Tag Archives: michael strawberry

BBQ restaurant to replace shuttered Douglaston sports bar Strawberry’s


| mchan@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Terence M. Cullen

Order up!

Queens foodies looking to pig out on a slab of ribs need go no further than Douglaston.

Smokin’ Aces Championship BBQ is slated to open in the first week of June. It will replace Strawberry’s, a popular sports bar at 42-15 235th Street that abruptly closed last October.

“Everything just kind of fell into place. It was a really good opportunity,” said Tricia Capodagli, the smokehouse’s sole owner. “When the universe puts everything in front of you and you’re set up to succeed, you might as well do it.”

Capodagli is an accountant and an independent business manager for more than a dozen Manhattan restaurants. She said the venture marks her first foray outside of Manhattan. It is also the first restaurant she has owned.

“This would be a good start for me. It just worked out very well,” said Capodagli, 39. “I’m seeing a lot of development in Queens. I’m seeing it really being built up.”

The family-friendly barbecue joint will offer fried pickles, pulled pork sandwiches, nachos, chili, mac and cheese, burgers and buckets of sides to share.

With Queens prices and healthy options, Capodagli said diners will not have to break the bank or their belts.

“We’re trying to keep everything under $25,” she said. “These will not be Manhattan prices.”

Strawberry’s Sports Grill — the brainchild of the Mets’ and Yankees’ four-time World Series champ, Darryl Strawberry — was only open for two years before it shuttered up.

Sources close to the eatery told The Courier poor management ran the popular dive to the ground.
Locals said the restaurant’s remote location by the Douglaston Long Island Rail Road station, which gets minimal foot traffic, could have been a factor as well.

Still, Capodagli is optimistic she will have a different fate than her predecessor.

“It’s like everything — if you’re getting a good meal and good service, then it’s not out of the way and it’s worth it,” she said.

Before the grand opening, Capodagli said she must obtain certificates from the city’s Department of Buildings and pass a health department inspection scheduled for later this week.

“I’m really excited,” she said. “You never know where life takes you.”

 

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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.”