Tag Archives: Grand Opening

Community service-oriented martial arts studio opens in Flushing

| asuriel@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of KOREA Taekwondo

KOREA Taekwondo invited families and young martial arts masters to the grand opening of its first martial arts studio on Saturday in Flushing.

Taekwondo students, their parents and community leaders participated in the celebration by setting personal goals, after which they broke boards symbolizing their promise to break bad habits. The studio, located at 130-30 31st Ave., offers classes for adults, children as young as 3½ years old and joint family learning sessions.

Regina Im, executive director of KOREA Taekwondo, said that families will have happy memories of the demonstration and that martial arts are a beneficial skill for children to learn.

“We teach taekwondo in New York City public schools and at our dojang [studio]. We do this because we want to inspire, guide and educate our children,” Im said. “Our goal is to help improve our students’ physical, mental and spiritual being through self-discovery, so that they will develop the peaceful mind required for a happy life.”

John Choe, executive director of the Greater Flushing Chamber of Commerce, and Christine Colligan, co-president of Korean American Parents Association, were available at the event to speak with parents on the commitment to civic engagement that KOREA Taekwondo students learn in conjunction with their martial arts training.

In addition to physical education and martial arts training, the company also offers a range of Korean cultural classes and participates in service projects to clean up local streets and parks, beautify the neighborhood and reach out to local seniors.

Choe—a recently registered student at the studio—said that teaching children the discipline involved in martial arts is an effective way to instill positive values and focus in them. He believed that KOREA Taekwondo was the best studio in the city because of the community service ethic taught in its programs.

“It’s part of their DNA to serve the community,” Choe said.

Although this is its first storefront studio, KOREA has been teaching students in programs within the New York City public school system and other educational outlets since 2008. A total of 15,000 children have attended physical education classes with KOREA Taekwondo, including Flushing elementary schools P.S. 242, P.S. 163, P.S. 154 and P.S. 201.


New urgent care center opens in Ridgewood

| agiudice@ridgewoodtimes.com

RIDGEWOOD TIMES/Photos by Anthony Giudice

A new urgent care facility has arrived in Ridgewood.

North Shore LIJ, partnering with GoHealth Urgent Care, held a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Thursday to announce the grand opening of its new Ridgewood location. This facility, located at 55-05 Myrtle Ave., is the 13th GoHealth location to open since 2014, and the second in Queens.

The urgent care center is set up to treat non-life-threatening conditions, including early treatment for colds, flu and fever; sports-related injuries; allergies and asthma; and skin lacerations and other skin trauma. The doctors can also perform X-rays for joint and bone injuries as well as provide lab services for blood tests.

“This particular location, this corner, the adjacency to the train station is fantastic,” said Gary Weatherford, chief operating officer for the North Shore LIJ/GoHealth Urgent Care joint venture. “When we talk about improving access to healthcare, we’re very much community-oriented and in that sense what’s constant with that is our desire to provide the best patient experience possible.”

The facility itself is designed to be open and inviting, with an open-air feel to the waiting room and 50 percent larger patient rooms. The Ridgewood location is outfitted with four private exam rooms, large ADA-accessible bathrooms, a lab room, storage and stock rooms, and a friendly staff of physicians, physician assistants and radiology technicians.

Being partnered with North Shore LIJ gives GoHealth seamless integration with the hospital’s electronic medical records system. This allows GoHealth doctors to access patients’ medical records and utilize this information to better diagnose and treat patients on the spot.

“GoHealth is like the GPS for your healthcare,” said Dr. Robert Korn, medical director for GoHealth. “So essentially you come to us and we take care of your acute problem, but because we have this huge partner that’s on the other side of the table — the North Shore health system with 3,000 physicians, 15 acute care hospitals, psychiatric hospitals, out-patient centers, rehab centers — we can now direct you, like a GPS, to the care you need.”

Ted Renz, executive director of the Myrtle Avenue Business Improvement District (BID), welcomed GoHealth Urgent Care center to Ridgewood.

“On behalf of the Myrtle Avenue BID, we welcome GoHealth to Myrtle Avenue and the BID. We look forward to assisting them in any way,” Renz said. “This store has been vacant for some time and it is great to see a service facility that will bring people to our community on a daily basis.”

