Tag Archives: Bell Boulevard

Paraguayan restaurant opening on Bell Boulevard

| asuriel@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Alina Suriel

An anticipated offshoot of the popular Sunnyside restaurant I Love Paraguay has landed in its location in Bayside‘s Bell Boulevard and is getting closer to opening in the coming months.

Sabor Guarini has sparked both the curiosity and the appetites of curious Bayside residents by putting up a large sign on top of the establishment in mid-September, with a stylized flower attracting the attention of passersby.

The restaurant is located at 40-04 Bell Blvd. next to another incoming establishment: Sangarita, a tapas bar with a specialized selection of margarita and sangria cocktails.

A source involved with the eatery said that it could be open as soon as October, but declined to give any further information.

Paraguayan natives Nancy, Carlos and Fabricio Ojeda run I Love Paraguay, which opened in 2007 and is located at 43-16 Greenpoint Ave. in Sunnyside.


Bayside Little League Rebels honored during Sunday Stroll

| agiudice@ridgewoodtimes.com

Photo courtesy Bayside Little League Rebels

After winning the Borough Cup last month by defeating the Richmond County Raiders at Yankee Stadium, the Bayside Little League Rebels were honored during the annual Bell Boulevard Sunday Stroll on Sept. 27.

Special guests Queens Borough President Melinda Katz and Assemblyman Edward Braunstein came out to Bayside to congratulate the boys, and one girl, of the Rebels on capturing the Borough Cup for Queens and for their impressive season.

After speaking to the team and acknowledging what they had accomplished the public officials had a couple of surprises for the championship team.

First, Braunstein presented a certificate of merit presented to each member of the team in recognition of their achievement in winning the Borough Cup. Secondly, the team as a whole was presented with a Citation of Honor from the Queens Borough President’s Office for “defeating the Richmond County Raiders and demonstrating that years of hard work, dedication and fun will bring you to your dream. The team is six years in the making and one girl strong.”

After the presentation of the certificates and citation, the Rebels had the chance to take photos with both Katz and Braunstein.


CBS drama ‘Elementary’ scheduled to shoot scenes in Bayside Monday

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Robert Pozarycki

Sherlock Holmes may be stopping in Bayside Monday as the hit CBS crime drama “Elementary” is slated to shoot scenes along Bell Boulevard.

Notices about the filming went up on the boulevard on Wednesday advising drivers about parking restrictions that will take effect on Sunday night into all day Monday. Filming is scheduled to take place from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday, though production trucks may arrive as early as 7 a.m.

The modern take on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s famous sleuth stars Jonny Lee Miller as Sherlock Holmes and Lucy Liu as Dr. Joan Watson. It was not immediately known whether both stars would be on set Monday.

The parking restrictions, which will take effect 24 hours prior to filming, will occur along both sides of Bell Boulevard between 38th and 39th avenues and both dead end blocks of 218th Street north and south of 40th Avenue. Restrictions will also be in effect on the south side of 40th Avenue between 218th and 219th streets.

Vehicles found parked in these areas will be towed away by the NYPD and relocated in the neighborhood at no penalty to the owners. To find a relocated car, call 718-687-0097.

The filming is weather permitting; current forecasts indicate the city could be feeling the effects of Hurricane Joaquin on Monday.


Parts of Bayside’s Bell Boulevard to close for ‘Sunday Stroll’ this weekend

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Alina Suriel


Several blocks of Bell Boulevard in Bayside will close this Sunday for the Bayside Village BID Sunday Stroll, which gives residents and shoppers the chance to leisurely take in all the shops and restaurants the strip has to offer.

Two blocks of the boulevard between 39th and 41st avenues will close from noon to 5 p.m. on Sept. 27 for the stroll, which is sponsored by the Bayside Village Business Improvement District and the city’s Department of Transportation.

The Sunday Stroll aims to create an opportunity for pedestrians to be able to walk around and enjoy the area without any vehicular interference.

Unlike the traditional city street fair, Bell Boulevard will not be filled with vendors or stands of any kind. It instead will be left vacant for the purposes of providing more space for the community to walk across this stretch.

