Tag Archives: lower east side

New Astoria craft-focused bar set to open in August


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photos Courtesy of Gerard Leary

Astoria will soon be home to a new bar with a city punch to it.

Sunnyside resident Gerard Leary, owner of the Lower East Side’s One Mile House bar, has come together with two other Manhattan bar owners to open up Judy & Punch at 34-08 30th Ave., a site that used to be home to a video rental store.

When it came to choosing the location, Leary said that he and his partners wanted to become part of the thriving western Queens neighborhood and were surprised to see how much “Astoria loved Astoria and everyone wants to talk about Astoria.”

“It just seemed like the right fit,” said Leary, who is opening the bar together with Barry Spellman, who owns bars DTUT and Biddy’s Pub, and Mike Higgins, co-owner of Professor Thom’s in the East Village. “Astoria has always been a great area and that part of Astoria especially is on the rise.”

Trying not to give much information away, Leary said the approximately 13,000-square-foot bar, slated to open in August, will be craft-focused featuring 14 lines of draft beers as well as libations in bottles and cans, classic cocktails with the bar’s own twist, and small “light” bar bites.

Judy & Punch will also include a 25-foot-long bar, garage doors in the front, dining space and a backyard patio expected to fit about 12 people.


Construction underway at Judy & Punch 

Leary also hopes to organize a lot of events at the bar, getting the neighborhood involved in these events and building the bar’s brand.

The name of the establishment, which Higgins came up with, comes from the traditional puppet show called “Punch and Judy.” This will also lead to a small carnival theme for the bar’s look and menu, said Leary.

“I can’t wait to see what we got in store for these guys,” Leary said. “I think we’re going to have a great product that everyone in Astoria will be proud of. We’re taking what we learned in Manhattan and bringing it to Astoria, without being too pretentious.”

For more information, check out Judy & Punch on Facebook here.

 

RECOMMENDED STORIES

Elmhurst worker fired for single sick day


| aaltman@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photos by Alex DiBlasi

For four months, Emilio Palaguachi, 43, worked 60-hour weeks behind the counter at Superior Deli on the Lower East Side. One day, he felt ill, and with the permission of his manager, missed a day of work to visit a doctor. But when he returned to work the next day, he was handed one day’s pay and fired.

“They didn’t give me any explanation,” said Palaguachi to a translator. “I asked if I had done something wrong and nobody knew what to say. Actually, everyone [co-workers] was upset because of how I was fired.”

As New York battles through one of the worst flu seasons in recent history, the divisive issue of sick leave hits hard with many workers struggling between recuperating from illness and retaining their jobs. More than a million New York City workers lack paid sick days, most operating in the food service, retail and health care industries, according to the NYC Paid Sick Days Campaign.

In August of 2009, the Paid Sick Time Act was first introduced to the New York City Council garnering support from members of the council, residents and civil rights groups. In 2012, the bill was revisited and rewritten to require businesses with more than 20 employees to allot nine paid sick days; companies with five to 20 workers to grant five days; and small businesses with fewer than five employees designate five unpaid, but job-protected, sick days each year. The bill has yet to be voted on by the council.

Julissa Bisono of Make the Road New York, a Jackson Heights based social justice organization, said opposition to the bill comes from small businesses, fearful that paid sick days may lead to bankruptcy.

“This bill will not only give people paid sick days but protect their jobs so they don’t come in the next day and find out that they don’t have a job because they took the day off to recover,” said Bisono.

Although the bill has 37 co-sponsors, City Council Speaker and mayoral hopeful Christine Quinn remains opposed, citing the city’s current economic status.

“This issue of paid sick leave, it’s a laudable goal,” Quinn said. “But in this economy if we do it right now in the way envisioned in the bill we’re going to put people out of business and we are going to lose jobs. This is not the right time to do it.”

Postponed by Superstorm Sandy, a second hearing on the bill has yet to be set by Quinn.

Palaguachi, who supports his wife and four young children, is concerned about finding another job and providing for his family. While his search has not yet been successful, Palaguachi said he hopes his next position will include benefits, sick days and days off for Christmas and Thanksgiving.

“Workers like me should be able to go to the doctor if we feel bad, and not show up to work if we are feeling ill, especially if we handle food and see customers,” said Palaguachi. “A lot of people can’t afford to take a day off. A lot of people don’t take off because they don’t want to lose their job. If someone is sick, this law will help prevent people from getting sick. You can go to the doctor and you’re not worried about losing your job.”

