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Crabhouse Becomes Latin Restaurant, Lounge, After Struggling to be Accepted in Long Island City

The Loft LIC at 2-03 Borden Ave., formerly called the Crabhouse Restaurant.(QueensPost, Dec. 28, 2017)

Jan. 12, 2018 By Nathaly Pesantez

The Crabhouse Restaurant is no more, as it has undergone a complete makeover and is now going by The Loft LIC.

The restaurant, located at 2-03 Borden Ave., has a new Latin American cuisine to offer, and is also aiming to hold parties every weekend at the site.

Entrees include paella, churrasco, pork fajitas, and mofongo, with side dishes like maduros, empanadas, and tostones. Prices for main dishes range from $17 to $27.

Interior of the new restaurant (via Facebook).

The interior of the new restaurant also has new decor with splashes of white, along with some booths.

Miriam Garcia, the manager at the Loft LIC, said the restaurant relaunched officially on New Years Eve after operating as the Crabhouse Restaurant since August 2016. The restaurant, however, still has the same owners—Joseph Lucil and Skinny Lee.

Garcia said their efforts to uphold the history of the old Waterfront Crab House, which ran for 40 years at the site until it closed in 2015, were met with criticism from patrons.

“They didn’t accept us with the Crabhouse,” Garcia, who was also manager at the now-defunct restaurant, said. “So we decided to change the concept and start over again.”

Garcia added that patrons dining at the Crabhouse would often point out their issues with menu items and prices, and draw comparisons between their venture and the Waterfront Crab House that the late Tony Mazzarella ran. “Long Island City is becoming an expensive area, and they were used to cheap prices,” she said. “But the old owner used to own the building, and now we’re renting.”

The former Waterfront Crab House

With the new concept, the owners are hoping to bolster business by have “something for everyone”, with space for families to enjoy savory dishes at modest prices, and for night life enthusiasts to dance in the restaurant’s lounge space. They are also hoping to draw in more Long Island City locals with their new look.

The Loft LIC is currently opening for dinner, only, from 4 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. and will expand its hours in the near future. The new restaurant will also be introducing brunch hours and parties in the coming weeks. A website is also in the works for the restaurant.

The Gantry Loft, the upstairs event space, has remained unchanged.

 

The Crabhouse Restaurant in August 2016, now The Loft LIC.

 

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23 Comments

Marie Hanlon

I live across the street from this restaurant. My neighbors and I were very much looking forward to a great restaurant on our corner. I have visited it twice. The food and the service were terrible on both occasions. It’s very hard to compete with wonderful restaurants like Casa Enrique, Madera, Tournesol. A lousy actor will not get the part; why shouldn’t this place close down. Why not give another owner the opportunity to be a success in this location? Time is up for this business. And, it’s one small business owner. It’s a conglomerate of 10 restaurants across the city. Goodbye and Good Luck




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Anonymous

“Struggling to be Accepted?” Really? Don’t blame it on LIC. In general, I do not believe many ppl are interested in a Seafood Restaurants. Most of them went down the tubes abt. a decade ago. It is a very busy corner in the summer, and mostly busy the rest of the year, a restaurant should thrive there.




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Marie Hanlon

Yes, what’s this “accepted by the community” blarney. If you have good food and people who have taken Communication 101, you might have been a success. Look at Casa Enrique, look at Blend on Vernon or Murasaki. And, if you’re honest when speaking with your neighbors as well as when speaking at a CB2 meeting, maybe some folks would feel good about your presence in our amazing community. Three cheers for the 108th Precinct for calling you out–and don’t yell out our neighbors for walking their dogs on your sidewalk. Your manager says, “We own the sidewalk.” I’m afraid that she is misinformed. Go and take Turtle with you!! And, our council member, too.




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LIC Neighbor

This place will be jumping with Latinos/Latinas coming in and spending money on dinner, drinks heating up that dance floor.




