Author Topic: Announcing a Little Jackson Heights Restaurant  (Read 42989 times)

Offline cultartist

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Re: Announcing a Little Jackson Heights Restaurant
« Reply #30 on: April 25, 2015, 05:43:49 PM »
just to clarify/defend my suggestion about music in the restaurant.  I'm definitely not suggesting loud, distracting music--anything but that.  In fact, I am a musician who has sacrificed a bit of my hearing to my vocation and the last thing I want is too much ambient noise interfering with good conversation and good friends.  Nope, that's no good.  I'm just suggesting that an attention to music that suggests a time and place, a vibe, an attention to atmosphere and ambience--be it Nick Drake, be it Max Roach, be it Delroy Wilson, be it Patsy Cline, whatever--is preferable to just playing the radio or Pandora (or, heaven forbid, a blasting TV).  Just the feeling that the proprietor took the time to invent another world, an escape, an oasis, a good time for the customer.  And then, yes, keep it at an acceptable volume.  Okay, enough on that.

But it is a good time to suggest the frustrations and semi-failures of Arunee.  And I welcome any attacks on my opinion here.  It seemed so great when it opened--nice decor in particular.  But it was something that already existed before, doing something that at least 4 other restaurants (Ayada, Zabb Elee, Playground, Kitchen 79) do better and then added spotty service and, by some reports, outright rudeness.  I guess it's just sad when something comes so close but doesn't get there.  Stew, from everything you're saying, I feel that you get it.  And I'm looking forward to your restaurant.

Offline Stew

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Re: Announcing a Little Jackson Heights Restaurant
« Reply #31 on: April 25, 2015, 07:19:50 PM »
I'm just suggesting that an attention to music that suggests a time and place, a vibe, an attention to atmosphere and ambience--be it Nick Drake, be it Max Roach, be it Delroy Wilson, be it Patsy Cline, whatever--is preferable to just playing ... Pandora...

What's Pandora?

Some years ago, I built a vacuum tube amplifier (with a lot of help from my electronic whiz younger brother) from a design by the French sound engineer Yves Cochet. I love the sound it produces, and it would look amazing behind our little bar. We just have to find out whether it's powerful enough to deliver music for the space. And yes, we plan to use uncompressed recordings, not .mp3, although we don't have an unlimited budget, including for speakers. There's going to be some tradeoff, but we want to deliver music that our customers will enjoy at a volume that is not distracting, let alone earsplitting :)

« Last Edit: April 25, 2015, 07:28:25 PM by Stew »

Offline Ed

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Re: Announcing a Little Jackson Heights Restaurant
« Reply #32 on: April 25, 2015, 07:51:25 PM »
Nothing says fine dining like an acoustic vibraphone/double bass duo. I'm just say in'....:)

Offline Crabby_Appleton

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Re: Announcing a Little Jackson Heights Restaurant
« Reply #33 on: April 25, 2015, 08:21:20 PM »
I'm so excited you're paying attention to lighting, and those floor tiles look fantastic. Even before I was a hag, I would walk out of a restaurant if it was too brightly lit. I can't do that in Jackson Heights because everything is lit up like an operating room.

Offline Stew

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Re: Announcing a Little Jackson Heights Restaurant
« Reply #34 on: April 25, 2015, 08:33:29 PM »
Nothing says fine dining like an acoustic vibraphone/double bass duo. I'm just say in'....:)

Ha!

Earlier today, I was talking with one of the people helping me to make this restaurant happen about the posts here on children.

One of the things he said is that one of his great memories is being taken by his parents to dinner, at the age of ten and dressed in a proper blazer, and hearing a guy playing vibraphone name of Lionel Hampton.

« Last Edit: April 25, 2015, 08:42:14 PM by Stew »

Offline Stew

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Re: Announcing a Little Jackson Heights Restaurant
« Reply #35 on: April 25, 2015, 11:43:14 PM »
I'm so excited you're paying attention to lighting...

The inspiration collage/concept board photo that I posted shows only one featured light. Here are all three that we were looking at, all of them LED. We may go with one of these, or something else, but yes lighting is a major design consideration.
« Last Edit: April 26, 2015, 12:00:19 AM by Stew »

Offline ljr

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Re: Announcing a Little Jackson Heights Restaurant
« Reply #36 on: April 26, 2015, 12:30:49 AM »
I was just today peering into the windows of Biryani Pointe and hoping they were actually closed for good--and now I find this thread! This is just terrific. We moved to JH in October 2011 and were delighted to find Mehfil, the restaurant that was formerly in that space. We live just around the corner, and we loved Mehfil.

Then it closed and was replaced by that chain and instead of the fairly nice atmosphere and vibe of Mehfil—and food we really enjoyed—we had the glaring lights, the TV, the ugly Coke machine in the dining room. Then, even worse, that garish chicken place opened in a former dry cleaning shop. I almost cried when I saw it. I don't care who you are or what you are selling—a little sense of aesthetics, please! By comparison, on the same block a similarly casual mostly breakfast and lunch place, El Rico Tinto, has pleasing decor, good food and friendly service. That was a wonderful addition to the neighborhood. Their egg dishes are great for brunch.

