March 21, 2013, By Bill Parry
The resurgence of the Dutch Kills section of Long Island City has given one entrepreneur the impetus to reopen a restaurant that he closed two years ago.
Rocky’s Food, an Indian-Latin restaurant located at 41-23 29th Street (a half block from Queens Plaza North), will reopen on April 1 after being shut for two years.
Owner Lachman Rattu decided to reopen the eatery after observing the changing economic landscape in Dutch Kills, where he has run a variety of businesses since 1984.
“Two years ago there was no business [at Rocky’s Food],” Rattu said.
However, he said the entire business climate has changed with all the new development.
JetBlue opened its 200,000 square foot headquarters in 2012, and about 10 hotels have been constructed in Dutch Kills in recent years. Furthermore, there is a 350-room Marriott being built nearby, as well as a 250-room Hilton.
“Look around, there are people everywhere – I had to give the restaurant another go,” Rattu said.
Rattu, who goes by the nickname Mr. Rocky, owns the building and also runs an employment agency called LIC Staffing Services next door to the restaurant.
During the recession his employment agency remained busy, since it focused on the security-guard business. He closed the restaurant at the time.
Rocky’s Food will serve breakfast, lunch and dinner, focusing on American-Indian-Latin cuisine. “We have a grill, a tandoori oven, pizza ovens and we’ll even do baking on the premises,” said Rattu.
While the restaurant isn’t that large, with room for a half dozen tables, Mr. Rocky is expecting to prepare a lot of food for delivery.