Hunters Point civic group calls on community board to compromise on backyard space

The rear yard at L'anzio, which the owner elected not to use in order to get a beer & wine license

The rear yard at L’inizio, at 47-23 Vernon Blvd, which the owner elected not to use in order to get a beer & wine license

May 20, By Christian Murray

A Long Island City civic group is urging Community Board 2 to be more flexible and allow restaurants and bars on Vernon Boulevard to use their rear yard space—at least on a limited basis.

Brent O’Leary, the president of the Hunters Point Civic Association, said, “The consensus of our members and a large part of our community is that the policy towards use of rear yards is too restrictive. “

O’Leary’s group, which was founded in 2012 and meets monthly, said the organization sees “no reason why establishments should be prevented from using their yards as long as reasonable hours and noise restrictions are adhered to.”

The group’s formal position on the matter comes just one week after it held a monthly meeting at the New York Irish Center, where the majority of the 30-plus attendees said that the community board was being too rigid and needs to compromise.

Assemblywoman Cathy Nolan and Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer had representatives at the meeting. Both acted as observers and did not speak on the topic.

The group’s position comes at time when the community board is creating some guidelines that will apply to new applications for rear-yard open spaces in Hunters Point.

The community board has been able to stop bar/restaurant owners from using their backyards by threatening to block their liquor license applications if they keep them open.

Patrick O’Brien, the chairman of the Community Board 2’s City Service/Public Safety Committee that oversees liquor licenses, said that he is working on a general policy that aims to recognize the rights of all parties, which he will present to the City Service committee at its June meeting and then to the full board.

However, many of the guidelines—which will aim to tackle the thorny issues of noise—will still remain open to interpretation.

O’Leary’s group calls on the board to take into account the changing tide in favor of rear yard space.

“We ask our community board and the liquor authority to take into account the large part of our community asking for rear yard use,” O’Leary said. “We ask them to note the petition to allow rear yard use in the neighborhood signed by 632 people.”

O’Leary, speaking on behalf of members, contends that while “complete silence would be nice, we accept the fact that we live in a city, in close proximity to each other and that certain noise is unavoidable. Rear yard dining is enjoyed in every other neighborhood in New York and can be handled reasonably in Long Island City.”

“The businesses have indicated that they are amendable to reasonable restrictions as to hours of use and noise level and we welcome this discussion to allow all parties to come to a compromise,” the statement read.

Brent O'Leary

Brent O’Leary

However, at last Wednesday’s monthly City Services Committee meeting, O’Brien was not convinced by these arguments, which had become part of the public discourse.

O’Brien said that New York has a public policy where people have the right to the quiet enjoyment of their property, while people who run businesses do so under a license. “Licenses are not rights but are privileges,” he said.

O’Brien questioned the petition. He said that many of the 600-700 who signed it did so anonymously, so it is difficult to tell how close they are to the bars and restaurants in question. “We want to see names and addresses,” O’Brien said.

Furthermore, he said, recent data indicates that there are 7,000 to 8,000 residents in Hunters Point so while 600-700 is a good number it doesn’t reflect the majority.

O’Brien said that the guidelines might call for a bar/restaurant owner to reach out to all residents within a certain radius of where the backyard space would be. The bar/restaurant owner would then be required to ask the residents to fill out a standardized form stating whether they favor it, oppose it or do not have an opinion on it.

“If you live right above something [a restaurant] your opinion will carry more weight that someone that lives 2 miles away or even 3 blocks away,” O’Brien said.

 

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32 Responses to Hunters Point civic group calls on community board to compromise on backyard space

  1. Cool Your Jets

    Actually, the majority of the signatures do have names. One of the key people involved in helping the restaurants acquire the use of their rear space lives right on Vernon. The petitioner lives right off Vernon and behind a restaurant with a rear yard. So there goes that argument.

    FYI, I was one of the anonymous signatures.

    And as long as we're talking about numbers, the NIMBY's counter petition only has 55 signatures. Some of those signatures are from people out of the country....

