Tag Archives: Douglaston

Two Queens Catholic schools to merge next year


| mchan@queenscourier.com

Two Catholic schools in northeast Queens will merge and operate under one name in September 2013.

St. Robert Bellarmine School, located at 56-10 214th Street in Bayside, will reopen under Divine Wisdom Catholic Academy in the next school year after board of directors at both schools unanimously approved the expansion this month.

The Bayside school will be called the Divine Wisdom Catholic Academy at St. Robert Bellarmine campus. It will join Divine Wisdom’s current campus at St. Anastasia, located at 45-11 245th Street in Douglaston.

“In an age when Catholic schools are being closed in our city and in the whole nation, this is a strong and confident step in the other direction,” said Monsignor Martin Geraghty of St. Robert’s.

The change will have no effect on students, who will continue attending their respective campuses, Geraghty said.

But while existing administration, staff and faculty at Divine Wisdom will stay in place, employment at St. Robert’s will cease when the school year ends, said officials.

Geraghty said staff members could reapply for jobs at Divine Wisdom.

Some St. Robert’s community members, including Geraghty, are expected to be added to Divine Wisdom’s board of directors.

“We’re confident that we will be able to grow stronger by combining our assets and growing together as a larger community dedicated to excellence,” Geraghty said. “We will be able to take what are already two very good schools and make them superior.”

Halloween events in Queens


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

File photo

Here’s your guide to all the Halloween happenings in Queens this October.

Pumpkin Patch
Queens County Farm Museum
73-50 Little Neck Parkway, Glen Oaks
Thru October 28
Saturdays & Sundays
11:00 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

Haunted House at the Poppenhusen

The Poppenhusen Institute
114-04 14th Road College Point
Friday, October 26-Saturday, October 27
Wednesday, October 31
5:00-6:00 p.m. (ages 6-8), 6:30 p.m.-9:30 p.m. (ages 8 and up)

Halloween Haunted House

Queens County Farm Museum
73-50 Little Neck Parkway, Glen Oaks
Friday, October 26 – Sunday, October 28
4:00 p.m.-7:00 p.m.

Children’s Fall Festival
Queens County Farm Museum
73-50 Little Neck Parkway, Glen Oaks
Sunday, October 28
11:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.

Dead or Alive
New York Hall of Science
47-01 111 Street, Corona
Friday, October 26 – Sunday, October 28

Thriller at the Battery
Fort Totten Park
Cross Island Parkway between Totten Avenue and 15 Road
Friday, October 26
6:00 p.m.-8:00 p.m.

Boo at the Zoo
Queens Zoo
53-51 111th Street, Flushing Meadows-Corona Park
Saturday, October 27-Sunday, October 28
11 a.m.-4 p.m.

Halloween Walking Tour
Hell Gate Bridge, Astoria Park (on Shore Boulevard)
Saturday, October 27
11 a.m.

Rockaway Canine Festival
Rockaway Freeway Dog Park
Beach Channel Drive at Beach 84 Street, Rockaway Beach
Saturday, October 27
11 a.m.-1 p.m.

Family Halloweenfest
Jamaica Center for Arts & Learning
161-04 Jamaica Avenue, Jamaica
Saturday, October 27
11 a.m.-4 p.m.

Trick or Treat!
Louis Armstrong House Museum
34-56 107 Street, Corona
Saturday, October 27
1 p.m.-4 p.m.

3rd Annual Halloween Costume Party
Flushing Town Hall
137-35 Northern Boulevard, Flushing
Saturday, October 27
8 p.m.

Bayside Village Halloween Family Festival

Bell Boulevard

between Northern Boulevard and 35th Avenue

Saturday, October 27

Noon-5 p.m.

Halloween-Remixed

Flushing Town Hall
137-35 Northern Boulevard, Flushing
Sunday, October 28
12:00 p.m.

Halloween on Ice
City Ice Pavilion
47-32 32 Place, Long Island City
Sunday, October 28
12:00 pm.-3:50 p.m.

CenterStage Halloween Concert
Sky View Center
40-24 College Point Boulevard, Flushing
Sunday, October 28
3:30 p.m.

