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Vernon Blvd Chinese restaurant to close, as owner can’t keep up with rising rent

New city

Sept. 9, 2014 By Christian Murray

Hunters Point residents are going to find it a whole lot harder to find inexpensive Chinese food.

New City Kitchen Express, located at 47-31 Vernon Boulevard, is expected to close within the next two weeks.

The restaurant’s lease expired and the business owners did not want to pay the much higher rent. The landlord is seeking $10,500 a month in rent as well as $2,250 per year to cover the real estate taxes.

Jennifer Chen, whose mother owns the restaurant, said that the family has run the establishment for the past 7 years. “We really like this neighborhood so it is a shame we are going.”

Chen said that 50% of the restaurant’s business comes through deliveries. She said that once the restaurant closes there will not be too many options for inexpensive Chinese food in the area—since similar restaurants are either Asian fusion or are higher-end.

Chen said that the family is tentatively discussing finding a new location. However, she said that she is not sure where that might be.

Jennifer Chen

Jennifer Chen

Correction: The tax figure has been changed. It was originally reported as $2,250 per month, instead of $2,250 per annum.

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BC45 – you really should consider this thing called reality. LIC is going to become an outpost of Manhattan, whether you like it or not. It is too close to the City at too attractive a price point for anything else to happen.

Also Anonymous

I’ve patronized both New City and Mr. Wonton for years. Both have their ups and downs. New City has actually gotten quite good over the years.

I will be sad to see them go because they were the friendliest Chinese take out I ever knew and this represent the further decline of affordable food in a neighborhood filled with a lot of pretentious, overpriced, and unremarkable fare.

As for “basic economic principles” we have reverted to the era where “might is right” and the idea that society should to some degree protect and preserve has been tossed out the window.


Nice people. Perfectly fine old school cheap takeout. Haters will surely enjoy the real estate office or nail salon that replaces it.


@Oar Joy Gourmet at 21st and 45th was never barely ever open – I’m all for small business, but maybe with some reliability – the neighborhood won’t miss that place. And I’m sorry this neighborhood – especially in the past – DID NOT lack deli’s. Get off at the Vernon Blvd stop and there are still THREE right across from each other – absolutely no need for that, in any neighborhood. The strip of 21st St between 45th and 44th still has two deli’s as well as Tozt Cafe – somehow I think we will all survive one deli closing, even if Dunkin Donuts isn’t exactly what I’d like to see there.


I personally love this place and will be sad to see them go. I’ve greatly enjoyed all the wonderful food they’ve prepared for me over they years.


good riddance they had the worst food ever

i get good take out delivered from 21st & 36th ave
to my apt

that place on Vernon was horrible

Time's Up

They have my sympathy but the food sucked. I urge all LICers to try Mr. Wonton on Queens Blvd. around 40 street. I’ve lived in western Queens my whole life and can confidently say they’re by far the best Chinese takeout. And no, I have no financial stake in it. They deliver to Hunter’s Point for over $20 and deserve the business.


LIC is trying to wannabe Manhattan…NEVER!!! LIC needs to realize not everyone in the neighborhood can afford a $15-$20 daily lunch. LIC should open more take out stores that would cost less than $10 lunches. Not all of us makes six figures here.


Owners are not going to lower rent to appease what the neighbors want/need. It’s basic economic principles so I won’t get into it. The rents will fluctuate as needed.


Actually, it is not a new take out place but the owner of the restaurant fortune cookie that used to be by the 7 train on 23 rd. It’s a much smaller place. This is why we have no diversity in this neighborhood. The rents are so high that only expensive restaurants or real estate offices open. I bet the space will sit empty for awhile. The deli on 21 and 45 closed because the landlord wanted $8,000 a month. It has sat empty since March and supposedly a dunkin donuts is going in. Just what we don’t need. It was a great deli and the guys who ran it were really nice. It’s really sad that we don’t have more diverse retail in the neighborhood. Every time I go to 30th or broadway in astoria I think how wonderful,it would be if we had the retail strip like these.


Here’s an idea. How about you buy a commercial lease building and set the rent low and help build the diversity. On one side of the argument I understand your frustration. But on the other end of the spectrum the building owner is leasing for a profit and with rising expenses… It is the city and government to blame.


All classic low key inexpensive restaurants restaurants
are closing! This neighborhood is beginning to
SUCK big time! We don’t need another
Asian fusion over the top place to open!


A new Chinese take out is opening on 21st Street & 44th Drive, next to Key Food (in the former LIC Pharmacy site).


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