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  2. LIC

    I think that as a member of CB2 Patrick O’Brien, the chairman of the Community Board 2’s City Service/Public Safety Committee that oversees liquor licenses should revisit and look at currently outside patios and consider an investigation when business owners pay a lot of money for licenses and play by the rules when 1 local business owner isn't looked out to be playing by the rules. All the new places that have opened places to dine work with each other in a beautiful community that is growing. Sadly there is the 1 location who abuses the system and hurts those businesses within LIC.

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  3. Gillmoli

    Cool Your Jets, are you a member of the Facebook group, "Free The Yards"? If not, please join so you can stay up to date on all the news regarding this movement along with info for upcoming CB2 and Hunters Point Civic Association meetings.

    It looks like change is in the works and the rest of the community is finally being heard over the grossly over-amplified voices of that very small minority.

    Hopefully Mr. Van Bramer's visit to L'Inizio during the LIC Spring Stroll last weekend will help convince him to vote in favor of changing the rules and also gain the support of the rest of the board so we can all finally put this issue to bed.

    It would be an absolute shame to see this backyard space in particular go unused...they are growing their own tomatoes, red bell peppers, zucchini, and basil, just to name a few.

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  4. Cool Your Jets

    Thanks Gillmoli! Will do!

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  5. LittleBearNYC

    I will repeat this one more time- after the obnoxious, loud, rude behavior of the staff and owners of I'inzio at a local restaurant last Saturday night (3 tables asked them to keep it down, which prompted a ton of nasty cursing and yelling of "NO F%^KEN RESPECT" - the restaurant gave us half our meal for free due to these "cafione") I would be hesitant to have any of L'Inzio's neighbors subjected to what we went through for two hours.

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  6. Sonny L.

    While optimism is wonderful:

    - the SLA meeting was moved last minute
    - Mr. O'Brien (to whom I've personally written) ignored opening these back yards at that meeting and snidely dismissed the petition for the open space use in LIC as folly
    - YET prior to that, HAD welcomed revisiting opening back yards personally at the previous CB2 meeting before the community
    - there is a backroom correspondence between some restaurant owners and board members scrambling to make certain nothing opens (perhaps the competition would be too great? who knows?)

    LET'S FACE IT
    This situation must be hashed out together as a community. The neighbors are restless, and by neighbors, I include those who live ALL OVER the neighborhood near or far from the Vernon Moratorium.

    This trite situation is pathetic and a reflection of the cogs that stop the machine of progress and growth for our community.

    The more the CB2 fights to oppose growth in our community, the more parochial and antiquated their persona becomes, which undermines both the direction of our growing and changing demographic and ultimately will result in Van Bramer's term limits going into effect (as other CBs seek to do so with limits on whether politically seated folks can recommend Board members).

    It is simple, close the yards, lose business and revenues, cut job creation, and create general dissent among the LIC population. Economics 101 says it is the fast track to killing growth ~ i ask you, is that what the CB2 is about? or will their egos move aside to make way for some prosperity our neighborhood so desires and deserves?

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  7. Sonny L.

    Dear LIC - don't speak in tongues. It undermines your credibility. Say what you mean. It is a pay to play system for sure. That is what has been created by the referendum.

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  8. Nevermind The Haters

    ^^^cool story bro^^^

    It's a good thing decisions aren't made based on rumors and tall tales.

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  9. Sonny L.

    I am a neighbor of L'inzio. Please do not speak for me.

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  10. Nevermind The Haters

    my comment was to LittleBear NYC

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  11. Sonny L.

    I am a neighbor of all those restaurants but William Garrett has spoken for me. I did not ask that of him.

    My voice and those of most of the rest of LIC, are being silenced by a few people claiming they have more of a right, are more entitled as a neighbor than the rest of us. I did not ask them to speak for me. We who wish to be heard are being silenced by the few.

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  12. Ajloehxn

    Who elected the community board? Or are those positions appointed? How do we the community that is interested in developing the neighborhood join or apply to be apart of the community board?