Haunted Halloween Hike
Alley Pond Environmental Center
228-06 Northern Boulevard, Douglaston
Monday, October 29
4:30 p.m. (ages 5-7), 6:30 p.m. (ages 8-12)

Shocktoberfest
Playground For All Children
Flushing Meadows-Corona Park
Tuesday, October 30
4:00 p.m.-8:00 p.m.

Queens Zoo Trick & Treating and Halloween Festivities
Queens Zoo
53-51 111th Street, Flushing Meadows-Corona Park
Wednesday, October 31
3:00–5:00 p.m.

Jackson Heights Halloween Parade
Line up near P.S. 222  (87th Street and 37th Avenue)
Wednesday, October 31
5 p.m.

Halloween Party! Devil Science Theater 3K
Laughing Devil Comedy Club
47-38 Vernon Boulevard, Long Island City
Wednesday, October 31
8 p.m.

 

 

Top headlines around the web


| mchan@queenscourier.com

afternooonroundup

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.”

Birthday party places for kids in Queens


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Bounce U

BY SWEETINA KAKAR

If you know a lot of people with birthdays this time of year, it’s no coincidence. September and October are two of the most popular birthday months, and, according to AnyBirthday.com, more babies are born on October 5 than any other day. To mark this birthday-packed time of year, here’s a list of places to throw great kids parties in Queens.

Alley Pond Environmental Center
228-06 Northern Boulevard, Douglaston
718-229-4000

Alley Pond Environmental Center allows for both an indoor and outdoor experience for any kids event, specifically birthday parties from ages two to 12. The two-hour parties include a discussion about nature and handling live animals along with a nature inspired game or arts and crafts project in a classroom style space. According to the weather, the children will be taken on a nature trail with an experienced guide. With an animal room, party hosts can pick which animals, from blue tongue lizards to ring neck doves, they want to show their guests. All activities will be done within an hour-and-a-half, with 30 minutes left for food and refreshments, which will be provided by party hosts.

Architots
64-64 Dry Harbor Road, Middle Village
718-894-7777

The art and design studio offers 18 different themed parties, including animal, High School Musical, princess, pirate and American Idol themes. The studio’s Crayola inspired décor doesn’t just influence coloring but painting and building too. All parties include invitations, a craft, face painting or tattoos, food for children and refreshments for all.

Astoria Sports Complex
34-38 38th Street, Long Island City
718-729-7163

For sporty children, Astoria Sports Complex provides large indoor game areas for all ages. A soccer room, batting cages, inline skating rink, jumbo slide and bouncy room gives party hosts plenty of options to entertain their guests. The soccer rooms have built-in green astro turf and plexiglass surrounding the room for protection. The batting cages are miniature sized baseball fields to get the full playing experience. Each party includes a host, invitations, music, goody bags, food and refreshments.

Birthday Zone
29-21 21st Avenue, Astoria
718-726-9026

Birthday Zone specializes in customized party themes, but also has eight preplanned themes available. There is a mini arcade, large playing area and dining room, all decorated according to the theme of the party. Preplanned parties include character mascots to entertain all guests. All parties include games, dancing and face painting, with the option of crafts and cotton candy. Pizza is given to children along with refreshments for all.

Bounce U
Whitepoint Center, 132-25 14th Avenue, College Point
718-747-JUMP (5867)

Bounce U has private children’s events and specialty birthday parties with large playing and dinning areas. Their purple and red themed areas make a fun and friendly environment. At Bounce U, children have a large room to enjoy different activities in different bouncy houses, such as an obstacle course, a safe boxing ring and basketball hoops. Bounce U gives you the option to light up any party with a glow-in-the-dark experience and flashing colorful lights. The 2-hour party includes food and refreshments for guests, along with cake and balloon decorations for the dinning room.

BrickHouse Ceramic Art Center
10-34 44th Drive, Long Island City, NY 11101
718-784-4907

This hands-on, messy but artsy party place in Long Island City has different types of birthday parties for all ages. The art center teaches how to make different creations out of clay, including plates, bowls and cups. At BrickHouse Ceramic Art Center parties include creating and glazing, though the crafts cannot be taken home right away, but can be picked up in about two to three weeks, after they are dried and fired. The two-hour party time allows for a 30 minute pottery workshop and 30 minutes for dinning.