All of the dining and retail establishments on this two-block stretch will have the option to display their merchandise in front of their businesses on the sidewalk, but all transactions must be made inside of the businesses themselves.

The walk is subject to cancellation due to any inclement weather. Families from Bayside and beyond are invited to come out and enjoy all of the great programs and activities planned for the day.


All-cash deal for Bayside building sets price-per-square-foot record

| rpozarycki@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Alina Suriel

Updated 4:57 p.m.

Buying a building on Bayside’s Bell Boulevard cost the area’s newest property owner a record-setting bundle.

Cushman & Wakefield announced on Monday it brokered a $4 million all-cash deal for 41-19 Bell Blvd., a single-story building currently leased to Lucille Roberts gym.

Measuring a total of 4,648 square feet, the new owner– AB Capstone– paid $860.59 per square foot, which the broker called a new record for the area.

The building is located in the heart of a bustling retail area and within walking distance of the Bayside Long Island Rail Road station. Its commercial and residential zoning allows for the owner to build up to 11,426 square feet on the site.

“Bayside has been generating a lot of attention from local and foreign investors looking to capitalize on the upside in the area,” said Stephen R. Preuss of Cushman & Wakefield, who exclusively brokered the deal. “This property has tremendous add-on value with below-market rent and development rights which fueled our marketing and allowed us to procure a buyer at a record-breaking price.”

It’s unknown as of yet whether the new owners plan on altering the property. According to sources, AB Capstone plans to continue Lucille Roberts’ lease.


Pedestrian struck by car on Bell Boulevard in Bayside

| asuriel@queenscourier.com


A pedestrian on Bayside‘s Bell Boulevard suffered injuries to his arm and shoulder after being hit by a car as he crossed the street.

Officers from the 111th Precinct and EMS units were on the scene after the man was struck sometime after noon. The car, a red Honda Fit, was being driven by an older woman, who stayed at the site of the accident to speak to police.

According to NYPD, the man spoke either Chinese or Korean and was unable to communicate with officers. Emergency service technicians escorted the man to a local hospital for treatment of his injuries.

An investigation is ongoing.

The victim being placed in an ambulance.

The victim being placed in an ambulance.

Officers speaking to the driver of the vehicle involved in the accident.

Officers speaking to the driver of the vehicle involved in the accident.


Bayside’s Bourbon Street roof to open on Wednesday

| asuriel@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photos by Alina Suriel

Updated on Tuesday, Aug. 11

The long-awaited rooftop bar of Bourbon Street on Bayside‘s Bell Boulevard will open this Wednesday.

The popular Cajun-style restaurant will be featuring a select seasonal menu and full cocktail and beer menu in the 1,800-square-foot rooftop area, which sits approximately 30 feet above the current restaurant and will be lit with French Quarter-style lanterns.

Although construction on the rooftop bar is done, Bourbon Street is still in the process of completing work on its second-floor private event space, which can accommodate up to 140 guests for parties, business meetings and cocktail receptions. Seven television screens of up to 70 inches will show sports games and major sporting events such as boxing matches.

Work on the eatery’s interior layout and exterior façade is also still underway, including a shift in the location of the front entrance.

In addition to the new features in the restaurant’s layout, Bourbon Street will also be welcoming a new member of its kitchen staff with the arrival of chef Stephen C. Krische. He previously honed his culinary talents at the Bayhouse in Rockaway’s Breezy Point and the Rock Center Café.

At a preview event Monday, Bourbon Street owner Mark Boccia said that he felt a lot of support from the Bayside community and that a rooftop venue was something unique in the neighborhood, which is already known for its culinary offerings.

“The community really wanted something new, they really wanted a rooftop,” Boccia said. “We wanted to keep people coming to Bayside, to Bell Boulevard. We just wanted to keep up with the times.”


Organic produce market to open on Bayside’s Bell Boulevard

| asuriel@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Jeannie Hermosura

Bayside’s Bell Boulevard will be getting a fast and fresh alternative to the avenue’s many food and dining options with the arrival of Big Green Apple Market, an organic produce store with hot and cold meals.

