on November 20 from Mothership’s Facebook site simply stating “Getting closer everyday.” Though the actual location is being kept a secret, Yelp is listing it (sans comments) as 27-20 49th Avenue, which we show as this building.
The Gutter – booze & bowling, whodathunkit? Expected late 2016 on 46th Avenue just east of Vernon, but no reply from owner so it could be late 2017. Or tomorrow
San Remo on Vernon – this one just received scaffolding three weeks ago, but bags of concrete were being walked in by several workers today, so who really knows when. Or what
If this year’s pickings seem a little skimpy, there’s always Show Palace, where you can get beef tenderloin and nachos supreme. Though you won’t be able to wash it down with a nice glass of claret or even a shot of fireball, due to continued licensing issues.
Show Palace Menu – get some food w/ your nudes, you know you wanna look!
Lightstone Announces Topping Out of Dutch Kills LIC Project – a new and squat 10-story building at 30-02 39th Avenue next to the elevated N & W subway stop. Will contain 428 rentals and lots of amenities including an indoor/outdoor pool. Opening scheduled for Fall 2017
Movie Theater Chain Negotiating for New Space on Queens Blvd – ok, it’s technically 4 blocks into Sunnyside, but potentially another option to the Kaufman Astoria Multiplex, which is technically in LIC
Hunters Point Library Now Expected to Open End of Summer – this after reporting that it would open this Spring, remember the haha next time