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  13. BiPolar

    Two comments from someone who supports limited back yard use.

    If you go to the SLA website in the video for Alobar the owner represents that there are no residents anywhere around them. Not a great strategy to stretch and twist the truth and probably why they lost.

    They also claimed they needed a back yard to compete with other restaurants but at the same time claim that CB2 has a moratorium on back yards. So who is their competition?

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  14. Anonymous

    It's partly true. The person directly above Alobar has an apartment that doesn't stretch all the way to the back. If you walk into Alobar, the apartment ends half way into the restaurant and they have no windows facing the back.

    And the person living at the top floor is the landlord of the entire building and supports Alobar's quest to open their rear yard.

    There is a moratorium on outdoor seating from El Ay Si all the way to Alobar as well as any restaurant that has a rear yard opening in the post-Lounge 47 age. The exception is for those bars/restaurants that were able to obtain the liquor license with outdoor seating privileges BEFORE William Garrett cried a river about it (i.e. LIC Bar).

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  15. Gillmoli

    Anonymous, I wonder if Riverview will eventually end up like Rebar in Dumbo...not paying rent is definitely a sign of something fishy going on...

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  16. Anthony D

    CB2 "sound engineer" wasn't happy with the music on Vernon for the block party. I can't believe he had the nerve to approach some of the volunteers and complain. Enough is enough already!

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  17. Anonymous

    WG did whine about music?
    Let's open the yards. If L'inzio is rude, it speaks for them.
    Also the immediate neighbour shouldn't have more right than all of the community, especially if it's WG. Let him live in a bar deserted land where he needs to drive to everywhere to get something.

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  18. LIC Res

    Litigate this.

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  19. Bipolar

    Thoughts of the day:

    To point at one person as the lone opponent to back yard seating is a foolish idea because one person cannot have that much influence and power.

    But more important it marginalizes and diminishes the importance of the many neighbors who either oppose or just want reasonable limits.

    How about some respect for all sides of the debate?

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  20. LIC Resident2

    @Bipolar
    While I agree and I think you have a solid point to keep both sides respectful, the truth of the situation is that this one particular person really does have MUCH more influence than one person should have in this matter. The truth is there IS something shady going on with how much pull he has had in the past. So naturally people tend to emphasize this point more than the larger debate at hand.

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  21. DDD

    Sonny L.

    Hope you enjoyed the Block Party.

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  22. Bipolar

    Today's thought:

    Maybe personal accusations or innuendos by anonymous posters who do not furnish any proof, should not be accepted as fact. People say they want fair representation. Doesn't that include being fair to those you disagree with?

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  23. Townie

    Maybe we don't accept the "accusations and innuendos...as fact." This is the internet. Maybe we're not morons.

    And
    we're not just SAYING we want fair representation. We actually do want it, duh.

    What's tomorrow's thought?

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  24. BiPolar

    Tomorrow's thought for Townie. Wow! Relax!

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  25. Vernon2

    A compromise can, and will, be achieved if both parties stop with the zero sum game. Lounge 47 was a late night disaster with no respect for the neighborhood and screwed it for those that followed. Alobar and L'Inizio seemed to have some bad advice regarding how to appeal to CB2 ( show up at meeting, don't lie about 1,300 petition, don't lie about no neighbors). Try something different. Demonize the guy Garrett who complained all you want. He's working within the system and achieved his desired outcome. Try it for yourself and you'll be surprised how quickly something will happen.

    See you at L'Inizio for a slice and a beer when it finally opens.

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  26. Townie

    uh, snap.
    zzzzzz

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  27. Tanya

    Hey, is there a link for that Facebook group? Like Facebook.com/whatever...Maybe I'm daft, but I couldn't find it while searching. Thanks!

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  28. Gillmoli

    Hi Tanya, it's called "Free The Yards" on Facebook. Just type that into your FB search tab and it should come up. I look forward to "meeting" you online and hopefully at the next CB2 meeting!

