Tag Archives: closing

Bud’s Ale House replaces Hooters in Fresh Meadows

| mchan@queenscourier.com

File photo

Fresh Meadows residents are saying ta-ta to their neighborhood rack shack after the establishment known for its busty wait staff bounced out of town last week.

Hooters emptied its 61-09 190th Street nest on Sunday, October 14, and reopened as a new brand, Bud’s Ale House. According to officials, failed year-long negotiations led corporate heads at Hooters of America to ax a franchise agreement with Strix Restaurant Group, which runs the Fresh Meadows corner eatery and three others on Long Island.

“Overall, the Hooters brand just wasn’t selling,” said Strix spokesperson Ed McCabe. “We think we have a better brand, and we didn’t find a willing cooperative partner in Hooters, who just wanted to take money and didn’t want to advertise.”

Bud’s Ale House boasts food options and drink specials similar to its predecessor, but the new food joint will feature less skin and more male staffers, said McCabe, who is hoping for a 50/50 women to men employee ratio.

“We’re not in the business of what Hooters is,” McCabe said, referring to the chain’s well-known majority female wait staff, uniformed in tight tops and skimpy shorts. “Eighty percent of people will not go into Hooters to begin with. It’s a stale brand.”

All Hooters employees were transferred over after the move and none were laid off, McCabe said. Management is currently accepting male applicants as food servers.

The Hooters in Farmingdale also transformed into Bud’s Ale House last week, while an Islandia location was rebranded to “58’s” and one in East Meadow was closed completely.

There is another Bud’s Ale House in Astoria, which opened this September, McCabe said.

Top headlines around the web

| mchan@queenscourier.com


Aqueduct racino and tax coffers in the chips

This is one gamble that paid off.

The Aqueduct Resorts World “racino” in Queens is celebrating its one-year anniversary — amid positive reviews from state officials and community leaders that the facility has boosted jobs and swelled Albany’s coffers in a fragile economy. Read more: New York Post

More express buses flying to La Guardia

If only they checked bags.

The city announced yesterday that it’s adding Select Bus Service routes to and from La Guardia Airport — complete with dedicated transit lanes — that will shave 10 to 40 minutes off trips. Read more: New York Post

Noel Polanco, the unarmed Queens National Guardsman killed by a cop, promoted to sergeant at his funeral

In life, he held the rank of specialist in the National Guard. In death, he is a sergeant.

Noel Polanco, the unarmed Queens man killed last week by a cop, was posthumously promoted Friday at his funeral.

“This is a promotion for outstanding accomplishments and service,” First Sgt. Gregory Sinclair said as the hundreds of mourners jammed inside the Eternal Love Baptist Church in Corona, Queens rose and applauded. Read more: Daily News

EXCLUSIVE: Strawberry’s to shutter suddenly Sunday

A New York baseball legend’s sports bar will shutter Sunday after poor management ran the popular Douglaston dive to the ground, the Courier has learned.

Strawberry’s Sports Grill – the brainchild of the Mets’ and Yankees’ four-time World Series champ, Darryl Strawberry – had only been open for two years before the prominent restaurant struck out, having to suddenly shut its doors for good this weekend. News of the closure came out of left field to employers and upper management, sources said. Read more: Queens Courier

EXCLUSIVE: Strawberry’s closes suddenly this weekend

| mchan@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Melissa Chan

A New York baseball legend’s sports bar shuttered Sunday after poor management ran the popular Douglaston dive to the ground, the Courier has learned.

Strawberry’s Sports Grill — the brainchild of the Mets’ and Yankees’ four-time World Series champ, Darryl Strawberry — had only been open for two years before the prominent restaurant struck out, having to suddenly shut its doors for good this weekend. News of the closure came out of left field to employers and upper management, sources said.

“It came out of nowhere,” said Michael Strawberry, Darryl’s brother, who helped run the Queens hotspot but did not manage its day-to-day operations. “I am very sad. Rest assured it had nothing to do with my brother and me.”

Employees at the homerun food joint — who requested to remain anonymous for fear of retribution — said they suspected the neighborhood eatery was quickly going downhill early this week when the restaurant stopped placing orders for food and paychecks were being bounced.

“They gave us checks on Friday but said we couldn’t cash them until Tuesday because they said there was no money,” the employee said. “People may not be getting paid. They owe some people $600 to $800.”

According to sources close to the situation, the main manager who was responsible for the restaurant’s downfall recently jumped the sinking ship. They claim the majority of some 30 restaurant workers, who will be left jobless, and customers, were also not told of the dining hole’s doom.

Michael Strawberry did not fully confirm the accusations but said they “could be true.”

“Some of these things, I don’t even know. It was a beautiful experience. I’m not trying to throw anyone under the bus,” he said, adding that upper management is now trying to close gracefully. “This is just something that had to be done here at this time.”

Employees said they do not hold either Strawberry brother responsible for the abrupt closure.

“Michael is a great, great man — probably one of the biggest role models I’ve ever met,” a staff member said. “It hurts him more than anybody to see that the place is closing.”

Barber shop to make way for Yogurtland

| mchan@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Melissa Chan

The last locks will soon fall at a popular barber shop after the three decade-long staple on Bell Boulevard shutters at the end of the month.

Pace’s Hair Design, located at 40-02 Bell Boulevard, will permanently close its doors on October 27, according to Donato Cataldo, owner of the family business and the building, who cited financial reasons as the shop’s downfall.

“I feel bad for my customers and my employees who have been here for over 20 years,” said Cataldo, 34. “It was a family decision to rent it to someone else. I’m sad, of course. It’s been a family business for over 35 years in the same spot. It was my dad’s for many years.”