 

RECOMMENDED STORIES

 

Tom Cruise reportedly dating 26-year-old Queens native


| editorial@queenscourier.com


After finalizing his divorce from Katie Holmes this summer, Tom Cruise appears to be dating again, but it’s not a fellow actor, it’s a New York City restaurant manager and Queens native.

According to In Touch, the 50-year-old “Jack Reacher” star is wooing a 26-year-old brunette named Cynthia Jorge, who works at Beauty & Essex in the Lower East Side.

They first met at the restaurant on December 16, an eyewitness told the magazine.

Jorge handed Cruise her card that night, and the next day he called Beauty & Essex several times asking for her.

On December 18 the two met up, along with some friends, at Le Baron, a nightclub in Manhattan’s Chinatown, where they did some “dirty dancing,” according to In Touch.

“He’s enamored with this woman,” a source told the magazine.

Top Headlines From Around the Web


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Crews Battle Lower East Side High-Rise Fire

Members of the New York City Fire Department at this hour are battling a high-rise fire on the Manhattan’s Lower East Side. Heavy smoke is pouring out of the top floors of 89 Columbia Street. So far, no injuries have been reported. A cause is not yet known. Read More: NY1

 

Queens couple busted after allegedly locking up and abusing disabled woman, taking her money for over a year

A Queens couple was arrested for locking a partially paralyzed woman in a room from hell for more than a year, denied her food and a took advantage of her financially, said prosecutors. Patrick Donovan, 42 and Mae Washington, 63, were charged for convincing Maureen Murray, 58, to move out of her assisted living facility to save her some money, but instead of giving her a safe place to live they abused her and out of fear, she gave them power of attorney over her finances. Read More: New York Post

Jury announces it is deadlocked on rape chargers against ex-cop Michael Pena

On its fifth day of deliberations, a Manhattan jury has deadlocked on the question of whether drunken, now-ex-cop Michael Pena actually raped a terrified schoolteacher during a random gunpoint attack in Inwood last summer. “It’s a deadlock note,” defense lawyer Ephraim Savitt told reporters shortly after noon. The trial judge, Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Richard Carruthers, has already repeatedly admonished the jury to keep trying, and is expected to release them due to their note. Read More: New York Post

Zimmerman ‘distraught’ over Trayvon shooting: report

The Florida man who blew away an unarmed black teen is “distraught” over the incident and has been praying non-stop for the victim, according to a close family friend. Neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman has been in hiding ever since he gunned down defenseless Trayvon Martin, 17, on the streets of a gated community in Sanford, Fla., on Feb. 26. The killing has touched off a heated national dialogue on guns, Florida’s self-defense laws, race and hooded sweatshirts. Read More: New York Post

Knicks say Stoudemire won’t need surgery; out 2-4 weeks

The Knicks have given a timetable for Amar’e Stoudemire, and they expect their star forward to return in 2-4 weeks from the bulging disk in his back. After a second opinion agreed with the Knicks original diagnosis, Stoudemire will undergo non-surgical treatment that will include an epidural steroid injection for the injury he suffered in the win over the Pistons on Saturday. The Knicks also announced that Jeremy Lin would not play on Wednesday against the Magic because of soreness in his left knee. It is the second straight game the point guard will miss. Read More: New York Post

 

Knicks’ Lin meets ex-ESPN worker who wrote offensive headline

Knicks point guard Jeremy Lin sat down to lunch with the ESPN employee who was fired last month for posting the infamous “Chink in the Armor” headline on the network’s website. According to Newsday, Lin ate with 28-year-old Anthony Federico Tuesday on the team’s off day. Though the Knicks said Wednesday Lin does not want to publicly discuss the meeting, Federico effusively praised the Asian-American star, calling him “a wonderful, humble person.” Read More: New York Post

Mega Millions soars to record $476M jackpot

The Mega Millions jackpot soared to a record $476 million ahead of Friday’s drawing after no one claimed the grand prize Tuesday night. No one has managed to match all six numbers in the multi-state lottery game since January 24, when a Georgia woman collected the $72 million prize. The near half-billion figure dwarfs the previous $390 million record, which was split in 2007 by two winners who bought tickets in Georgia and New Jersey. Read More: New York Post

Nike sues Reebok over ‘unauthorized’ Tebow gear

A trademark suit made public today charges Reebok with illegally cashing in on Tebowmania by peddling unauthorized Jets gear bearing the name of the team’s new celebrity quarterback. Nike, which signed Tim Tebow to an exclusive licensing deal in 2010, says Reebok did an end run around around that agreement to capitalize on the “vociferous demand for Tebow Jets products.” Reebok is allegedly “in the process of shipping large volumes of Tebow-identified apparel products” that are expected to hit stores this week. Read More: New York Post