City Ice Pavilion
47-32 32nd Place, Long Island City
718-706-6670

Summer or winter, City Ice Pavilion always has an ice skating rink available for a party. It has an igloo-like atmosphere with its cooling ice and white bubble covered rink. Party attendees can skate and enjoy food and refreshment provided by City Ice Pavilion. Invitations, admission, rentals and private lockers are all included in the City Ice Pavilion party experience.

Kids Fun House
6273 Fresh Pond Road, Ridgewood
718-418-KIDS (5437)

An arcade and playground with slides and a playhouse, Kids Fun House is a great place for children’s parties. You can choose from various party themes: princess, knight, fairy, pirate, character inspired or carnival. Children get to make their own goody bags with a candy table in the dinning room. All parties include crafts, tokens for the arcade, decorations, food for children and refreshments for all.

Kids n’Shape
162-26 Crossbay Boulevard, Howard Beach
718-848-2052

Kids n’Shape includes a bounce house, slides, a full basketball court, zip lining, ball-pit, scooters and skating. The minimum two-hour parties include invitations, balloons, food and refreshments.

Museum of the Moving Image
36-01 35 Avenue, Astoria
718-777-6888

The Museum of the Moving Image isn’t just an educational atmosphere, but is also a place for fun birthday parties for ages eight and up. With a party room and several different exhibits, party attendees have tons to do for two-and-a-half hours. Guest will be surrounded with antique camera equipment, movie customs and pictures of famous actors. They begin with making flipbooks and animation, and dubbing their voices over famous movies. A guide gives a tour around the museum, educating guests about movies, television shows and video games. Finally, the party can watch a classic film. Children will receive goody bags. Food and beverages are optional.

New York Hall of Science
47-01 111th Street, Corona
718-699-0005

New York Hall of Science allows for both an indoor and outdoor experience for birthday parties. The museum doesn’t just include interactive educational exhibits, but also an outdoor miniature gold course and a science playground. Guests will be surrounded by rockets, lights, molecules and hidden kingdoms. With eight themes to choose from, a two-hour party includes expert guided tours of the 450 hands-on exhibits as well as food, refreshments and a full day pass to the museum.

Plaster Party Place
96-09 Metropolitan Avenue, Forest Hills
718-263-0960

The bright colored studio welcomes children of all ages for a two-hour painting party. With 75 different ceramic objects to select as a canvas, children can express themselves in multiple ways. Children will experience a party full of music, dancing, games and face painting. Two party hosts will supervise and direct the event. Food and beverages will also be provided.

Queens Zoo
53-51 111th Street, Flushing Meadows-Corona Park
718-271-7361

The Queens Zoo offers a full animal party experience where you’ll see creatures from all over the world. Birthday celebrations also include a large party room, located in the Wild Room, where an expert zoo guide will provide a live animal encounter, crafts and activities. Guests can even visit the petting zoo. The zoo provides three party themes to choose with admission, decorations and party goods.

Young Chefs Academy
108-10 72nd Avenue, 2nd Floor, Forest Hills
718-268-0343

At Young Chefs Academy children will learn to cook and bake from scratch. Expert chefs will help and show the guests how to crack, mix and whip up a delicious dish, along with an arts and craft activity. A two-hour party includes decorations, chef apparel, refreshments and a complimentary class pass for each guest.

Douglaston home destroyed by fire had $1,000s in violations


| mchan@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Terence Cullen

A Douglaston home under renovation, ravaged last week by a three-alarm fire, had incurred a laundry list of complaints and racked up thousands of dollars in violations, according to city agencies.

The 39-12 Douglaston Parkway dwelling received 44 complaints since March 2008 from callers saying the ongoing construction work being done at the site exceeded the scope of the approved permit, according to the city’s Department of Buildings (DOB).

All complaints were listed as closed, according to the agency, but homeowner David Wei Huang was also pinned for two violations from the DOB and 17 from the Environmental Control Board (ECB). Of those violations, nine were still outstanding, according to the DOB, and were related to the ongoing construction.

