One of the most promising new developments in Long Island City is the revitalization of the five-story space known as the Falchi Building, located at 31-00 47th Ave. in Long Island City. Occupying over 600,000 square feet formerly used as a warehouse by the late great Gimbels department store, and named after the famous Brazilian handbag designer, the Falchi Building is not far from the heart of LIC or the nearby student population of LaGuardia Community College. The hope of Jamestown, the developers of the Falchi Building — as well as 1250 Broadway and Chelsea Market in Manhattan — is that the food-focused ground level concourse will serve as a drawing point for the building’s employees, as well as visitors and neighbors from all over the city.
Recently, we stopped by with an empty stomach to sample some of the savory morsels they are currently offering.
Presently, a pop-up food counter called the Food Box is home to a handful of vendors who are serving unique, handmade, gourmet goods on weekdays. Offerings range from a Paraguayan empanada and pastry stand serving pastry pockets filled with seasoned meats and vegetables, alongside guava jam-stuffed cake rolls. A Jamaican barbecue counter serves up piquant plates of jerk chicken and rice, while down the row is a DJ who makes pies in glass jars (called Made from Scratch) and serves chocolate-coated strips of bacon. Creamy cups of cheesecake can be blended with any of an assortment of toppings.
There is even a stand for the Vendy Award-winning Khao Man Gai NY, serving some sweet variations of Thai iced tea, as well as traditional rice and chicken, and now a special brothless version of Tom Yum Noodles.
The rice noodles are generously tossed in a spicy Thai chili mixture, and loaded with slices of fish cake, like little seafood meatballs. The khao man gai itself sounds deceitfully simple, but each tray packs one of the most savory punches around. The jasmine rice soaks up the chicken fat from the poaching liquid, and the dish sings of cilantro and pandan leaves, creating a fascinating umami bouquet.
While the United Nations uses the upper floors for administrative purposes, and the Juice Press readies its space for an opening in the near future down below, Artisanal Premium Cheese is in the process of making the Falchi building its own slice of heaven.
Much of the building is still available for potential occupants, and sun-drenched rooms and hallways fill the loft-like spaces with promising offices and studios ripe for new entrepreneurs. It is an exciting time for Long Island City, and the Falchi Building is a lovely marriage of the old with the new, offering a space for both.
And knowing that we can now enjoy our favorite Thai street foods during the weekdays as well as at the flea, well that’s reason enough alone to pay the Falchi a visit.
For more information on the Falchi and all of its opportunities, visit falchibuilding.com.
37-00 47th Ave., Long Island City
Open weekdays for lunch
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