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  29. Pizza

    L'inizio is open!?

    #psyched

    #yardstil11pm
    #communitycompromise

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21-45 45th Road, Court Square

21-45 45th Road, Court Square

 

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Cathy Nolan’s opponent for Assembly a long shot

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This November’s election for Assembly District 37 is practically a formality.

Assemblywoman Cathy Nolan (D), who has been in office representing a large portion of Western Queens since 1984, faces a contender who has run against her twice before and was thumped each time.

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Wilson, who ran as a Republican in his past two campaigns, is running for office as a Libertarian this year. He switched parties, he said, so people would listen to his positions.

“When I ran as a Republican [in 2010 and 2012], people would shut the door in my face and not even listen to my ideas,” he said. “People associate you as Dick Cheney, which is not the case. This time, some people might tell me they are Cathy [Nolan] supporters but at least they will listen to me.”

His platform is based around free market economics. He said businesses are over regulated, over taxed and subject to too much bureaucracy. “New York State is very unfriendly to business and that is why many are leaving to go to other states.”

He cited the battle in Long Island City over the use of back yard space as an example of unnecessary bureaucracy.

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“Without a choice we enter into Soviet style government,” he said.

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New French bakery just days away from opening

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A new French bakery is about to open in Hunters Point.

Cannelle Patisserie, a popular French bakery that opened in Jackson Heights more than six years ago, will be opening in the next week to 10 days.

The bakery, which is located on the ground floor of The Maximilian building at 5-11 47th Ave, will offer cakes, pastries, macaroons, coffee and sandwiches—much like its Jackson Heights location, said co-owner Jean-Claude Perennou.

The new bakery has space for 25 seats—and Perennou has plans to offer sidewalk seating next summer.

Perennou, a French native who has lived in the Hunters Point for the past 18 months, has plenty of industry experience.

Prior to opening Cannelle Patisserie, Perennou was a pastry chef at the Waldorf Astoria for more than a decade—and has worked at several restaurants in New York and Paris. He attended Le Paraclet, a culinary school in France.

Perennou said he and his business partner wanted to expand into Hunters Point since there is no other French bakery in the neighborhood and that they would be filling a niche.

Furthermore, he said, the new bakery would not be too far from the Jackson Heights location, so they could travel back and forth with relative ease.

Perennou said he looks forward to having a location where people will be able walk to the store. Currently, he said, most people have to drive to get to the Jackson Heights bakery.

“We are looking forward to opening in LIC and are eager to start,” he said.