Huang was issued a $2,500 fine when construction at the site was found not to be in compliance with approved plans and another $1,200 for failing to safeguard the public and his property. There were other violations for working with an expired permit, the DOB said.

Permits were first issued by the DOB to extend the building horizontally in September 2009, the department said.

The unoccupied home went up in flames last Tuesday, August 14 at around 7:30 p.m., the FDNY said. No injuries were reported.

Bystander Thomas Perrino said he heard three explosions from inside the house, which he said sounded like gas tanks exploding.

The entire building was already swallowed in flames before more than 100 firefighters from 33 units extinguished the blaze by around 9:30 p.m. The infrastructure of the home’s second floor had completely caved in at that point, said the FDNY.

The fire was deemed accidental, according to a spokesperson for the fire department, and was caused by construction work being done with pipes and torches.

Huang could not be reached for comment.

— With additional reporting by Terence M. Cullen

3-alarm fire engulfs Douglaston home


| brennison@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Terence Cullen

More than 100 firefighters battled a blaze at a home on Douglaston Parkway last night.

The fire erupted at 7:50 p.m. at the Douglaston home that was under construction and unoccupied at the time.

“I told the Fire Marshal I heard three explosions,” said Thomas Perrino, of Little Neck.

The explosions sounded like a gas tank, he said.

Thirty-three units and 143 firefighters responded to the flames that completely engulfed the private home.

Firefighters had the 3-alarm blaze under control by 9 p.m.  The fire was contained to the single home, though neighboring homes experienced minor damage.

The FDNY said no major injuries were reported.

— With additional reporting by Terence Cullen

Historic street names restored in Douglaston


| mchan@queenscourier.com

Recently approved city legislation will restore six historic street names in the center of Douglaston.

The amended map will change 240th Street to Prospect Avenue, 242nd Street to Hamilton Place, 243rd Street to Orient Avenue, 42nd Avenue to Poplar Street, 43rd Avenue to Pine Street and 44th Avenue to Church Street, officials said.

“Douglaston is one of the most unique neighborhoods in our city,” said Councilmember Dan Halloran, who introduced the bill. “Its history and heritage are well worth remembering. This bill pays homage to the neighborhood’s history by restoring street names to the way they were hundreds of years ago.”

According to Halloran, residents of Douglaston and local civic leaders have fought for decades to keep their historic street names, despite the city’s push to make most roads numerical.

“To walk the streets of Douglaston is to step back into our city’s rich history,” Halloran said. “Everything from the original cobblestone curbs to massive tree canopies reminds visitors of a much simpler time.”

The city council voted to pass the bill on March 15.

“At a miniscule cost to the city, this law preserves our community’s heritage and history,” Halloran said.

With additional reporting by Alexa Altman

 

St. Patrick’s Day around Queens


| brennison@queenscourier.com

iStock_000011916111XSmall

Queens’ St. Patrick’s parades have passed and for those that want to avoid the madness of Manhattan there are a plethora of options right here in the borough. Bars around Queens borough are serving up St. Paddy’s Day specials, so revelers can save some green.

Here are some spots around the borough to celebrate:

Austin Ale House, Kew Gardens:

Live music Friday and Saturday with a complimentary corned beef and cabbage buffet from 3-5 p.m. on St. Patrick’s Day and food and drink specials all day.

Bohemian Hall & Beer Garden, Astoria:

Receive a St. Paddy’s Day mug with unlimited refills on select beers for just $15. There will also be live music, $4 shots of Bushmills, $5 shots of Jameson, $6 Jager bombs, $7 Irish car bombs and $10 corned beef and cabbage with potatoes and carrots.

Bourbon Street, Bayside:

Friday the restaurant will feature a pre-St. Patrick’s Day happy hour drink specials and “green” giveaways. On St. Paddy’s Day watch the parade from the bar with live music, free corned beef and cabbage from 3-5 p.m. For those suffering a post-holiday hangover the bar has a Sunday brunch with Bloody Mary drink specials.

Donovan’s, Bayside:

The New York institution since 1966 will be serving up a traditional Irish breakfast on St. Patrick’s Day between 9-11:30 a.m. Live Irish music by The Sporting Paddies will be performed between 5-8 p.m.

