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New Restaurant to Open at Former Riverview Restaurant & Lounge Site

The upcoming location of American Brass. (Photo: Nathaly Pesantez)

June 15, 2018 By Nathaly Pesantez

A new restaurant is in the works at the former site of the Riverview Restaurant and Lounge.

The new restaurant, to be called “American Brass,” is a concept by the owners of Maiella, the Italian restaurant also on Center Boulevard.

American Brass will be a modern eatery and lounge with a heavy focus on local, sustainable foods, said Robert Briskin, one of the owners. The menu has yet to be finalized, but will feature twists on classic dishes ranging from salads, burgers, seafood, meats, and other plates from varying cuisines, he said.

The restaurant will also have a 15-foot raw bar, and a 40-foot bar with a cocktail, beer and wine program.

Maiella, the Italian restaurant run by the same group taking over the former Riverview Restaurant site. (Photo: Nathaly Pesantez)

Briskin has eyed the 2-01 50th Ave. site for years, and has been in constant negotiations with Tony Raouf, the owner of the Riverview Restaurant.

An opportunity came a couple of months ago, when the restaurant had to close due to an issue with the sprinklers.

“It was really all coming to a conclusion at that point,” Briskin said.

It’s too early to tell what American Brass’ pricing will be, but Briskin envisions the restaurant as something approachable that people from afar will also travel for. The site will also seat about 160 people inside, 100 more outside, and include valet parking, like most restaurants on the strip.

Briskin is aiming to open American Brass within the next six months.

LIC Talk was first to report on the new restaurant.

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33 Comments

MA

Same owners as Maiella and Piatto, doesn’t seem hopeful for great food. Il falco is the best italian in the neighborhood by a landslide who cares what their uniform is?! strange… Whoever thinks that Maiella is good beyond sitting at the bar would not be someone I could trust on food reviews. They WERE good when they first opened and Rocco Sacramone was still affiliated with it, once he left the food went downhill immediately. Agree with some of the ‘good restaurants’ mentioned by other commenters, Bellwether should be added to that list FYI. Unless American Brass is close to Bellwether for American fare (which I highly doubt) it will be a no from me, dog.

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Anonymous

” include valet parking, like most restaurants on the strip.”

There needs to be some sort of restrictions against this. The guys farther north are always dangerously driving and causing congestion. Center blvd shouldn’t be turned into your personal parking lot.

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Curious

Thanks for the detailed response Rockin, as brutally honest as it is. But it’s clear that you care and have given this quite a bit of thought beyond the typical commenter that just complains. Look forward to future posts!

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Lionel

Bring back the original Crab House. It wasn’t broken, all ways full. The owners from Skinny’s fixed it, not it is empty. LIC needs a great burger place like the Crab House!

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Voice of Reason

Lionel, the old crabhouse was 50 years old and owned the building. The old man running it never changed his prices and never had to pay rent. After he died, his kids rented the building to skinny’s for around 30k/month. The old crabhouse would not have survived that rent. I personally never liked the old place, it was filthy, claustrophobic, and the food was not good. Fact, Fact, Opinion.

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LICresident

Hate this is happening. The congestion on this side of center Blvd will become just as bad as maiella/blend.

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Voice of Reason

Where Riverview is located, there are no entrances to residential buildings. That means there are no Ubers, taxis, moving trucks, delivery trucks, Cable repair trucks, people waiting for their loved ones to get in the car…..there will be no congestion. Observe.

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ok

Center Blvd is a food desert. Not that there aren’t options, it’s just that none are good. Honestly the best food in the area comes out of the truck selling Indian food in front of Duane Reade.

This concept sounds right for the area. Don’t hyper-inflate the prices, keep the outdoor space, keep the beer cold, focus on doing a few things well, and this place should do just fine. If you can’t turn a profit with that much outdoor seating, and that view, you’re doing it wrong.

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Drew

Oh great so there’s going to be a dangerous valet that causes bottlenecking on that part of Center too. Maiella and Blend have DESTROYED Center. Try doing anything when there’s an event there. The valet is terrible.

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Voice of Reason

Drew, TFC built 4 residential buildings housing around 7,000 residents with all 4 entrances facing center blvd. All 4 entrances are within a 300 foot stretch. Restaurants or not, the amount of Ubers, taxis, personal cars, cable repair, UPS, Fedex, dry cleaners, USPS, moving trucks, pizza delivery, and TFC trolleys that double park on this stretch is the reason for your congestion. It was poor planning from the beginning. They have to treat the buildings like hotels, and have no standing/loading only zones minimally.

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LouStool

Saturation? There are exactly 6 restaurants on Center Blvd. I’d say there is much room for additions and/or replacements

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Matt

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE don’t let this restaurant take over the entire sidewalk like Riverview. It’s been so nice not to have to walk single file on a public sidewalk.

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Zigzags

Why would I cross the street to walk down Center and turn right to go to the grocery store or up 48th Ave.? Makes no sense, bro. That old patio was way too big for that space. It should be one flag smaller.

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brooklynmc

We have only 2 restaurants on Center Blvd. with sidewalk seating. Not the biggest obstacle. I wish we had more.

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anonymous captain

I actually like being able to eat outside. Why do giant crybabies have to ruin it for everyone.