Jean Claude

Jean Claude Perennou

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8 people isolated — and later cleared–after suspicious powder discovered in LIC building
ambulance-e1412871498173Oct. 14, By Michael Florio (Update: 7:30 pm) A suspicious white powder was discovered this morning at the headquarters of the New York City Housing Authority in Long Island City this morning. Eight people were initially isolated by the FDNY-- but they were later cleared. The powder was discovered on the fourth floor of the 23-02 49th Avenue building, around 10:50 am, inside a letter that was opened in the mail room, according to a NYPD spokesperson. The Department of Environmental Protection is currently testing the powder to identify what it is but the NYPD said it was unlikely to be hazardous. There were no injuries, the NYPD said, and the building was not evacuated.  
Cathy Nolan’s opponent for Assembly a long shot
JohnKwilsonOct. 13, By Christian Murray This November’s election for Assembly District 37 is practically a formality. Assemblywoman Cathy Nolan (D), who has been in office representing a large portion of Western Queens since 1984, faces a contender who has run against her twice before and was thumped each time. Nolan has name recognition, the benefit of incumbency, strong party backing and has raised more than $130,000 in campaign funds since 2010 (Friends of Catherine Nolan and Nolan for Assembly). She has moved up the ranks over the years, where she has chaired the Banking as well as Labor committees. She is currently the chair of the Education Committee. Meanwhile, her challenger John K. Wilson, a Sunnyside barman/actor, has raised $10,000 in campaign funds (Committee to elect John K Wilson) since 2010 and has virtually no name recognition. His best effort against Nolan came in 2010 when he generated 16% of the vote, after he ran a confrontational—and at times—negative campaign (see website). Wilson said he is running in order to introduce term limits and bring an end to the Queens Democratic machine. “There is too much power in too few hands,” he said. “Six years in office should be the limit,” Wilson said. “I want to put an end to career politicians.” “The longer someone is in power the less work they do for the people,” he said. “They take the job for granted and focus on moving up within the party.” Wilson, who ran as a Republican in his past two campaigns, is running for office as a Libertarian this year. He switched parties, he said, so people would listen to his positions. “When I ran as a Republican [in 2010 and 2012], people would shut the door in my face and not even listen to my ideas,” he said. “People associate you as Dick Cheney, which is not the case. This time, some people might tell me they are Cathy [Nolan] supporters but at least they will listen to me.” His platform is based around free market economics. He said businesses are over regulated, over taxed and subject to too much bureaucracy. “New York State is very unfriendly to business and that is why many are leaving to go to other states.” He cited the battle in Long Island City over the use of back yard space as an example of unnecessary bureaucracy. “Local restaurants hire people, want to do what is right by the community and are losing revenue,” he said. “These owners don’t want to be bad neighbors,” he said. “It is not in their interest to have loud noise at night. Why not a compromise?” He said that he opposes the concept of affordable housing, which he views as a “buzzword” to make it appear as though elected officials are “helping the little people.” He said the term “affordable” has never been defined and believes that market forces are the answer. Wilson, who supports gay marriage and is pro-choice, said that he wants the number of charter schools to be expanded. He said charter schools benefit poor and minority students and many parents want to send their children to these schools since they provide the best chance these children have for success. He also said that the state needs to cut spending and focus more on reducing taxes."Lower taxes equal more jobs," he said. Most of all, Wilson said that voters need a choice come Election Day (Nov. 4) and said it is disappointing that many legislators are running unopposed. “Without a choice we enter into Soviet style government,” he said.
New French bakery just days away from opening
cafeshopOct. 10, By Christian Murray A new French bakery is about to open in Hunters Point. Cannelle Patisserie, a popular French bakery that opened in Jackson Heights more than six years ago, will be opening in the next week to 10 days. The bakery, which is located on the ground floor of The Maximilian building at 5-11 47th Ave, will offer cakes, pastries, macaroons, coffee and sandwiches—much like its Jackson Heights location, said co-owner Jean-Claude Perennou. The new bakery has space for 25 seats—and Perennou has plans to offer sidewalk seating next summer. Perennou, a French native who has lived in the Hunters Point for the past 18 months, has plenty of industry experience. Prior to opening Cannelle Patisserie, Perennou was a pastry chef at the Waldorf Astoria for more than a decade—and has worked at several restaurants in New York and Paris. He attended Le Paraclet, a culinary school in France. Perennou said he and his business partner wanted to expand into Hunters Point since there is no other French bakery in the neighborhood and that they would be filling a niche. Furthermore, he said, the new bakery would not be too far from the Jackson Heights location, so they could travel back and forth with relative ease. Perennou said he looks forward to having a location where people will be able walk to the store. Currently, he said, most people have to drive to get to the Jackson Heights bakery. “We are looking forward to opening in LIC and are eager to start,” he said.
Jean Claude

