Tag Archives: Kew Gardens Hills Civic Association

New Kew Gardens Hills restaurants highlight business growth on Kissena Blvd.


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Rendering courtesy of Franklin Rivera/Photos THE COURIER/By Liam La Guerre


The Hills are alive with the sound of business.

Just two months after mega computer department store Micro Center took up numerous empty lots and opened on Kissena Boulevard in Kew Gardens Hills, three new businesses are set to open on the thoroughfare soon as well.

Main Street, the community’s central commercial strip, has long been the chief hub for business in the neighborhood, but the change Kissena Boulevard is undergoing has some residents and local civic leaders excited.

“People are starting to invest money,” said Mike Sidell, a resident of nearly 60 years. “I just walked past it and I see the difference.”

Mela’s Café will replace a defunct diner and open on 71-02 Kissena Blvd. in about three weeks, said new owners Franklin Rivera and his wife, Ketty. It will serve Latin American cuisine and expects to sell alcohol — the owners are waiting for a response for their liquor license application.

Rivera, who owns the Brooklyn-based restaurant supply company Los Primos Meat Market, said it was simply time for the family to own a restaurant. Ketty will serve as head chef, while he will be in and out as a manager.

The restaurant was named after their daughter Melissa’s nickname “Mela,” because they thought it would be easy to remember. Rivera said he’s excited for the restaurant’s grand opening and the business boom in the area as well.

“On a scale of one to 100, I’m 150 percent excited,” he said. “Business booming is good. It means more people.”

On the next block, two restaurants are set to open, including Wings on Top, which will share space with an extant Subway restaurant.

Despite the influx, not everyone is confident that the change is for the better.

“As far of restaurants are concerned, it comes and goes like the days of the week,” said Jim Jaffe, a director of the Kew Gardens Hills Civic Association. “There is a big turnover in restaurants in this community. That’s not a rock-solid business.”

 

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Activist Patricia Dolan killed crossing Hillside Avenue


| tcimino@queenscourier.com

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Patricia Dolan, longtime Community Board 8 member, president of the Queens Civic Congress, Kew Gardens Hills Civic Association and the founder of the Flushing Meadows-Corona Park Conservancy, was struck and killed as she crossed Hillside Avenue on Tuesday, November 15.

Police say Dolan, 72, was crossing the thoroughfare near 198th Street — on her way to a CB 8 Transportation Committee meeting — when she was struck by a 1998 Nissan sedan driven by an unidentified 57-year-old woman.  EMS responded to the scene and took Dolan to Jamaica Hospital where she was pronounced dead.

“She was a friend, a colleague and a pre-eminent civic activist,” said Deputy Borough President Barry Grodenchik. “We will all miss her very much.”

The driver remained on the scene.  The investigation is ongoing.

Borough President Helen Marshall heralded Dolan as a fighter for “libraries, senior citizens, parks, children, transportation safety and every other issue that affects all of us.”

“She was a frequent visitor to Borough Hall, where just weeks ago she met with my office and library officials to try to move up the timeline for the completion of the Kew Gardens Hills Library,” said Marshall. “She also sat on our Traffic Safety Board. Indeed, her commitment and dedication to our borough were inspiring.”

Dolan also worked at Queens Community House, where she directed the Queens Network, a paratransit system for seniors.

“I had the privilege of honoring her at my Women’s History Month several years ago for her outstanding dedication to the borough of Queens,” continued Marshall. “Appropriately for Pat, the theme of the event that year was ‘Women: Builders of Communities and Dreams.’”

CB 8 District Manager Marie Adam-Ovide told The Courier that a memorial service will be held on Tuesday, November 29 at 7 p.m. at the Schwartz Brothers – Forest Park Chapel, 114-03 Queens Boulevard in Forest Hills (Queens Boulevard and 76th Road).

“She would say things to you to make you laugh,” said Adam-Ovide. “She was knowledgeable about all different issues. She cared so much about her community. It’s definitely a loss to our board. I’m going to miss her so much.”

Other remembrances of Dolan:

City Comptroller John Liu:

“The borough of Queens lost a favorite daughter last night. I have known Pat for many years as a tireless advocate for Queens and for New York City and someone who was fearless about speaking her mind and standing up for what she believed in. Pat was quick as a whip and sharp as a tack. Her leadership and infectious spirit will be sorely missed, and I stand together with my fellow residents of Queens to mourn her untimely death. My deepest sympathies and prayers are with Pat’s family during this difficult time.”

Senator Toby Stavisky:

“She epitomized everything good about public service. She only cared about what was best for the community. I lost a good friend.”

City Councilmember Karen Koslowitz:

“I remember when I worked with Pat for the first time in the 1980s when I worked for Andrew Stein. She was an expert on zoning issues. If I had a question I would call her. She will be missed.”

Assemblymember Phillip Goldfeder:

“The loss of Pat Dolan is a loss for Kew Gardens Hills and for all of Queens. She was truly a woman of the people and encompassed everything great about Queens. Pat’s loyalty and devotion to her community was inspirational and I am deeply saddened to hear of her passing.”