Tag Archives: atlas park

Queens Restaurant Week holds preview event at Atlas Park


| slicata@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Queens Economic Development Corporation /Gallery photos by Salvatore Licata

Queens Restaurant Week kicked off on Monday with an outdoor extravaganza at The Shops at Atlas Park as participants gave out free samples of their goods.

More than 200 establishments are participating in Queens Restaurant Week, which will see most restaurants offering three-course prix fixe dinners for $28 and lunch for $14.

“One of the reasons we are known as ‘The World’s Borough’ is that our amazing diversity allows us to offer an incredible variety of the best dishes from around the world,” said Queens Borough President Melinda Katz, who was at the kickoff. “Queens Restaurant Week is a great way to highlight this fact and encourage both borough residents and visitors to enjoy some of this outstanding cuisine. I hope everyone will take advantage of this great opportunity to enjoy some really amazing food.”

Twelve eateries along with the Queens Brewery participated in the kickoff, including Bourbon Street, Il Falco, Austin’s Ale House, Shiro of Japan, Trattoria Cerbone, Fiamma 41, O’Neill’s of Maspeth, California Pizza Kitchen, Room 55, Deluge, Agora Tavern and Neir’s.

“This gives us the opportunity for people to recognize there are really, really cool places in Queens that can rival any other place in the city,” said Loycent Gordon of Neir’s restaurant.

The 11th Annual Queens Restaurant Week officially begins on Monday, Oct. 13, and restaurants in almost 30 neighborhoods across the borough will be participating.

“It was a really incredible experience to meet new perspective customers and interact with other local businesses. There was a good presence of people who were excited to try out some new restaurants,” said Frank Tramontano, general manager of Fiamma 41, located at 214-26 41st Avenue in Bayside. “This is our first year participating in Queens Restaurant Week. We are very excited to be able to welcome new customers that may have never noticed that we were here.”

Cuisines of every variety, such as French, Greek, Uruguayan, Italian and Salvadoran foods and so many others, will be on offer.

“This is NYC’s most delicious bargain, as there truly is something for every taste bud,” said Queens Economic Development Corporation Executive Director Seth Bornstein. ”Plus, it fits in perfectly with the Queens Tourism Council’s mission to inform on the borough’s wonderful places to eat, shop, enjoy culture and have family fun.”

Restaurant week is something that will help Queens show off what it has to offer, state Sen. Joe Addabbo said.

“Queens Restaurant Week is a time to show what we have to offer as a borough,” Addabbo said. “This helps our local economy and when the business and store owners do well so do the residents.”

 

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East Coast Car Association keeps ‘cruising’


| mhayes@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Mike Bilski

For 12 years, the East Coast Car Association (ECCA) hosted an annual Cruise Night that showcased antique cars and raised funds for St. Mary’s Hospital for Children, all in a Forest Hills McDonald’s parking lot.

But this year, Mike Bilski of the ECCA was told McDonald’s could not host the Cruise Night because of corporate policies. With that, he and other members went looking around for a new venue.

“There we were, we had no Cruise Night,” he said. “We were trying all of the churches [but] nobody wanted us.”

Enter State Senator Joseph Addabbo. One night, Bilski was driving back from a friend’s house when he passed Resorts World Casino.

“I thought to myself, ‘[that lot] is empty,’ he said.

Bilski and the ECCA crew were referred to Addabbo, who met with Resorts World and worked out a deal. Now, the casino holds the Cruise Night every Tuesday from 5 to 9 p.m. in its VIP parking lot.

“For years, that association and its members have not only displayed some of the most beautiful cars of past generations, but they have also made substantial contributions to the community, especially the younger residents,” Addabbo said.

Bilski said the casino also donates to St. Mary’s, which was happy to see the ECCA’s nonprofit endeavors continue.

Since the VIP lot is larger than the ECCA’s previous home in Forest Hills, the Cruise Night can now accommodate more vehicles. The events have featured as many as 100 custom and antique cars and 50 motorcycles along with pick-up trucks and antique bicycles.

“We’re able to raise more money, and we’re getting a very diverse crowd and a very diverse range of cars,” Bilski said. “It’s not just antique cars anymore. We’re getting a lot of imports, low-riders and tuner cars.”