Jean Claude Perennou

Two robbed in Murray Playground last month, police search for suspects
LICBAC Oct. 9, By Michael Florio The police are searching for two men wanted in connection with a gun point robbery that took place in Murray Playground (45th Ave and 21st Street) last month. The two suspects entered the park at about 2:10 am Monday, Sept. 15, and approached a 22-year-old male and 22-year-old female. They displayed a firearm and demanded money. The suspects removed a Samsung Galaxy cellular phone, a debit card, and $5 in cash from the male victim, and removed an iPhone and debit card from the female victim. The suspects are both described as black males. The police have released a photo of one of the suspects who using the male victim's debit card at a Bank of America ATM, located at 2680 Broadway in Manhattan. Anyone with information in regards to this incident is asked to call Crime stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477).  
Van Bramer differs with Community Board Chair over the development of Sunnyside Yards
Sunnyside_Yard_East_jehOct. 8, By Christian Murray Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer said today that he is firmly opposed to building over the Sunnyside Yards. Van Bramer made the statement in response to Community Board 2 Chairman Joe Conley’s call last Thursday for a study to determine whether it would be feasible to build over a section of the yards, which consists of acres of land covered by railroad tracks. Conley said at the monthly Community Board 2 meeting that the Sunnyside Yards could be used to build more affordable housing. “We should look at it with the possibility of creating a community…with affordable housing, market rate housing and retail,” Conley said. Conley called on the board to give him permission to send a letter to the Queens Borough President’s office requesting a study of the area. The board complied. The letter, however, alarmed several people who fear over development—with some claiming that the infrastructure is overstretched as it is. Van Bramer said the community is not calling for the development of the Sunnyside Yards. He said people are more concerned about school overcrowding, transportation issues and other problems that actually stem from development. “My office is in the business of receiving hundreds of letters and speaking to people about important issues all the time,” Van Bramer said. “Not one person has come to me and said ‘you should deck over the Sunnyside Yards and build housing.” Several Community Board 2 members said after last Thursday’s meeting that they were caught by surprise by Conley’s request. “I’m opposed to the concept of decking [building] over the Sunnyside Yards,” Van Bramer said. “The idea gets floated whenever there is an economic boom…but I think it would be bad for the surrounding community.” Van Bramer, as councilman, has a big role to play in terms of land use decisions such as these. All significant zoning changes go through the city council and it is typically the elected official in a given district that makes the call. Van Bramer was unsure how the idea surfaced in the first place.
Jimmy Van Bramer

