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El Ay Si, popular Vernon Blvd restaurant, for sale

El I SiMarch 6, 2014 By Christian Murray

El Ay Si, the popular restaurant located at 47-38 Vernon Blvd., is for sale.

Xerxes Novoa, the owner, has listed the business for $175,000.

Novoa opened El Ay Si (phonetically LIC) at the end of 2009 and his restaurant is best known for its chicken fried chicken, nachos and pulled pork tacos.

Novoa, whose motto has been to offer “good food at a good price – with good ambiance,” said that he is selling El Ay Si because he no longer wants to remain in the restaurant business.

Restaurants are very time consuming, he said. “You get very attached to them…and then you wind up being plumber/electrician and have to be around them all the time.”

Novoa, a Long Island City resident, said he plans to be a business consultant and real estate investor.

Novoa, who has been in the restaurant business for 12 years, said that he had a buyer for El Ay Si recently but the deal fell through at the very last minute. “The [prospective] owner had already spoken to the community board about how she was purchasing it.”

Novoa said he has put the restaurant back on the market.

His ad reads:

“Business grossing over 450K a year only open six days for dinner and brunch on saturday/sunday. 3 1/2 years plus 6 left on lease. Full Liquor license. If you would like further details please contact me. Serious inquiries only. Please have good credit to secure lease. Look forward to hearing from you.”

Contact Jermain at 646.335.7995

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Never glad to see a local joint go down… that said, I don’t know how yocal it really is when ye get down to it. I’ve never been a huge fan of the “Phonetic Bar,” as me and some of me comrades call it.

Mu Ramen there? Why not? You’d get no complaints from this corner of the hood, which is a bit of a rarity these days.

LIC Low Riser

If tater tots and an appetizer will set you back $25, it’s not unreasonable
to project nearly $475,000 in yearly sales for six nights a week: an average of 50 persons per day spending $30, for six nights a week comes to $468,000. When you consider that a cocktail there is about $12, $30 seems like you got out of there cheap.

I live very close, but I stopped going after they abruptly went cash only with no mention of it on the menu or with any signage. It’s a bit inhospitable to be cash only at those prices, especially for pretty cafeteria food.

LIC Girl

I truly hope whoever buys El Ay Si does not make major changes to the menu or cooking staff. I’ve eaten at almost every restaurant in this area, and El Ay Si is by far my favorite. Eat there or get food from there at least 3x per month.

LIC Dude

El Ay Si also provides food for the comedy place next door. Which incidentally was for sale and then not for sale a year or so ago.

prospective buyer

@restaurantowner…I met with the owner of this place and he has all the paperwork to back up those sales.

Restaurant owner

Theirs no place open right now with one meal period doing just dinner and weekend brunch with those numbers in sales. If it was true they wouldn’t sell.
Welcome to nyc yes you need to be a jackass of all trades to break even in this business. Thanks to this city destroying any hopes of small restaurants standing a chance. Watch the domino effect with more to sell in a short time.


Can owner contact Mu Ramen ? This small place is suitable for noodle biz! It’s much better location since the Mula Jackson is too far!!!!

Oh, my

I can’t believe I’m writing this, but tough-guy plumbers and electricians are now eating tater tots at trendy restaurants. That’s how far we’ve come in LIC.


Too bad he’s wrong about the food being a “good price”. 1 appetizer and a side of tots will cost you nearly $25 with tax. And those are just plain tots, not the fancy disco style or chili cheese tots.


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