The market will be located adjacent to the Port Washington-bound entrance of the LIRR on Bell Boulevard between 41st and 42nd avenues. It is slated to open for business sometime in late August and will be open 24 hours.

Store manager Harry Celik, a Kew Gardens resident who originally hails from Turkey, is familiar with Bayside because he had been looking to open a store in the neighborhood for several years. He believes the upscale clientele of Bell Boulevard will be a great fit for the new market, which will prominently feature organic products, including fresh produce and dairy items.

The market is also planned to have a selection of hot and cold prepared foods, bubble tea and sushi in addition to household grocery staples.

Celik said that customers will choose Big Green Apple Market because of the affordable prices for high-quality products.

“There’s no store like ours around the neighborhood,” Celik said. “There are a few stores that are way overpriced, [especially] supermarkets with crazy prices, and we’re going to have everything with a reasonable price that everybody can afford.”


THE COURIER/Photo by Alina Suriel


Tapas bar with specialty drinks coming to Bell Boulevard

| asuriel@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Alina Suriel

Sangarita’s, an offshoot of successful tapas bar Sangria on Francis Lewis Boulevard, will be opening on Bayside‘s Bell Boulevard.

The menu will focus on Spanish-style tapas, which is a variety of appetizers or snacks that can be served hot or cold.

According to Joseph Loccisano, who is involved with the team behind both Sangria and Sangarita’s, a lot of the new spot’s ingredients are from imported directly from Spain, including sausages and manchego cheese. These elements will be used in dishes such as a potato croquette with cheese and prosciutto, a mixed seafood paella, and specialty entrees with chicken or salmon that will be seasoned with spices evoking Spanish culinary traditions.

Caribbean Latino food will be also be represented at Sangarita’s. French fries will be given a Dominican twist by being made out of yucca, a starchy tuber widely eaten on the island, and chimi sliders, a take on the Dominican version of a burger, will be on the menu as well with cabbage, tomatoes, ketchup and mayonnaise. Select options will recall Puerto Rican cuisine and that of Cuba, such as Cubanito sliders.

Five different types of sangria and a selection of fruit margaritas will keep patrons happy, but many of these are also available in non-alcoholic versions for those just looking for a sweet fruit beverage. Semi-regular live flamenco performances are planned to add an extra cultural dimension and amplify the sensual, rustic vibe.

Loccisano — who also operates Villaggio’s, an Italian food venture in Whitestone — said that he thinks Sangarita’s will be successful in carving out its own niche on Bell Boulevard.

“We’re a new format here. We’re different than every other restaurant because we don’t specifically make one type of cuisine,” said Loccisano, “and with the live flamenco, we bring the European flair.”

The restaurant is located at 40-02 Bell Blvd., and will likely open in October.


Latin fusion spot set to open on Bayside’s Bell Boulevard

| asuriel@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Alina Suriel

Bell Boulevard will be getting a new restaurant to add to its strong culinary lineup with the arrival of Sol, a two-level bar and lounge with Latin fusion cuisine.

Owner Paul Rhee and legal counsel Dev Viswanath, both Queens natives born into multicultural backgrounds, aim to have Sol open by mid- to late August.

According to Viswanath, the cuisine at Sol, located at 40-09 Bell Blvd., will reflect their heritage as a fusion of Latin flavors with Korean and Indian influences. He said that now was a good time to start a fusion restaurant because modern consumers have come to respond very well to unusual flavor pairings.

“It’s a product of Queens,” said Viswanath, who grew up in Holliswood and currently lives in Hollis Hills. “We’re in a new, sort of post-ethnic world now where it’s not uncommon to find fusion dishes. It’s not uncommon to find several types of things on a menu.”

The interior design of Sol will carry on the theme of contrasting elements coming together. Both levels will have a bar, and each floor will follow a theme inspired by opposing forces of the sun or the moon. The downstairs is planned to have a warmer and more casual ambiance, and the upstairs area, dubbed the “Luna Lounge,” will have modern and sexy decor to create a sophisticated vibe.

Rhee, who grew up in Whitestone and has lived in Bayside and Jackson Heights before moving to Woodside, is very familiar with the Bell Boulevard scene, having formerly worked at Chase Bank near the LIRR station. Rhee had been a patron of several eateries that were previously located at the site of Sol, including former bar and lounge Conga’s, which closed in late 2014.