Dorie Figliola, community liaison for Assemblyman Mike Miller, was on hand and welcomed the urgent care facility to the neighborhood.

“This is a wonderful facility. I went for a little tour already, and on behalf of the assemblyman, I would like to welcome you into his district,” Figliola said.

The Ridgewood location is open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekends.

GoHealth will continue its expansion with a total of 50 sites slated to open over the next three years in the New York metropolitan area. The next Queens location will be coming to LeFrak City later this month.


Apple Store opening at Queens Center this Saturday

| ctumola@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photos by Angy Altamirano

An Apple a day won’t keep the crowds away from the Queens Center mall this weekend.

The borough’s first Apple Store is set to open at the Elmhurst shopping center on Saturday, July 11 at 10 a.m., according to the tech brand.

The news of the official debut date comes following a report earlier in the year of Apple opening a location on the mall’s second floor.

Customers who come to the grand opening will not only get to try out the latest Apple products, but the first 1,000 customers in the door will also receive a free commemorative T-shirt.

The new store, according to Apple’s website, will include a Genius Bar, as well as other features, such as workshops, that can be found at many of its other locations.

According to the Daily News, the store will be one of the largest in a New York mall and one of the company’s most diverse, with more than 130 staff members who will be speaking 24 languages other than English. Two-thirds of the staff will be bilingual.




Salvation Army opening store on Metropolitan Ave in Middle Village

| agiudice@ridgewoodtimes.com

Photo courtesy Joseph Irvine

The Salvation Army is opening up shop in Middle Village this June.

The new location, which will open at 73-26 Metropolitan Ave., will be a Salvation Army family store where patrons will be able to find great deals on second-hand clothing, furniture, appliances, accessories, jewelry, toys and much more. A former pharmacy, the location has been vacant for many years.

“The Salvation Army is been interested in the site for a number of years. However we were only recently able to negotiate an affordable purchase,” said Joe Irvine, an administrator for the Salvation Army. “We look forward to becoming a community partner.”

The proceeds from the family store will help fund the Salvation Army’s Adult Rehabilitation Center (ARC) program, an intense six-month, faith-based, work therapy, drug and alcohol rehabilitation program.

“We have been running a deficit throughout the winter,” Irvine said of the ARC program. “We get no federal, state, city or other funding for the program. We’ve needed to borrow money from the Salvation Army headquarters. This store is a rejuvenation of the project.”

“We’re totally dependent on these stores,” he continued. “It also gives us an opportunity for certain individuals in the program to get job training. That’s the great thing about our program: it is real-world therapy.”

This location will become the 11th installation for the Salvation Army’s Brooklyn/Staten Island ARC area command.

“The store will provide up to 10 employment positions for local residents,” Irvine said. “We hope to open the store June 19. There will be door prizes and giveaways celebrating the grand opening.”

“We have already noticed that it is a very family-oriented area,” Irvine added. “We think that we will be a welcomed clothing store to the area. We look forward to being a part of the community.”


Sussex Bank opens first NYC branch in Astoria

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Sussex Fat Cap Right picture

Sussex Bank held a grand opening on March 14 at its first New York City branch, located at 28-21 Astoria Blvd. in Astoria.

On hand for the festivities were Assemblywoman Aravella Simotas, City Councilman Costa Constantinides and Vito Giannola, Sussex Bank’s executive vice president and chief retail officer.

The bank was founded in 1975 and has a strong foothold in the northern New Jersey marketplace. Sussex Bank President and CEO Tony Labozzetta said Astoria residents can expect a “high-tech, high touch” experience at the new branch, adding that “for me, the holy grail is finding that efficiency while maintaining a personal touch—combining the tools someone may need to bank anywhere, at any time—but you also have to be able to reach out to them so they know they are appreciated.”

Labozzetta is pictured with Dominick Pinto, owner of Ferrari Driving School; Joseph Giannola, local owner, developer, and real estate manager; Vito Giannola and Domenick Loccisano, Sussex vice president and business development sales manager.


Woodhaven’s New Pop’s Restaurant gets new owner

| ejankiewicz@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/ Photo by Eric Jankiewicz

New Pop’s Restaurant, a diner that has been in Woodhaven for more than 20 years, is set to open on Father’s Day weekend after having been closed for more than a month, according to the diner’s new owner George Alexiov.