Attendees must contribute a $3 donation to each Cruise Night. The event will go on every Tuesday through November at Resorts World.

On Sunday, August 4 they will host an additional Cruise Night at Maspeth Federal and another the following day at Atlas Park.

 

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Returning soldiers seek employment at veteran job fair


| RubenMuniz@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/photo by Ruben Muniz

Veterans recently suited up, got their game face on and sprung into action.

A job fair for military veterans was held at The Shops at Atlas Park in Glendale on Friday, June 8. Over 90 companies and organizations were in attendance as well as State Senator Joe Addabbo and Assemblymember Mike Miller.

“Veterans have a lot of hurdles to jump over once they return,” Addabbo said.

The job fair comes at a time where many veterans are struggling to find employment. The unemployment rate for all veterans is 7.8 percent, below the national average of 8.2 percent, but nearly 13 percent of returning soldiers find themselves without a job,

“The transition from military to civilian life is challenging,” said Chris Bliss, a U.S. Army veteran who served overseas in Bosnia and Iraq.

Bliss was recruiting at the fair for NYC Business Solutions, a city government initiative offering free services for new small business owners.

“Life goes on after the service. You have to find a job,” said Bliss.

Ellis Gomez, a U.S. Navy veteran originally from Puerto Rico who has several years experience in the Navy as an electrical technician as well as degree in electrical engineering, said it has not been easy to land a job in this economy.

“[The job market] has a lot of ups and downs,” Gomez said, who was one of more than 100 vets at the fair.

U.S. Army vet and Queens resident Louis Goagioa felt that the discipline and humility of veterans gives them an edge in the job market.

“Veterans are much more coachable. They are ready to learn at all times,” said Goagioa. “It’s been more than difficult for veterans [to find a job]. It’s disheartening.” Addabbo stressed the importance of taking initiative to help veterans.

“We do a lot for our veterans, but we can still do more.”

Changes coming to Atlas Park?


| brennison@queenscourier.com

A name change, among other modifications, may be in store for the struggling Shops at Atlas Park.

Macerich, Atlas’ owner, is still in the process of reviewing the mall and considering alterations, which may include a renaming.

“Whenever we redevelop, there is a whole list of possibilities, and a name change is one of them,” said Tim Steffan, senior vice president of property management at Macerich. “This is part of the normal process.  It takes time to get arms around the entire project and property.”

The shops were originally named after the former occupants of the property, Atlas Terminal. There is no definitive timetable for a decision on whether the mall will undergo a name change.

Macerich purchased the 21-acre open-air shopping and entertainment center for approximately $54 million at a January 2011 foreclosure auction after its former owners defaulted on a $128 million loan to two French banks in 2009.

The Santa Monica headquartered company also owns and operates Queens Center Mall in Elmhurst which sits just two miles away from Atlas Park.

Steffan said that though the mall is just down the road, in an incredibly dense market, Queens Center has no effect on Atlas.

Glendale’s Atlas Park was unveiled in 2006 as an outdoor “lifestyle center,” but its mix of restaurants and boutiques slumped through recent years. Shoppers have complained about a lack of “anchor” stores.

“It’s lovely, but it is usually a second thought when I think about shopping,” said Middle Village resident Cathy Rose.

Steffan said that any mall needs an anchor or destination as a draw. The company will also look into expanding entertainment in the center.

“There is no one store attraction that shoppers come for,” said Michelle Herrera, who said she frequents the restaurants in the mall. “Most people seem to come to eat or watch a movie.”

The mall currently features California Pizza Kitchen, Chili’s, Manor Oktoberfest, Shiro of Japan, Simply Fondue and Venezia Ristorante.

“Nothing is off the table right now.  We are looking at everything from a 360-degree perspective — parking, access, merchandise,” Steffan said of a potential reinvention of the site.  “Simply put, we are a patient group.  We acquired [Atlas Park] because we believe in the community. We want to make it better, something of value to the community.”

Tree lighting at Atlas Park


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo Courtesy The Shops at Atlas Park

Black Friday — which traditionally kicks off the shopping season — also marked the beginning of the holiday season at The Shops at Atlas Park.

Atlas Park in Glendale held its tree lighting ceremony on Friday, November 25 on its main lawn. Local residents who attended were also treated to a musical performance by the students of Nathaniel Hawthorne Middle School 74.