Tag Archives: atlas park

Queens Restaurant Week kicks off at Atlas Park

| agiudice@ridgewoodtimes.com

RIDGEWOOD TIMES/Photos by Anthony Giudice

Queens Restaurant Week took a bite out of Atlas Park on Monday afternoon for its kickoff event.

Visitors brought their appetites, ready to get a helping of what the 12th Annual Queens Restaurant Week has to offer.

Several Queens restaurants came out to the Shops at Atlas Park handing out free samples, announcing their participation in this year’s event. From Oct. 12 to 29, most of the 200 registered restaurants will be offering a three-course prix fixe dinner for $28 and lunch for $14 as part of Restaurant Week.

This event was created to give diners the chance to try a new restaurant at a reduced priced.

“I think people wait until this time of year to try a new restaurant that they may never have eaten at before,” said Rob Mackay, director of public relations and director of Queens tourism for the Queens Economic Development Corporation. “It really is the best time to explore a new restaurant.”

The vendors at the kickoff event included Shiro of Japan, Chili’s, Vintage Curry, Christos Steak House, Connolly’s Corner and Queens Brewery, which was named the official beer of Queens Restaurant Week.

Connolly’s Corner, located in Maspeth, is participating in its first Queens Restaurant Week and was serving some of their ribs, salmon, salads and other dishes. The full-service restaurant has a 100-person party room, an outdoor beer garden and sports bar.

“We are proud of our food here and we want everyone to try it,” said Bridget Criscuolo, general manager for Connolly’s Corner. “Some of our signature dishes are our Jameson chicken, Bailey Irish Cream salmon and we have the best wings in Queens, I’m confident to say that.”

Queens Brewery is entering its third Queens Restaurant Week and has recently moved their operation into Ridgewood from upstate New York.

“It makes a huge difference,” said Nelson Rockefeller, founder of Queens Brewery, of moving into Queens. “It definitely solidifies our brand. It will feel much more done once all of the construction is done.”

For more information on Queens Restaurant Week and the full list of participating restaurants, please visit the It’s In Queens website.


First HomeGoods in Queens to open at Atlas Park

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photos by Kelly Marie Mancuso

Updated Sept. 16, 5:59 p.m.


Queens’ first HomeGoods store is scheduled to open the doors to its location at The Shops at Atlas Park, located at 8000 Cooper Ave. in Glendale, on Sunday, Nov. 15.

The store will be located in the large space that was occupied by Amish Market and Rosetta Wine and Spirits nearly a decade ago. Much of it had been vacant since that time, though for a period, a Subway restaurant occupied a portion of the space.

“I think the HomeGoods is a great addition to Atlas Park and I am sure that many others feel the same way,” said Glendale Civic Association president Kathy Masi. “We have very limited places to find household goods in the area, and I look forward to the store’s opening. I am sure it will be successful as long as they have a good inventory.”

Crews have been hard at work uniting the two retail spaces into one large space for the superstore’s arrival. They were also spotted installing large store signs on the front and sides of the building, just above the artisan stained-glass awnings and lanterns.

“We look forward to a fall opening, before the holidays,” a source close to the project said.

The Nov. 15 grand opening was confirmed by HomeGoods spokeswoman Robyn Arvedon.


While many in the Glendale community are excited about the new HomeGoods opening, some voiced concerns over the possible implications the arrival of the discount housewares store could have on neighboring mom-and-pop home décor store The Fair, which has been a neighborhood fixture since 1938. The Fair operated on Myrtle Avenue for decades before relocating to Atlas Park in 2007.

Jake Gerson of The Fair told the Ridgewood Times on Wednesday he is confident that the two stores can co-exist and profit.

“We basically always had competition,” Gerson said. “HomeGoods is a good store and it will drive up traffic to Atlas Park, but there’s a lot of things we do that they don’t.”

Gerson said he believed The Fair’s strength lies with its customer service and following through the years: “We’ve been part of the community 80 years and we are very familiar with what the customers want.”

HomeGoods’ sister store, TJ Maxx, opened at Atlas Park in 2014 in the space once occupied by Borders bookstore. Both HomeGoods and TJ Maxx are owned by TJX Companies.

“We’re very excited to be the first HomeGoods in Queens,” said a source at Atlas Park. “It should be a great opening and we’re looking forward to it.”



Fun days for the whole family scheduled in Glendale and Maspeth this month

| rpozarycki@queenscourier.com

Photo via Facebook/Maspeth Federal Savings

September’s arrival may mean the end of summer vacation for children across Queens, but that doesn’t mean the end of summer fun.