Jimmy Van Bramer

Conley said that the Sunnyside Yards—which go through Long Island City and Sunnyside--are owned by government agencies. Therefore, this provides the community with an opportunity to negotiate with developers as to the number of affordable units that could be built. “Jackson Avenue and 21st Street would be our jumping off point,” Conley said, adding that the study would then look toward Thomson Avenue and Queens Plaza. Van Bramer said that he too is in favor of affordable housing. However, he said, “Density is appropriate in some places and not others. I, for one, believe Sunnyside and Astoria are great low-density neighborhoods that should remain so.” Conley told the Daily News Tuesday that the Sunnyside Yards also divide the neighborhoods and indicated that the housing would draw them closer. “Right now you have this scar that runs down the community,” he told the News. Van Bramer disagreed with this view. “I wouldn’t characterize these neighborhoods as having a scar running through them…and I don’t believe the neighborhoods are unreachable.”  
Police seek help in locating serial bank robber, suspect allegedly hit HSBC bank in LIC in 2012
Oct. 8, By Christian Murray suspect Call him the 21st Century version of Willie Sutton or John Dillinger. The police are searching for a man who has robbed eight Queens banks—and attempted to rob two others—in the past 2 1/2 years. The banks have been scattered throughout the borough—covering Jackson Heights, Middle Village, Long Island City, Astoria, Flushing, East Elmhurst and Sunnyside. In total, the suspect has taken in about $50,000. One of the robberies occurred at the HSBC Bank branch at 22-15 43rd Avenue, where the suspect approached a teller and passed a note—before fleeing with $8,680 in cash. That incident occurred on August 20, 2012. The suspect’s modus operandi has been to enter a bank, pass a note and—on four occasions—display a firmarm. He also tends to hold a mobile phone up against his ear. No injuries have resulted from his spree. The suspect (see photo) is believed to be between 30 and 35 years old, approximately 6-feet-tall and weighing about 200 pounds. Police said he was last seen wearing a New York Yankees baseball hat and a button-down short sleeve shirt. He also had a light beard connected to a goatee, tinted eye glasses and a black wrist watch on his left wrist. The first incident occurred on July 17, 2012, when he allegedly entered into an Amalgamated Bank at 78-01 37th Avenue in Jackson Heights and took off with $1,450.suspect1 The latest robbery occurred Saturday, when the suspected entered Chase Bank at 69-55 Grand Avenue, passed a note and left with $5,170. Anyone with information regarding these incidents is asked to call Crime stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477).
Oktoberfest fundraiser to be held at waterfront park Saturday
LIC-007Oct. 6, By Christian Murray Oktoberfest is coming to Hunters Point South Park this Saturday. The Hunters Point Parks Conservancy and LIC Landing are hosting an Oktoberfest event on October 11 (btw. 4pm and 7pm) next to LIC Landing. The party is a fundraiser for the Hunters Point Parks Conservancy, a non-profit group dedicated to maintaining the waterfront parks and hosting events. The funds raised will be used to host a series of events in the spring/summer of 2015—such as movies, a music series and family events. This Saturday’s fundraiser—aptly called ParkToberfest—will cost $50 a ticket, and attendees will be provided with unlimited beers between 4 pm and 7 pm from breweries such as Singlecut, Harpoon, Radeberger, Hofbrau and others. The cost of admission will also include a bratwurst sandwich, while other food—such as oysters-- is available for purchase. Music will be performed by the Street Beat Brass Band, a New York City brass band that plays an eclectic mix of music—from New Orleans Jazz, Mexican Banda, Gospel, Klezmer, and Funk. There will also be giveaways including T-shirts, hats and other beer-inspired gifts. “This will be our last fundraiser for the year before it gets too cold,” said Rob Basch, who is in charge of events for the Hunters Point Park Conservancy. Basch is hopeful that the weather will remain warm this Saturday. However, he said “Oktoberfest in Germany tends to be cold.” Basch is expecting about 200 people to turn out for the fundraiser. He said that the first 25 people to buy a ticket will receive a 1-litre Hofbrau Crystal mug, with the next 12 ticket buyers getting a 1-pint Hofbrau boot mug. Tickets can be purchased on the day or online at parkToberfest.eventbrite.com There will be an after party hosted by Alewife, where beer specials with be available to all ParkToberfest party goers. poster
Ramen restaurant to open on Vernon Blvd.
Japanese restaurant Oct. 5, By Christian Murray The owner of an Astoria ramen restaurant is opening a location on Vernon Boulevard. The restaurant, which is expected to be called Tamashii Blue, will be located 47-36 Vernon Boulevard. The ramen restaurant will be owned by Jhon Cho, who owns and operates Tamashii Ramen at 29-05 Broadway. The announcement comes weeks before Mu Ramen, a highly-touted ramen shop that had operated out of the Bricktown Bagels, opens at 12-09 Jackson Avenue. Cho said he plans to open his Vernon Boulevard restaurant in March. The restaurant will seat about 25 to 30 people—a little larger than the 22 seats that Mu Ramen will have. Cho said that he decided to open a Vernon Blvd location since there has been a lot of demand from Long Island City customers. He said many Long Island City residents call his Astoria restaurant hoping to place an order  that -due to distance--he is unable to meet.- Cho, a Korean national, has been in the US for 16 years and has worked or owned restaurants since. His father is Japanese while his mother is Korean. His mother operated a restaurant in Korea for more than 30 years, he said. For more information on Tamashi Ramen, click here.
Owner Jhon Cho

Owner Jhon Cho

Inside Tamashi Ramen

Inside Tamashi Ramen

Exterior of Tamashii Ramen

Exterior of Tamashii Ramen at 29-05 Broadway

Family carnival to take place at Hunters Point South Park Saturday
Patrick Thompson