Parking meters upgraded along Bayside’s Bell Boulevard

| asuriel@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Alina Suriel

Bell Boulevard in Bayside has had new “pay-and-display” parking meters installed as part of a citywide update.

According to Community Board 11 District Manager Susan Seinfeld, all meters in New York City will eventually be switched to a new model being used as part of an upgraded system.

The new hardware has a similar appearance to the old meters with the exception of a more compact, rectangular shape. Solar panels are built directly onto the top of the meter, instead of attached to a separate upward-facing platform as before.

The old meters will remain on the street until the new ones can be completely integrated into the system, but are not usable.

To patrons of the commercial Bayside commercial stretch, the switch is a major improvement over the old meters, which were frequently broken or out-of-service.

Bell Boulevard shopper Eileen Anderson said she once found three broken meters in a row on Bell Boulevard, and had to go to a meter on a completely different corner than where she parked her car.

“I was a little frustrated,” said Eileen Anderson, “I was annoyed.”

Local food service worker Juan Carmona said he often saw meters with red lights on to warn users of malfunction and has also experienced difficulty with meters not accepting payment cards or just not working.

“It frustrates me, but I work right here so it doesn’t make me late.”


Bayside Paint Place moving into former McDonald’s site

| asuriel@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photos by Alina Suriel

Bayside Paint Place will be moving to a new, larger store on Bell Boulevard to accommodate an expanded inventory set to include wallpaper and window treatments.

The store is currently located at 41-23 Bell Blvd. and will be moving only two spaces down to the larger corner spot at 41-27 Bell Blvd., which formerly housed a McDonald’s franchise.

Peter Ha, who has served as general manager of Bayside Paint Place for seven years, told The Courier that there is very good business to be done as a home improvement store on Bell Boulevard. While the Bayside commercial stretch is rich in dining and nightlife options, there is little local competition for a paint or home decorating store.

“When you look at Bell Boulevard, you can see restaurants and food and you have choices,” Ha said, “but when it comes to decorating in the neighborhood and stuff like that, over here you don’t see any, and nobody really does it.”

The abundance of single-family homes in Bayside and northeast Queens generate a constant demand for custom home decorating supplies, and according to Ha, customers often came into the store asking for more than just paint. Wallpaper in particular was a popular request for its classic style, and the store also received frequent inquiries on window treatments.


Jimmy Bougadis, a loyal patron of Bayside Paint Place, said that Ha has given him great advice on how to complete construction projects and that his customer service is also at a much higher level than at other stores.

“In the other stores, you go in and ask a question, but they’re very busy and don’t give you any attention,” Bougadis said. “Peter smiles to you and says good morning. It makes me feel good.”


Study: Bell Boulevard needs nearly a thousand more parking spots

| asuriel@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Alina Suriel

Confirming what many Baysiders already believed to be true, a study concluded that Bell Boulevard needs nearly one thousand more parking spaces to meet the needs of shoppers, commuters and residents alike.

The study commissioned by the Bayside Village Business Improvement District (BID) and funded by City Councilman Paul Vallone continues the process of finding a solution to overcrowded parking conditions on the boulevard.

According to the report released this week, approximately 3,400 spaces are needed in total to accommodate all of the parking needs, but only 2,500 of those spots are currently available. Issues of short parking supply on Bell Boulevard arise from the multiple different functions which the strip serves in the community, attracting thousands of people and their vehicles to the area every day.

Lyle Sclair, executive director of the Bayside Village BID, emphasized how important it was to organize a plan to alleviate the parking strain on all of the different demographics using Bell Boulevard.

“We have to understand how to balance that without putting undue pressure on any group,” Sclair said. “I don’t think anyone would tell you that parking was working for any one group.”

Of the total 3,400 needed spots, an estimated 1,400 are generated from commercial and office uses on the boulevard. Another 1,033 spots are needed for commuters, with 23 percent of Long Island Rail Road users connecting to the Bayside station by driving themselves alone and parking their cars in the neighborhood.