Cataldo said he took over the store — the only one the family owns — after his father passed away 10 years ago.

“I tried to revive it, tried to get it to a different level,” he said. “It just didn’t work out.”

Yogurtland, a franchise popular on the West Coast, will be taking Pace’s place in a few months. It will be the chain’s first store in the state.

“I want to thank everybody who has been coming here for a long time,” Cataldo said. “We’re just moving on.”

Peninsula Hospital to close permanently

| jlane@queenscourier.com

Peninsula Hospital to permanently shut down

Peninsula Hospital Center will permanently close, bringing to an end a chaotic chapter in its life marked by six months in bankruptcy and a failed rescue attempt by an investor that had no experience in running a hospital.

The state Department of Health shut down the laboratory of the Far Rockaway hospital on Feb, 23, an action that sealed Peninsula’s fate. With no revenue from patient admissions for the past month, Peninsula no longer has sufficient working capital to stay open. Its affiliated nursing home will not shut down.

Read more: http://www.crainsnewyork.com/article/20120326/HEALTH_CARE/120329909#ixzz1qFmOrWDD

End of an era: Flushing’s Palace Diner closing

| brennison@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Billy Rennison

The faithful frequenters of Flushing’s Palace Diner will have to find a new haunt once the local landmark serves its last meal after more than three decades in the neighborhood.

The diner, which sits along the Long Island Expressway on the corner of Main Street and Horace Harding Expressway and has been a neighborhood mainstay for 35 years, will close its doors for good on Friday, December 30.

“Friday is going to be another very emotional day,” said owner George Mantzikos.

Hostess Eva Ballas, who has worked at the diner for 20 years, said Friday will “be the worst day of [her] life.”

“Everybody is going to come say goodbye. I’m upset.  All my customers are crying,” Ballas said.  “I’m crying, too.”

The spacious diner created a cozy atmosphere over the years through devoted diners, a dedicated, long-tenured staff and good food.

One by one, the loyal customer base — called angels by Mantzikos — that built up over the years has been making the pilgrimage back to the neighborhood cornerstone to bid adieu.

One customer even flew up from Florida to say goodbye.

“There is no place like this place,” said Hedije Haliti, who has frequented the diner for 30 years.  “I’m so sad to see it go.”

Haliti, who stopped by the diner — which is down the block from her job at Dime Savings Bank — a couple of times each week, said she will miss the Greek omelets and the familiar faces the most.

The diner will be replaced by a Chinese restaurant.

Mantzikos said he has not decided what his next plans are, but after nearly 30 years of running the diner, he intends to take some time off to rest.

“I’m going to miss being in the diner, seeing all these people, working with my people,” said Mantzikos.

“We had a good run,” Ballas said.  “Every good thing comes to an end.”

After working at the diner for two decades, Ballas found it difficult to determine one memory that stands out above all the fond recollections.

“It was my second home,” she said.  “That’s my memory — I’m going to miss my second house.”

Will door close on Maspeth company?

| brennison@queenscourier.com

Karp Associates

After 50 years in the community, a Maspeth manufacturer may be headed for “greener” pastures out of state that provide more financial incentives.

Karp Associates, a third-generation manufacturing company, is leaving its current Maspeth location after losing their property to Eminent Domain.

Though Karp, which manufactures and distributes access doors, has received offers to relocate from about a dozen states, the company favors staying within the city.

“Our first preference was always to stay here,” said George Kosser, vice president of operations at Karp. He said that while Karp has received better offers from other locales, the company is merely looking for the same offer a new business coming into the city would receive.

“We weren’t going anywhere,” said Kosser. “For the fact that we’re being kicked out, treat us just like we were coming for the first time.”

Their location on 43rd Street between 55th Avenue and 54th Road, in the shadow of the Kosciusko Bridge, was seized by the state Department of Transportation to make way for a new bridge.

The city has worked with Karp since the company discovered their property was being seized to keep them in the five boroughs. But they are not eligible for certain assistance that companies relocating to the city are.

The company was offered tax breaks and incentive packages by the New York City Economic Development Corporation (EDC) to stay in the city.

Karp was founded in 1957 by current owner Adam Gold’s grandfather and great uncle. Over its 50-plus years in Maspeth, the company has grown from an operation of 10 workers in a 5,000-square-foot space to about 120 workers in 120,000-square-feet in three locations.

“The feeling I get is that the city doesn’t care if we stay or go,” Kosser said.

The EDC said they are very committed to job retention.

“We take the needs of companies across the five boroughs very seriously, and are committed to providing certain types of assistance when necessary to keep good jobs here in New York City,” said EDC spokesperson Patrick Muncie.

Karp is resigned to the fact that it will most likely have to leave the city, but the company hopes to be able to remain in New York, specifically Long Island, and is continuing to work with the state. Most of the workers live near the company’s current location.

In June, Karp declined an offer from the Empire State Development (ESD) of a package that included $445,000 from the EDC along with $7 million from the Suffolk County Industrial Development Agency.

“ESD will continue to work hard to keep jobs in New York and talks are ongoing, but there cannot be an open faucet of taxpayer money,” said Austin Shafran, vice president of public affairs for Empire State Development.

Karp was offered the maximum amount of money allowable under state law, he said.

The company hopes to make a decision by the end of the year, with relocating to New Jersey being an option if a move to Long Island cannot be negotiated.

Karp, whose customers are mostly construction distributors, recently landed the contract for the World Trade Center.

“We’re the company that everyone wants,” Kosser said. “Except for the city.”