“I like this neighborhood,” Alexiov said. “I’ve been trying to find a business to run for the past seven years and now I’m very excited that I will be serving the people here.”

Alexiov has kept the interior design the same and in the last two weeks, after signing a 20-year lease on the Jamaica Avenue storefront, he’s been busy restoring the walls and tiles in the diner.

The menu, which is traditional diner fare, also hasn’t been altered. To mark the grand opening, Alexiov said he plans on giving customers a free glass of wine or beer.

“Looking forward to see what the new owners do,” Grace Cangiola said on Facebook about the new management. “I haven’t been there for quite a while. There’s not a lot of choices to eat at on the [a]venue, it will be nice to have it back.”

Alexiov, who is originally from Greece, has had experience with running food businesses in Brooklyn and said he plans on hiring six workers.




New LIC housing opens for formerly incarcerated moms and families

| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photos by Angy Altamirano

By the time he was 15, Orion Bustamante had seen the ups and downs of life — his father went to jail, his mother was left without a job and he and his two younger brothers felt the fright of losing their home and going to live in a shelter.

After two years of struggle, reuniting with his father and seeing his mom succeed in a job at Goodwill Industries, Orion now has a reason to smile: Wednesday marked the grand opening of a brand-new Long Island City apartment building, erected by the nonprofit Hour Children, and which Orion now calls home.

“In my life I have learned some valuable lessons. One of them is that life is much like an arrow,” Orion said. “An arrow can only be fired by shooting it backwards, so when life is dragging you back it only means that you are about to be launched into something great.”

The teen’s family is one of 18 that have moved into the Hour Apartment House III (HAHIII), a permanent supportive housing residence which brings together and helps stabilize families of the formerly incarcerated.

“The construction of HAHIII represents our commitment to the women of Hour Children who have worked so hard to transform their lives and those of their children,” said Executive Director Sister Tesa Fitzgerald during the HAHIII ribbon-cutting on May 7. “It stands as a testimony to the fact that lasting, positive change is possible when women receive the support needed to rebuild their lives.”

The building at 36-11 12th St., made up of two-and three-bedroom apartments and lower-level office space, is Hour Children’s seventh and largest residence in Long Island City. Each apartment was designed to meet the needs and likes of each mother and her children, officials said.

Hour Children is a nonprofit agency that provides services, such as mentoring, job training, after-school programs and more, to help over 4,500 incarcerated and formerly jailed women and their children successfully rejoin the community, reunite with families, and build independent and secure lives. The nonprofit provides housing to about 80 families involved in the programs.

“It is one thing to provide housing; it is another to provide housing that affords dignity. Dignity is so important,” Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer said. “The apartments are beautiful, the furniture is gorgeous and the mothers and the children are able to experience this transition and gain the power of dignity and that is transformative.”

For more information on Hour Children, visit www.hourchildren.org or call 718-433-4724.



Fairway supermarket opens in Queens

| brennison@queenscourier.com


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

Grand opening of Five Guys

| jlane@queenscourier.com


Five Guys Burgers and Fries had customers waiting outside their restaurant for their grand opening on Monday, September 19 in the Sky View Center.

“Before 11 a.m., there was a line with about 10 people waiting for us to open,” said Monique Jimenez, employee of Five Guys.

The fast food chain opened on level B of the regional mall. This 2,000-square-foot Five Guys marked the third Queens location for the burger joint.

“We don’t have any holding units, such as freezers, so everything goes freshly prepped on the grill,” said Rob LaMarca, store manager of Five Guys.

Founded in 1986 by Janie and Jerry Murrel, Five Guys continues to be family-owned by their five sons. The company, which originated in Arlington, Virginia, has quickly expanded from a local favorite to an international brand. Known for their double-patty burgers, the restaurant’s signature look continues to be their red and white checked design scheme.

“Everything we cook is with 100 percent peanut oil. We also offer free peanuts while you eat; fresh quality products are what we serve,” said LaMarca.

Located in Downtown Flushing and a short distance away from other heavily-populated Queens neighborhoods, Sky View Center retailers stand to benefit from a large population density. It’s also easily accessible by both car and mass transit. The regularly expanding shopping destination currently offers three hours of free parking seven days a week.