Gibbons’ Home, Maspeth:

The recently reopened Irish pub will feature live Irish music Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Strawberry’s Sports Grill, Douglaston:

Darryl Strawberry’s restaurant will be featuring drink specials all day including: $2 Coors Lights, $3 domestic drafts, $3 green Jell-O shots, $4 Guinness drafts, $4 Killian’s, $5 Jameson shots and $7 car bombs. Fill up with smoked corned beef and coleslaw specials all day.

Studio Square, Astoria:

Enjoy a free corned beef and cabbage buffet between noon and 5 p.m. Wash that down with a pitcher of Killian’s Irish Red and three shots of Jameson for $18 or $2 Jameson shots.

Safari Beach Club, Bayside:

The bar will open at 8 a.m. and feature $5 Irish coffees. There will be free shots for ladies between 2-6 p.m. and live music beginning at 11 a.m.

Woodside, once the heart of Queens’ Irish-American community, still maintains a strong presence of Irish pride and features some of the best Irish pubs in the city. Stop by Sean Og Tavern, Saints and Sinners, Donovan’s Pub, Molly Blooms in neighboring Sunnyside, amongst a host of others for an authentic pub experience.

 

Celebrate Darryl Strawberry’s 50th birthday with him


| brennison@queenscourier.com

IMG_6361w

Two-time silver slugger award winner Darryl Strawberry is entering his golden years.

Strawberry turns 50 on Monday, March 12 and the former rookie of the year will be celebrating his birthday amongst fans at his Douglaston sports grill — Strawberry’s. Guests will have a chance to sign a “supersized” birthday card for the four-time World Series champ and meet the New York baseball legend.

Mets memorabilia will be raffled off and a DJ will be on hand to keep the crowd dancing.

To make reservations call 718-517-8787

 

Local businesses benefit from Giants’ championship run


| aaltman@queenscourier.com

As Big Blue heads to Indianapolis, New York is seeing green.

After their teeth-clenching defeat of the San Francisco 49ers in overtime, the Giants are set for Super Bowl XLVI — and local companies are experiencing an upswing in business as fans flock to retailers and restaurants teeming with team spirit.

Shoppers stormed Modell’s within minutes of the NFC Championship Game’s end, scouring racks and shelves for coveted Giants gear. A spokesperson from the store’s College Point location divulged that the “Locker Room Tee” and the “Roster Tee” are two of the hottest items flying off the shelves, as well as the “always popular” hat adorned with the official Championship logo.

At the Modell’s in Ozone Park, patrons arrived as early as 7 a.m. on Monday, January 23 to be the first to score Championship duds. The store had been receiving shipments of merchandise intermittently throughout the day. According to a store spokesperson, five tables were set aside to hold Giants merchandise.

Athletic apparel outfitters were not the only businesses suddenly stricken with Super Bowl fever. At Strawberry’s Sports Grill in Douglaston, fans enjoying the Championship game were thrown into a frenzy when the Giants scored the final points.

“The place went nuts,” said Strawberry’s General Manager James Scholz. “It was amazing.”

According to Scholz, guests packed the restaurant, taking up every reservation slot and filling up the waitlist. Several Giants diehards have already cemented their Super Bowl Sunday plans at Strawberry’s, making reservations nearly two weeks in advance.

Stefan Friedman, a spokesperson from Resort’s World Casino, said the complex’s Bar 360 was jammed “wall to wall” with Giants supporters during the penultimate match. Friedman said the room’s post-win energy was “euphoric.” Resorts World is planning a special party for February 5 to celebrate the Super Bowl.

Fairway collects for Figoski Fund


| mpantelidis@queenscourier.com

Fairway Market recently raised some “green” for a good cause.

The supermarket held a fundraiser on January 5, during which it collected thousands of dollars for the Peter Figoski Scholarship Fund, a charity benefiting the four daughters of the slain, 22-year NYPD veteran.

Fairway donated 10 percent of the proceeds from all sales made between 3 p.m. and 10 p.m. at its locations in Red Hook, Brooklyn, Plainview, Long Island, and Douglaston, Queens – amounting to $20,000.