An additional 1,000 vehicles were also factored in for residents who live in the area. While there are approximately 1,713 registered vehicles in the study area, many of them are parked off-street in private driveways or garages.

Several options were introduced in the study for both long- and short-term solutions to ease the scarcity of parking spot in Bell Boulevard.

“We don’t want to recreate the wheel but you have to look at every possible solution out there,” Sclair said, “and that’s what we’re trying to do with the parking plan.”

One of the solutions explored in the study was to construct a parking structure in an appropriate site, with the current location of the Department of Transportation Municipal Lot used as an example. A private developer or the BID would have to build the structure as the Department of Transportation does not perform that service, and this would have a price tag of around $10 million in city permits and design and construction costs.

A long-term surface parking lot was also looked at as a possible solution in the study. This could cost around $5 million in construction costs without factoring in the cost of the real estate, and would involve a private developer acquiring multiple local properties for the project.

“We looked at all of those programs to see what was reasonable, and what was feasible,” Sclair said. “You want as many ideas out there as possible, so you can actually get things done.”

To download the complete parking study and read more information about local parking, visit the Bayside BID’s website.


Car crashes into store at Bay Terrace Shopping Center

| amatua@queenscourier.com

Photo via Twitter/@NYPD109Pct

Updated 1:44 p.m.

A woman crashed her car into an Aeropostale store at the Bay Terrace Shopping Center Sunday afternoon, shattering the front window and nearly taking out shoppers, according to officials.

The FDNY said the crash happened at about 4:30 p.m. on Bell Boulevard and 23rd Street in Bayside. Only minor injuries were reported, according to the 109th Precinct’s Twitter page.

According to published reports, there were 14 people inside the store when the collision occurred. Three large clothing shelves reportedly flew to the back of the store as a result.

The manager of the store was reportedly taken to the hospital after experiencing a panic attack. A witness said the 90-year-old driver was trying to park and accidentally accelerated instead, according to reports.

An investigation is ongoing.

@slugs718 drive thru? Thank god no one got hurt

A video posted by gus214 (@gus214) on


Dog stolen from Bayside park found dead

| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of Lora

Updated Wednesday, July 1 11:13 a.m.

The search for Ginger, the 5-year-old cocker spaniel that was stolen from a Bayside park Sunday night, ended in tragedy Tuesday as the owner confirmed to The Courier that the dog was found dead.

The beloved pet was discovered by park workers within Crocheron Park, located at 214th Street and 35th Avenue, where on Sunday at about 10 p.m. she was stolen from her owner, Lora, who did not want to give her last name.

According to the Bayside resident, two men approached Lora and Ginger near the stairs leading toward the pond. One of the two men pretended to be interested in the dog and bent down to pet her while asking questions about the dog, according to Lora.

“I didn’t really think anything of it because people stop and look at my dog all the time,” she said.

The second man, who was larger than the other and stayed quiet the whole time, then punched Lora in the stomach and the two men ran away with Ginger.

The owner, who found it difficult to get up from the attack, said she ran after them after catching her breath and was screaming her dog’s name. Lora said she heard a car “peeling out” right after but wasn’t sure it was the men’s car.

“I mean it’s Bayside,” she said. “I didn’t think anything like that could happen. I never felt unsafe in the area.”

Fliers asking for the public’s help were taped all down Bell Boulevard Monday afternoon and posts were also put up on Facebook, Craigslist and Reddit asking for help in bringing Ginger home.

“I just want her back safely with my family,” she previously told The Courier.

According to Lora, who has had the dog since it was 4 months old, Ginger was wearing a Star Wars Yoda collar with green, yellow and brown checkers and had a black leash with multicolor peace signs on it.

“I just want her back. I just feel so guilty for not protecting her,” Lora previously said. “It doesn’t even feel real. I feel like I’m going to wake up and she’s going to be in bed with me. I feel like it’s a really, really bad dream. It’s not right. I don’t know how anyone can do that.”

Lora filed a police report with the 111th Precinct on Sunday and now the Detective Squad of the precinct will investigate the dog’s death.

Police said they caution dog owners to be careful when walking their dogs and also add that people should not be in public parks after 9 p.m.