June 14, 2014 By Christian Murray
El Ay Si, the popular restaurant located at 47-38 Vernon Blvd., has changed hands.
Two men, both of whom work in the IT business, have bought the restaurant and have no plans to change it. Details of the sale are not known at this point.
“The name, management and staff are all going to remain the same,” said Alexandru Menglide, one of the two owners taking over the restaurant.
“I have worked as a computer programmer all my life and it has been a dream of mine to open a place…and finally after all these years I have found one,” said Menglide, who was looking to transfer the existing liquor license to his corporate name, at a community board meeting Wednesday.
El Ay Si (phonetically LIC) was established by Xerxes Novoa at the end of 2009 and the restaurant is known for its chicken fried chicken, nachos and pulled pork tacos.
The restaurant is small, with 9 tables, 37 seats and 8 seats at the bar.
Novoa, a Long Island City resident, said earlier this year that he was selling the business because it had become very time consuming. “You get very attached to them [restaurants]…and then you wind up being plumber/electrician and have to be around them all the time.”
At the Community Board 2 meeting, the new owners said they planned to open the restaurant on Mondays, a day that they are currently closed. They expressed a desire to open until 4 am on Thursdays through Saturdays—from their current hours of 2 am.
They have no plans on opening the backyard. In fact they are not permitted to do so by their lease.
While the community board approved the transfer of license, it was unwilling to allow the owners to extend their hours beyond 2 am at this point.
“I kind of like to leave it [the hours] where they are,” said Patrick O’Brien, the chairman of the City Services/Public Safety Committee, adding that the owners can come back to discuss adding the extra hours later.