“We have had a longstanding history of supporting those in service, so when we saw the opportunity to help out with this cause, it was a natural fit for us,” said Dan Glickberg, vice president of Fairway. “[Our motivation] was a combination of the community and the tragedy. [Figoski] was involved in two communities that are around our stores, and those are communities we help out.”

The scholarship fund, launched by the New York City Police Foundation, was formed to assist in paying for Figoski’s daughters to attend college. It has reportedly already topped $2 million in total contributions.

Figoski, 47, of West Babylon, Long Island, was shot and killed on December 12 while responding to a home invasion robbery in Brooklyn. His partner captured the gunman, Lamont Pride, who has been charged with first-degree murder. Figoski was posthumously promoted to detective.

Those wishing to contribute to the fund can visit www.nycpolicefoundation.org or mail checks to:

 

New York City Police Foundation

Attention Peter Figoski Fund

555 5th Avenue, 15th Floor

New York, NY 10017

Home run meal at Strawberry’s Sports Grill


| smosco@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Steve Mosco

The word “comfort” always brings me back to Sunday afternoons at my grandparent’s house watching the New York Mets in the late 80s. My grandfather always had a colorful way of describing his love for the Mets – it was tumultuous, and sometimes a tad vulgar, but memories of our Met-chats always make me smile.

Besides watching Mets games back then, a lot of the Sunday afternoon comfort came from food. Now in Douglaston, those two worlds collide at Strawberry’s Sports Grill, Mets legend Darryl Strawberry’s neighborhood eatery.

Since opening its doors in August 2010, Strawberry’s has served BBQ and comfort food in a relaxed, welcoming atmosphere. Besides the food, Strawberry’s boasts 18 HD TVs and has since become a favorite place for sports fans to watch all of New York’s biggest games.

Sports aside, Strawberry’s gives eaters plenty of reasons to step up to the plate, starting with the appetizers. House favorites include chicken wings, in buffalo or BBQ; pulled pork sliders; crawfish and cheddar hush puppies; Philly cheese steak eggrolls; and Championship Chili, which was voted the best in Queens.

The fried macaroni cheese balls were a standout starter. The crisp exterior gives way to a cheesy-mac center for a comforting taste you’ll want to eat again and again. It’s served with a smoky horseradish sauce, adding a kick to your palate.

Strawberry’s lineup of dinner options is extensive and full of big hits – including dinner salads, burgers and sandwiches, BBQ straight from the smoker, and traditionally comforting entrees.

The grand slam dish without a doubt was Strawberry’s chicken fried chicken chop. The mouthwatering dish featured a panko crusted, thinly-pounded chicken breast with bacon-spiked white gravy, served with mashed potatoes and grilled asparagus. The chicken was pan-fried to perfection – and the gravy was extremely rich and delicious.

Also try the seared fish tacos, the pepper-crusted filet mignon and the pecan-crusted local cod. Strawberry’s also offers an array of beef, lamb or turkey burgers, including the “1986,” which is a lamb burger with feta cheese, cucumber, tomatoes, red onions and tzatiki sauce.

As for BBQ, eaters can get meats seasoned with Strawberry’s Memphis-style spice rub and then slow cooked in a custom smoker with hickory and cherry woods.

For dessert, succumb to the deep fried twinkies. You’ll be glad you indulged, trust me.

Lunch specials and kids meals are also available and Strawberry’s also offers both on and offsite catering.

Strawberry’s Sports Grill
42-15 235th Street, Douglaston
Phone: 718-517-8787
Fax: 718-225-0086
www.strawberrysgrill.com
Kitchen Hours:
Monday – Thursday 12 – 11 p.m.
Friday 12 p.m. – 12 a.m.
Saturday 11:30 – 12 a.m.
Sunday 11:30 a.m. – 11 p.m.
Full Bar open late
Takeout
Delivery
All major credit cards

Strawberry's Sports Grill on Urbanspoon

Darryl Strawberry: Mets unwise not to trade Reyes


| DStrawberry@queenscourier.om

IMG_6361w

I was saddened to hear the news of Jose Reyes signing a 6-year contract with the Miami Marlins this week.  He has been a superstar for the Mets, and a fan favorite.  He has an electrifying style of play and will be a tough player to replace.