Patrick Thompson

Oct. 2, By Michael Florio The carnival is coming to town! New City Church, located at 46-28 Vernon Blvd, will be hosting its inaugural LIC Community Carnival this Saturday at Hunters Point Park South from 11 am until 3 pm. Several businesses and local organizations are co-sponsoring the event adding to the family-oriented day. There will be bean bag and grab bag games, pumpkin painting and face painting, all for free. “There will be a lot of games for kids--ages four through eight,” said Patrick Thompson, Lead Pastor at New City Church. Thompson said the church aims to make it an annual event. “We want it to be an event people can look forward to every fall,” he said. . Thompson said that there will be raffles, where participants can win gift cards from local restaurants. There will also be a so-called ‘cupcake walk,’ a game where participants walk around in a circle until the music stops. A number is then drawn and the person standing on the winning number will receive cupcakes, provided by 51st Bakery & Cafe (5-33 51st Ave). The church has teamed up with the Hunters Point Park Conservancy and LIC Landing by COFFEED to host the event. Frank Raffaele, owner of COFFEED, will be providing the carnival volunteers with food. Duane Reade will also be setting up a booth offering free flu shots. The rain date is this Sunday, from 11am to 3 pm. LIC Community Carnival.Back_-500x655
The Beer Closet, which will offer 400-different types of beer, to open next week
Beer Closet (file photo)

Beer Closet (file photo)

Oct. 1, By Christian Murray A new store that plans to offer as many as 400 domestic and foreign beers is expected to open on 51st Avenue next week. The Beer Closet, located at 5-37 51st Avenue, will be selling bottles and cans from across the globe. It will sell five craft beers by the growler, a number that will grow over time. The Beer Closet will initially sell about 150 different beers and will ramp-up the number in coming months. Initially, the owner will sell cheese and chocolate—items that the owner said goes with beer. The business is owned by Mario Cruz, who has worked at Vernon Wine & Liquor for the past 2 years. Cruz, a 32-year-old former marine, got the idea for the store after many customers would walk into the liquor store also requesting beer. The owners of Vernon Wine & Liquor will be advising Cruz on how to operate the business and will be offering joint loyalty programs—where points accumulated at one store can be redeemed at the other. Cruz said that in the first year the focus will be on developing the retail operation. However, next year he would like to have a bar/tasting area at the back of the store with the possibility of opening the rear yard. Cruz, however, said recently that he would monitor the discussions concerning backyard use to see whether that it is a viable option. The retail store will be cut off from the potential bar/tasting space—via a wall. There will be access through to the rear space via French doors. The owner has created the partition since a separate space is needed for the bar/tasting area in order to get a liquor license. A grand opening party has been tentatively planned for Saturday, Oct. 18. Meanwhile, Vernon Wine & Liquor has been undergoing a significant makeover. The back of the store—where the wine is kept—has been completely revamped. The front area is also undergoing change—with plans for a new awning. “We want to be known for being a wine shop as opposed to a liquor store,” said Vanessa Conway, the store manager, whose fiance is a co-owner of the store. “We will keep offering all the basics... but will pay more attention on wine.”
Casa Enrique and M. Wells Steakhouse win Michelin star
casa-outside-crop-u4869 Sept. 30, By Christian Murray Michelin Travel Publications rolled out its New York City's 2015 Michelin Guide today, and two out of the 73 area restaurants that earned the highly sought honor—a star--are from Long Island City. Casa Enrique, the Mexican restaurant located at 5-48 49thAve, and M. Wells Steakhouse, which opened at 43-15 Crescent Street less than a year, were honored with a star. The Michelin Guide, or Le Guide Michelin, awards the top restaurants with one, two or three stars. It is only the exceptional restaurants that make the cut. Only six restaurants received 3 stars, with nine restaurants receiving 2. (Click for list) The guide's recommendations are put together by a team of anonymous inspectors, who all undergo strict training and sign confidentiality agreements before filing their assigned reports. Last week, Alobar and John Brown Smokehouse were among the Michelin 2015 “Bib Gourmand” picks, which notes those restaurants that provide high-quality cuisine at a reasonable price. .

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