Organizations in Glendale and Maspeth are planning to hold two special days of free activities this month for children of all ages in both communities.

First, the Kiwanis Club of Glendale will hold its annual Community Day from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 12, on the center green of the Shops at Atlas Park, located off the intersection of Cooper Avenue and 80th Street.

Games, inflatable rides and live entertainment are planned, and the Kiwanis Club will offer food and beverages to all guests. Additionally, the club will give away 200 backpacks filled with school supplies to local children.

Happy faces will also fill the parking lot of Maspeth Federal Savings bank’s main branch on Sunday, Sept. 20, as the bank holds its annual “Smile on Maspeth Day” celebration. The festivities will take place from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., rain or shine, off the intersection of 69th Street and Grand Avenue; admission is free.

Children will get the chance to enjoy a day of games, arts and crafts, rides, face painting and other activities. They can also get up close with some young farm animals at a free petting zoo.

For more information, call Maspeth Federal at 718-335-1300.


In Glendale, 104th Precinct looks to improve on crime drop

| editorial@ridgewoodtimes.com

RIDGEWOOD TIMES/Photos by Kelly Marie Mancuso


Crime numbers continue to plummet in the 104th Precinct, but the command is looking to do even better.

Capt. Mark Wachter, the 104th Precinct’s commanding officer, came to the precinct’s Community Council meeting on Tuesday at The Shops at Atlas Park in Glendale and reported a 26 percent reduction in overall crime in the past month. This included a significant downturn in domestic violence and felony assaults.

The precinct also experienced a 40 percent decrease in grand larcenies and stolen cars. Wachter credits crime prevention tactics, such as personalized home visits and spreading awareness about scams, with the large reduction.

In an effort to confront quality-of-life concerns, the 104th Precinct also held a successful undercover sting operation last Saturday to combat prostitution along Cypress Avenue and Starr Street on the Ridgewood/Bushwick border. According to Wachter, officers made six arrests and seized one vehicle for illicit activity.

“We put pressure on and basically make it go away,” he said. “We don’t want it to go somewhere else; we want it to go away.”

Despite these victories, burglaries remain an area of particular concern for the command. The Community Council’s Public Safety Committee and P.O. Eddie Collado of the precinct’s Crime Prevention Unit delivered a video presentation and discussion on home burglary prevention.

“The burglar is an opportunist,” Collado said. According to police, perpetrators often gain access to homes through unlocked rear windows, doors and fire escapes.

Collado urged residents to secure windows and doors with the proper locks and volunteered to conduct personalized home safety surveys upon appointment. He also asked that residents register their valuable items such as electronics and bicycles with the precinct’s Crime Prevention Unit. The items are marked with serial numbers that can potentially help identify and recover them if lost or stolen.

RIDGEWOOD TIMES/Photo by Kelly Marie Mancuso

P.O. Sean Paul Hynes was honored as Cop of the Month for apprehending a suspect wanted for robbing a Boar’s Head delivery truck driver at gunpoint on April 21 on Woodward Avenue at Woodbine Street in Ridgewood.

According to Wachter, Hynes and his fellow officers from the 104th Precinct’s Anti-Crime Unit were able to track the suspect and his getaway vehicle through the use of undisclosed computer resources. Within minutes of the robbery, Hynes was able to track the vehicle to a specific location in Brooklyn.

A brief foot pursuit ensued, after which the male suspect and his weapon were taken into custody.

“It’s one less gun on the street, but we can never measure how many victims the gun could have taken out,” Wachter said.


Several Atlas Park stores still closed weeks after pipe bursts

| slicata@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Liam La Guerre

Two separate pipe bursts in The Shops at Atlas Park last month damaged five stores in the shopping center, three of which are still closed.

“There were two separate pipe bursts, one in Gymboree and one in Shiro’s, about 12 hours apart from each other,” said Peter DeLucia, a representative from the Shops at Atlas Park. “Some stores have since opened and some are still fixing up.”

The pipe burst in Shiro of Japan damaged that store, along with Maidenform, J. Jill and Chico’s. Since the burst, which happened on Feb. 16, Shiro and Maidenform have opened back up but the same could not be said for J. Jill and Chico’s.

According to DeLucia, both J. Jill and Chico’s are closed until further notice and he said that he could not comment on whether they will re-open at this point.

Gymboree’s pipe burst has left them closed for more than two weeks, but they are looking to open up in about a week, according to DeLucia.


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.”



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.



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.