When facing the realization that losing Reyes to free agency was a real possibility, the Mets were unwise not to trade him.  The organization would have had, at the very least, the opportunity to consider other prospects to rebuild the talent on the team.

I strongly believe the Mets must be strategic in the offseason and take the necessary precautions to remain healthy once the season begins.  Injuries plagued both the star players and the players that stepped in to fill their void on the team throughout the season. The key to success in the upcoming season is playing hard and keeping healthy.

As many of you know I have been an avid basketball fan for many years.   I was thrilled to hear the NBA organizations and players reached an agreement to end the lockout that threatened to shelve the 2011-12 season.  I am excited for the official season to begin on Christmas day and am looking forward to learn where stars like Chris Paul and Dwight Howard end up.  Hopefully NBA teams like the Orlando Magic and New Orleans Hornets will take note of what happens with players like Reyes and not repeat the mistakes of the Mets. It’s important to ensure you’ll be signing talent of your own.  It is going to be interesting to see the result of the Los Angeles Lakers offering up Pau Gasol, Lamar Odom and Andrew Bynum to land Howard and Paul.

My love of baseball and sports in general inspired me to open up a place where the neighborhood could come together, enjoy great food and watch the big game.  I opened Strawberry’s Sports Grill over a year ago and am thrilled with the community’s response. Make sure to stop by the restaurant located at 42-15 235th Street Douglaston, NY 11363.  We’re right next to the Douglaston LIRR train station and only minutes from the LIE and Cross Island Pkwy. You can watch all the NBA action unfold on one of our 16 HD TV’s and you never know when I may pull up a chair for some of our award winning chili, or to just relax and watch the game.

Fairway supermarket opens in Queens


| brennison@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/PHOTOS

Foul weather did not dampen the excitement on the lines of eager customers awaiting the grand opening of the long-anticipated Fairway Market.

“It’s been so long since we had a nice, big [food] store like this,” said Doris Mayne of Douglaston.  “It’s about time.”

Customers lined up over an hour before the doors first opened, anxiously awaiting the store that has been over two years in the making.

“I love Fairway, I used to have to travel to the one in Long Island,” said Martin Hoffman, one of the first customers to enter the 56,000-square-foot market.  “Their aisles are wide and their selection is superb.”

Fairway – located at 242-02 61st Avenue in the Douglaston Plaza Shopping Center’s Lower Level – held its ribbon cutting ceremony on Wednesday, November 16 with politicians, residents and Fairway officials on hand.

“We’re really delighted for the people of eastern Queens,” said Councilmember Mark Weprin.  “It really is a very big anchor in this community.”

The Douglaston Fairway is the first to open within Queens and is the largest of the nine in the city.

“The Douglaston area is, what I call, a food desert,” said Howie Glickberg, Fairway’s third-generation CEO. “For whatever reason, there are just not a lot of food stores in that area. We are really going to shake everybody up.”

The grand opening has been a process long in the making after some zoning issues and a full renovation and expansion of the Waldbaum’s building.

While local residents have been waiting for a market in the area, this is not just an average food store.

The aisles are filled floor to ceiling with not only typical supermarket fare, but specialty, imported, organic and exotic items.

The store will include a full kosher bakery featuring artisanal breads and New York City-style bagels made daily, a wide array of organic produce, a seafood department, butcher and cheese counter featuring over 600 cheeses.

Also featured in the market is a café that can seat 60 customers and will offer sushi, salad, yogurt and dozens of hot foods prepared fresh on premise that many customers eagerly sampled.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg was on hand for the ceremony and spoke about the economic boost the store will provide.

“This is exactly what New Yorkers are looking for, jobs in these tough economic times,” Bloomberg said.

Fairway has hired more than 450 employees in the store that covers more than one acre of land.

Bloomberg also noted that Fairway has made a commitment to employ veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan.

“I’m not supposed to give plugs for one company over another, but you could do a lot worse than buying all your stuff here,” Bloomberg said, who also has a Fairway coffee named after him, Gotham Blend, which Glickberg described as all business with spicy undertones.

Fairway is open daily from 8 a.m. until 11 p.m.

– Additional Reporting By Bob Doda