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LIC Resident

Maybe if the guys running the restaurant were not so ignorant (double-parking the fancy Mercedes S-class illegally to show off their great relationship with local law enforcement), no noise insulation for their event space (which also lends itself to poor acoustics when you’re there) does not exactly help your business, as some people will simply refuse to visit your place.

I do not pity them. Were they to change their ways, I would wish them all the luck in the world 🙂




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Flushing Skeptic

I’m sorry that the old Waterfront Crabhouse went down the tubes. We spent many enjoyable lunches there whenever we had a special office occasion; we would come from Borough hall in a reasonably large party. I wish the new venture luck. Of course they won’t see me again because I’ve moved to Missouri. I wonder what happened to all the wonderful things the old Crabhouse had as décor.




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Anonymous

I really don’t understand why people loved the old WCH so much. I went there several times over the long period they did business, usually invited to participate in an event and a couple of times on my own with family. What are people raving about? The food was pretty unremarkable, lousy even at times, and I and other people I know suffered upset stomach issues from their food. I understand the powerful pull of nostalgia and people’s need to harken back to the Good Ol’ Days fondly, and I can be accused of doing that about LIC too. But some on! The WCH just didn’t deserve the reverence, particularly with regard to what came out of its kitchen. To be honest, just about any other restaurant today in that choice location should be able to do a supremely better job, as long as they hire people in the kitchen with a passion for making good food and respect their customers.




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Anonymous

People loved that place because they had low quality food at large portions that came at inexpensive prices. From what I’ve heard the owner of the old crabhouse (may his soul rest in peace) owned the building. Owning the real estate In which you operate helps with your pricing strategy significantly. These operators took it over and along with paying rent, probably had to pay the exorbitant rent rates the family of the previous owner charged because of the changing neighborhood towards the upscale character it has leaned towards the last few years… 💰
#ItAlwaysAboutTheMoneyAllTheTime




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PattyKB

The owners must not have been acquainted with the old Crabhouse and what made it special. Both of their attempts feature blase interiors and meh food. They could have at least tried to duplicate the memorable atmosphere and delicious food of the Crabhouse. Good luck.




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chaz

This has nothing to do with rent. The article states it has the same owner, it’s just a change in style and




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Astoria Resident

As a former patron of the Waterfront Crabhouse, it is insulting for the current renters to blame their failed business venture on us being used to “cheap prices”. The place had personality. Yes, a lot of us went in, once, to see the new version but that was 2 years ago. What did they do to bring in new customers? Thousands have flocked to LIC to live, most of whom likely never stepped foot in the original. They simply failed. Good luck with the new version, but their excuse for not making it as a Crabhouse shows their lack of “personality” (and business acumen) to say the least.




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Brad

Not a shame in regards to this one. Let lost me early on after repeated noise issues (rattling my windows) and their continuous horrid valet parking practices.




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oh well

too bad for you that none of that will change with a change in cuisine. I had heard that the immediate neighbors were very verbal in their noise complaints. Might actually get louder with the change in cuisine, gives the Blend on the Water folks another place to frequency.




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MRLIC

It’s a shame these small businesses can’t survive in LIC anymore. The greedy luxury real estate developers are driving up rents. That’s why I vote for them for president, especially when they’re racist sexual predators.




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Richard

Yes, how dare owners charge money for rent. All rent, food clothing and shelter should be free, and people shouldn’t have to work for a living.




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LIC Neighbor

Our Mayor providing free hotel rooms through Department of Homeless Services at the Best Western and Quality Inn in LIC to the homeless – no one lives for free – they should be made to pay even $10 to 20 for a nights stay.




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MC Castro

MRLIC
You are very ignorant. All the bad things happening from long time ago, now is President Trump’s fault.
For your education lets me tell you that most of the developers in LIC, are asian Co. and the permits, by the hundreds are giving away by your libtard, socialist democRATS DiBlasio.




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me fail English?

For your education:

* from A long time ago
* now ARE Trump’s fault
* are GIVEN away

Maybe learn basic grammar before you call others ignorant?




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William Sinclair

Trolls for hire are often identified by poor grammar, clumsy phrasing and misspelling of simple words.




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