April 14, 2016 By Christian Murray
An auto shop on Vernon Boulevard is likely to be converted in an upscale new American-French restaurant.
Representatives of the restaurant went before Community Board 2’s City Services Committee last night and divulged these plans as part of their application for a liquor license.
They told the committee that they plan to convert 45-17 Vernon Boulevard from an auto shop to an “eating and drinking establishment” and that they had filed plans with the Department of Buildings to do so.
The plans were filed with the department on April 6, according to records, but have subsequently been disapproved.
The filings with the Dept. of Buildings indicated that only a portion of the auto body shop would become a restaurant, although that wasn’t made clear at the committee meeting.
Nevertheless, the establishment would be called Vernon Social Lounge & Restaurant and would seat 96 people.
The representatives said that the restaurant would offer an American-French menu with a Mediterranean influence.
The restaurant will feature fine dining, while the lounge will consist of comfortable couches and a soft lit bar.
The venue would not be open past 11:30pm even on weekends.
Pat O’Brien, chairman of the City Services Committee, told the applicants that there are many licensed establishments on Vernon Boulevard and that they are likely to face some residents who will oppose them opening.
“It wouldn’t be fair to you to say that there won’t be some opposition.” O’Brien said. “This is a big place where there could be 150 people in there.”
O’Brien said that there was more paperwork required before the application could go be carefully reviewed.
He said the board needs to see the certificate of occupancy from the Buildings Department, a public assembly permit as well as a full set of building plans.
I too would love some variety and would patronize retail establishments like clothe, shoes, specialty stores but I must admit that like of us who live in LIC, I work in Manhattan and it is more convenient to purchase these kind of items during lunch or after work. I suspect this is one reason such establishments are opening. Perhaps some big box stores like Target and Bed Bath Beyond could make it on Jackson avenue if parking was provided – like Kostco on Vernon. But I’m sure this would bring a lot of criticism from the old timers
Your absolutely right…this is something these “activists” must understand…Right now, LIC is filled with restaurants to which many of the locals do not frequent other than brunch–which justs sucks here in lic. Just check out summer time in LIC, its a dead zone. The neighborhood needs something like target, costco, etc to attract more people (instead of another italian restaurant), which will than benefit the surrounding area.
Plus with the influx of higher net worth individuals and many younger families you’ll see many taking vacation during summer. So it can be baron
Also, many residents order goods online and since there is no local retail it may stay that way for a very long time. Unlike Manhattan Avenue in Greenpoint and many other expansive shopping districts in other neighborhoods, Vernon Blvd is but a few blocks. The retail is already overpriced here for general merchandise to sustain
Even if we get something on Jackson avenue there’s so much traffic on that block.
You want a Target and more shopping in this area? Go spend some time near the Fulton mall and get back to me. I like how quiet and sleepy it is here.
Hmmmm is right , we need traditional restaurants here in LIC, not just unaffordable UPSCALE ones for the wealthy. How about some stores?
What’s wrong with Jimmys?
I believe there’s also two new Italian restaurants coming up as well
One on crescent and one on Jackson. I guess we don’t have brick ovens in existence here
Just tell them u want to convert it to an Italian restaurant and ull get approved faster than the new Italian restaurant that’ll most likely replace whatever non Italian restaurant business that goes out of business.
Why is it an UPSCALE restaurant? Why not just a restaurant?
Because sometimes people enjoy going out to a nice restaurant and having a good time. Sure there are a few options in LIC already, or you could easily go to Manhattan for more variety, but if you provide people with options within their own community, it helps to make the neighborhood less transient.
It would be one thing if these options were much more reasonably priced.
Sushi Daizen is going to run you $75 per person to actually be full
They know people have that kind of money here. We’re not really getting your traditional neighborhood restaurants in Long Island city
CB2 says, I want you to spend a ton of money on lawyers (permits) and architects (plans). Once you do that we will then decide to reject your application because a few neighbors will be opposed to it. That sounds like a losing proposition to me unless you are a lawyer, the city (fees) or an architect.
LOVE THIS AND WISH THEM THE BEST OF LUCK! I’LL DEFINITELY BE A PATRON!
Can we please get a regular gym that those of us who don’t live in the towers can use? I love the restaurants, love the social life around here, but we’re really lacking on the gym thing.
I am trying to bring a gym to the area
who would even give this a thumbs down? This area was in need of a gym before an ice hockey rink and fancy dance studio
Something everyone can use who would be interested
I could get on board with a regular gym that isn’t a place where you just take classes. If they were smart it wouldn’t be too expensive, since most the folks in the fancy places have gyms to use.
That would be great. Something not pretentious and open for anyone to use.
Unfortunately the companies who can cover this kind of overhead are usually franchises like a Blink Fitness or Retro Fitness
To sustain business though tons of people would need to sign up
The gyms in the building are great, but they are not designed for serious lifters. Dumbbells that only go up to 50-60lbs and no free barbells for bench press and other movements.
I’m trying to find an established owner / operator that could present memberships at a reasonable price which would entice local residents.
Building gyms can only take you so far
if they denied it because all of their paperwork wasn’t in order, fine. if they denied it because they didn’t want another restaurant to open because, i dunno, dirty taxi repair shops add to the charm of the neighborhood (???) then, well, that’s just plain dumb.
An ugly, dirty garage and auto body shop would be transformed into a new restaurant. What neighbors in their right minds would be opposed to this new business? (I’m a long-term resident, by the way.)
Auto body shops are still in need!
They belong in gas stations or off highways, not on our main commercials and residential street.
This area was all warehouses and commercial long before it was residential.
As is much of Astoria and much of Long Island still
You think these places just popped up over night?
At the turn of the twentieth century (and beyond), said area was primarily a residential neighborhood with a smattering of manufacturing and waterfront ventures. As the world continually progresses, the familiar eventually returns.
That’s not the point. They don’t below there today, and that’s all I care about. Get rid of these places and stick them where they better fit in. And that’s clearly not this part of Vernon Boulevard.
Especially one that will not be open past 11:30. And (for a change) not be an Italian restaurant.
Frank never makes a comment without a gratuitous smear against some person, group or ethnicity. Let the thumbs-downs fly.
How is it a gratuitous smear to note that we have more than enough Italian restaurants in the area? Many have commented similarly about our abundance of Italian restaurants in the area. Methinks the douchebag doth protest too much.
Your “d-bag” comment next time you “thank someone for keeping it classy”. Me thinks though art a hypocrite.
Hardly…it is a fairly accurate term for whomever made Anonymous’ post. I would consider it proportionate. A-Hole would have been even more appropriate, but I was keeping it classy.
Because we need manufacturing and space to for local businesses to design and build
You’re all so worried about how all of the new development and restaurants are coming but no one complains when local manufacturing and other small businesses lose space. or in many cases are forced out because of increasing rents or some goddamn landlord letting these valuable warehouses be converted into a restaurant.
I have multiple clients who would love to be in this neighborhood and continue to operate a business here.
Why on earth would we need manufacturing in this area?
Ok so if yor car broke down where you gonna go to a restuarant to fix your car????
Let’s have a restoran body shop where you can drive your car in and fix your car while you wait in a restaurant