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Two Hunters Point Restaurants Close

Kavala (Photo: QueensPost)

Dec. 26, 2018 By Christian Murray

Two well-known Hunters Point restaurants have closed.

Kavala, the Greek restaurant located at 10-07 50th Ave., and BANY, an Asian fusion restaurant at 10-57 Jackson Ave. were both shuttered in recent weeks.

Kavala, which the owners of Skinny’s Cantina opened in September 2015, focused on offering a modern take on authentic Greek cuisine.

The establishment was touted as the first Greek restaurant in Hunters Point when it opened. Since, then, Vernon Grille, a Greek restaurant with more of a diner feel, has opened.

The Kavala location currently has a large ‘for rent’ sign in the window. Owners Skinny Lee and Joseph Luci could not be reached for comment.

Meanwhile, BANY, which opened more than a decade ago, has also closed. It focused heavily on sushi and sashimi, although it did offer Malaysian, Thai and Chinese options. In recent years, it has faced fierce competition– with several Japanese and Asian opening nearby.

The owners of BANY could not be reached. The phone line to the restaurant has been disconnected and the establishment cleared out.

BANY (Photo: QueensPost)

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Matt Miller

It’s not snobby to admit that some food taste better than others and to prefer to eat where food tastes good.


Don’t forget Piatto. Too many negative reviews, poor management and no foot traffic = “see ya!”

Where To Eat NOW??

I agree that Kavala’s prices were not for everyday restaurant journey. However, I loved it was one of the best places in the neighborhood. Sorry to see it go…
The only decent places left with quality foods are Hibino, Mu Ramen and Takumen… But who wants to eat ramen & sushi every day?


Some of the people commenting sound Elitist . Food should be reasonably priced so diners can afford it. Quality is also important. The idea is to bring diners into your establishment, not drive it away. Greed comes into play in some cases, Rents I think are a pert of that landlord Greed. Some owner jack up prices also, thinking they will get well to do people to come in there. The idea is to get people from all walks of life.


I agree with part of what you are saying. I am definitely not an Elitist but a realist. In regards to your post about reasonably priced food for everyone along with the quality being important, we have to remember that just because everyone thinks boro food / drink should be cheaper because its in a boro and not in Manhattan proper is absolutely nuts. We need to cover our costs as well and be able to live also. Most of the businesses out there are basically working for the greedy landlords & its not the actual operators who are the greedy ones here. It’s hard to make a dollar owning and operating a restaurant wherever you are but it’s what I love and will always continue to adapt to whatever is happening around me and the industry. We / I currently pay the same all prices as what is being delivered all over NYC to restaurants. Remember minimum wage is now 15$ per hour. That means dishwashers and staff that were making minimum wage went up from 11-15$ overnight and now that will cause a chain reaction with all of the staff. Entry level staff will now need to get paid 18$ or more. This just destroyed a lot of businesses and will continue to do so. So how can we not raise our prices and then be crucified by the neighborhood for being labeled as “expensive”? I will and continue to buy great product for all of my patrons and future patrons but it comes at a cost. Add great service, ambiance, decor and people shouldn’t complain about XYZ restaurant is expensive and we should just go to woodbines or wherever and have frozen fried food. Wanting to give the neighborhood a Manhattan quality restaurant shouldn’t hurt a local LIC restaurant. People have too remember you get what you pay for. Cheap=’s not quality driven. My .02


The only reason that prices go UP is because business owners and landlords are running @ full speed trying to keep up with one another.
If LIC would institute some sort of CAP on “Rents” for instance then, the extra capital could go into increased quality of food, service or some other type value.


Looks like a lot of stores still available in LIC. Some have been collecting dust for a bit now. Landlords and poor food concepts are to blame along with shitty food.
Sugar Cube space
That korean sports bar on vernon
Tutti Matti
I’m sure Green Street will be soon if not already
Crab House incarnation again
Centro is for sale already
Corazon de Mexico
Anything else?


Every one of these places had or have serious flaws. It is not rocket science. People are misunderstanding the neighborhood or are just flat out incapable. If a good, clean family diner opened up, even if it is overpriced, they would make a killing. Dorians and Court Square are poorly run, filthy, old Queens places just waiting to go out of business. Both places should be easy money. Dorians could simply open a take out window for coffee and breakfast sandwiches. They have thousands of commuters pass by every day that don’t even consider stopping. Missed opportunities.


All those places you’ve listed have TERRIBLE food. I’m not surprised they’ve closed/are in danger.

Look at Mu Ramen, Casa Enrique, Sweet Chick. These places are packed because the FOOD. IS. GOOD. How hard is that to accomplish?


From my own recent experience, retail landlords have a very unrealistic rent expectations here in LIC. I wanted to open a business in my neighborhood but now I am looking at other neighboring areas that offer a much better value. I am not surprised why so many business have such a short life cycle in our neighborhood. You go into business to work for yourself not for your landlord.


BANY was quite good at first but then its two sushi chefs left for Florida. Its decline began then. Kavala was always overpriced and the foot hit and miss.

Center Blvd Citizen

BANY’s sushi was always fresh and their prices were by far the best in town. We’ve been ordering from them for almost 10 years. Sad to see.

Truthier than the Truth

You can be a quality restaurant and charge high prices and succeed, and the neighborhood does have several… but your food better command the price.

You cannot open a place that serves “happy hour” food at “michelin starred” prices and expect to last. Just because your in an affluent neighborhood doesn’t mean you can charge whatever you want.

PS – BANY was as good a “happy hour” deal and still couldn’t cut it, but boy that was a hot take. thanks for your insight.

The Truth

I said it Once I will say it again, Long Island City is populated with cheapest people in the Tristate . LIC population is Happy Hour Crew but pretends to be something else .
No restaurant can survive in LIC if they not grandfathered there from 15 years ago where they pay minimal rents . I am sure some of you Happy Hour Crew Memebers will respond back mentioning resturant that are doing great which are as I mentioned already grandfathered in LIC and pay minimal rents because no resturant can survive because you people come in and first thing you ask for is “Whats Happy Hour”.
There is nothing wrong with been a happy hour crowd but dont pretend to be something else


Yup, when you’re paying rip-off rents of $3k for a tiny one bedroom apartment, there ain’t no cash left over for restaurants loool


or maybe the landlords are increasing rent in excess of where they should be, and forcing establishments to close? who’s to say it’s the LIC residents being “happy hour” (ie cheap) vs. landlords being unrealistic about how much businesses can generate given the sparse lunchtime crowds and high competition?


Try redirecting your anger toward the food quality instead of the community. Are you pretending the food was great and the people did not want to pay for good food? There are plenty of places in the hood that have similar or higher price points that do fine. Finding it difficult to understand where the rage is coming from.

BANY was terrible.. it’s sushi you might get at some airport in the midwest, surprised they lasted this long. The only reason they didn’t close 5 yrs ago is that they were likely “grandfathered in” with a 10 yr lease. Kavala was hit or miss on their menu.. at that price point, you need a high hit ratio and consistency, which they were lacking and likely breaking even or taking a small loss each year.

Rob B.

Actually, couples just don’t want to pay $90 for dinner every night. Sometimes, but not every night.

People do understand value. The commercial landlords of the area do not.

Wish we could get a decent Sichuanese/Chinese restaurant, but we won’t, because the numbers don’t work.

Common sense

Nothing can be further from the truth. Yo are comparing LIC to Manhattan. In Manhattan businesses are not surviving solely from the locals. They survive from commuters from the other 3 boroughs, Long Island, NJ, CT, Upstate NY…, plus tourists. LIC only has locals.


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