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Rockin&Roland

Ok time to weigh in on this. First of all American Brass sounds to close to Lexington Brass located on Lexington and its concept sounds familiar also. Could it be a cut and paste? A borrowed idea? The comment from Peter sound like a shill to me. Piatto is a joke along with its decor and I really hope you were super sarcastic about your comment. Maiella is far from good its Italian food from the 90’s with no creativity, who wants a rosemary sprig in their mashed potatoes? Lets get real people our restaurants in our area really are sub par. I’m completely disappointed with our dining choices around here. I hope this place really is good. Speaking of restaurants, I went to Bellwether and had the most over priced and fattiest pieces of meat that I couldn’t eat it at all and returned it. Nothing had any seasoning what so ever (good luck). If restauranteurs here want to open restaurants please just open something with good food and make sure you deliver on that promise please. We always get news of a new place opening up along with a hype and when they finally open most of the food comes out of a bag from the freezer. xo

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brooklynmc

Piatto is a complete embarrassment but Maiella, Manetta’s, Cafe Enrique, John Brown, LIC Market and M. Wells are quite good. For the size of our community we have pretty decent options.

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Rockin&Roland

A fish centric restaurant or a solid raw bar is lacking, Indian, middle eastern, REAL Korean and not Green Street please, a true bakery / cafe (although I do enjoy canele but it has no soul), an authentic butcher shop a better french bistro other than Tournesol. These are just a few. I heard a Chinese place is going into the old Juniors space and hopefully it’s a very good one because we have nada. Xian is opening on Jackson so thats promising I guess. People also have to realize that a majority of the same group of people that already have existing restaurants here are opening more places in our area and serving us the same mediocre food under a different concept or umbrella. Why not focus on one concept and making it delicious and perfecting the model then when its 100% think about another concept to unload on us because i’m sure we would be happy or even welcoming of it. Skinny’s is just down right bad, I would be embarrassed if I was the owner. Do they really stand behind their product and say “wow this is amazing food we are doing here”(doubtful). Haven’t we had enough from the guys from SHI? but we still give them business & our money because of our options being skewed around here. It’s time for a change and for some new blood to give us something different. I’m all for our neighborhood as i’ve been a resident for the past 9 years but sometimes its just a lot better to head to Greenpoint and go eat around there.
Best restaurants in our area in random order are

Only the Pizza at Manducatis Rustica, Pizza is completely different now and made by a guy from Naples named Massimo.
Casa Enrique
M Wells
Jacksons for brunch is good
Mu Ramen
John Browns
Takumen
Maybe The Inkan & LIC Market
Anyone else?? Feel free to enlighten me and correct me if I’m wrong.

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Ro

Here are a few others:
-Sweet Chick
-Communitea
-Indie LIC
-Levante
-Il Falco
-Gordo’s Cantina
-Jora
-Hibino
-Mu Ramen
-Bareburger
-Sugar Cube

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Ro

Oops you already had Mu Ramen. We can swap it for Tamashii Ramen which also very solid.

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Rockin&Roland

Thx for the list.
Sweet Chick, I highly doubt they are making the waffles in house (freezer)
-Communitea, original location was better
-Indie LIC (haven’t tried it)
-Levante, good pizza but the rest of the menu falls short of being cravable
-Il Falco, who wants to eat at a place where the servers are still wearing tuxedo’s
-Gordo’s Cantina (I will look into this as I’ve never heard of it)
-Jora, I wasn’t a fan the first time but will be willing to try it again
-Hibino, last time I was there all my sushi was warm and it was a BIG turn off.
-Bareburger, the burgers are NEVER hot and bun are bigger than the patties (meat to bread ratio off for a place that specializes in burgers). Petey’s is 100x better if you want a good quick and fairly inexpensive burger
-Sugar Cube, I’m still trying to figure out this place. Not a fan
Sure Tamashii Ramen but the area already has way to many ramen / asian joints and mu’s is by far the best for our area.

Vin Deiselsmoke

Couldn’t we have a simple “Steak House”, like Peter Luger’s with a limited number of items on the menu that concentrated on quality foods and prompt service? I do like John Brown’s, but a real “Steak House” in the area would be nice, …….mmmm, Prime Ribs too:-)

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Skip Seglipse

Rockin&Roland won’t eat at a restaurant where waiters wear “tuxedo’s” [sic] (it’s actually “tuxedos”), and doesn’t like Cannelle because it “has no soul”. Why would anyone attempt to have a serious conversation about restaurants with such a pretentious jackass?

Peter

That’s great news…with all the restaurant saturation in the area, why not just go visit Piatto restaurant…their great!!!

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brooklynmc

How did Riverview stay open so long? Maiella is top notch so expect this place to be quite good but expensive.

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yup

There used to be rumors that Riverview was actually just a front for some less than legla business (like the mob) – I am excited that they are gone cause the food was terrible and caused a number of friends and neighbors to get food poisoning on more than one occasion. Agreed that it will likely be overpriced – especially with a raw bar included – which I am super excited for, but not expecting it to be affordable.

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JM

Sounds like a great concept. Leave the sports bar mentality behind since it clearly didn’t work for this location. This spot should be the must go to for the neighborhood locals and passersby. Good Luck!!!

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