I am thrilled to hear about your new restaurant, Stew. By family friendly, people probably mean having menu items children would eat (some simple choices like roast chicken or a good hamburger) and not having an atmosphere so formal that parents would feel uncomfortable bringing their children. It looks to me like you do want to be more on the formal/fine dining side and less on the casual family dining side, which to me is a place like Bare Burger.

I agree that it's crucial to make sure the acoustics and music allow for conversation. One of the things I liked about Armondo's was that it was not too noisy and was a relaxing place to eat basic Italian comfort food.  I'm at the stage of life where I will leave a restaurant that is too noisy before even sitting down. I just can't scream all night and I really dislike the constant, headache-inducing clamor. Everyone I know (granted I don't hang out with kids) feels the same way. Even if I am dining alone, I hate when it's too noisy.

Arunee is an example of a place that is too loud for my taste, and I think that's from the choice of decor. It was not so loud in its former incarnation, Novo, to my recollection. I also find the uncushioned wooden bench seating uncomfortable--and the food, unfortunately, went downhill after the move. Not that I went there more than a few times, but I liked it more when it was in its former location.

Your mood board looks great. Do you have a name? I think this will do well (especially if it's not TOO formal and upscale, which I am not sure would work as well here). I think there is pent-up demand for this kind of a place. Really looking forward to your opening!

Offline Jeffsayyes

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Re: Announcing a Little Jackson Heights Restaurant
« Reply #37 on: April 26, 2015, 12:44:09 AM »
Chat n Chew w Stew

Offline Di_11372

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Re: Announcing a Little Jackson Heights Restaurant
« Reply #38 on: April 26, 2015, 08:13:09 AM »
Stew, thanks so much for sharing your interior design concept board; impressive, charming & beautiful, you really have people excited now!!

Offline BrianB

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Re: Announcing a Little Jackson Heights Restaurant
« Reply #39 on: April 26, 2015, 11:33:52 AM »
All right, Stew! Thank you for sharing your boards and your announcement. I am already chomping at the bit to try it out. Looking forward to it.

Offline toddg

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Re: Announcing a Little Jackson Heights Restaurant
« Reply #40 on: April 26, 2015, 09:33:47 PM »
I just want to clarify my earlier recommendation that the restaurant "find a way to welcome families with kids."   As an occasional grown-up myself who enjoys a fine meal when I can afford it, I am thrilled that Stew is trying to create a pleasing atmosphere for grown-ups.  I am certainly not advocating that Stew bend his ambitious vision into a kid-oriented family restaurant.  But a couple of simpler, less-fancy menu options would make it easier for families to attend.  While older kids are quite capable of behaving appropriately at sophisticated restaurants, their palates are not always fully mature. 

Stew and redge sound like they know what they're doing and are about to bring us something wonderful.  I'll just pipe down now and wait patiently!

Offline poupoune

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Re: Announcing a Little Jackson Heights Restaurant
« Reply #41 on: April 27, 2015, 02:10:32 PM »
Add me to the list of JH residents pining for a restaurant just like the one your proposing - We can't wait to come!

Since you were talking about music earlier in the thread, may I request that you consider some live music one or two (or more) nights a week? We used to love to go to Novo and hear Jim play guitar on Mondays, either solo, duo or trio. That experience it's another one that is sorely lacking in this neighborhood.

Either way, we wish you the best and will be there in September!

Offline petster

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Re: Announcing a Little Jackson Heights Restaurant
« Reply #42 on: April 27, 2015, 02:31:43 PM »
This sounds amazing and will be definitely welcomed. Is " a little jh restaurant" the name? Sounds like fun!

Offline Grabey

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Re: Announcing a Little Jackson Heights Restaurant
« Reply #43 on: April 28, 2015, 11:26:09 AM »
I'm very excited to see this happening! I would suggest that you make an effort to get some craft beers on tap!

Offline jhlifer

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Re: Announcing a Little Jackson Heights Restaurant
« Reply #44 on: April 28, 2015, 01:36:44 PM »
Stew:

Many people have been commenting on the inside.. here is my two cents on the outside.  I am almost certain that you will remove the ugly light-box sign above the horrible illuminated sign/awning/box.  If I remember correctly, that lovely limestone building has a black and green marble sign band above the show window.  It may still be there behind that awful sign/awning. I think the lettering (for the store name) was originally in gold, and the stores likely had a canvas awning projecting from below the sign band.  I know you are likely sandwiched between huge and garish signs and awnings, but perhaps you can be the start of the resurrection of this commercial building - by installing a sign and awning that befit the building and your business.  It may be worth a shot to see if the sign band is still there after all these years, and use it if it is somewhat intact.  I know you have your hands full with starting up a business, but maybe we can get some concerned Hawthorne Ct residents to reach out to the property owner and see if he can have his (non-landmarked, unfortunately) commercial tenants install uniform signs and awnings that will enhance, rather than detract, both their business and the value of his building.  One can only hope that this is a start.....  I predict success for you.

Jackson Heights Life

Re: Announcing a Little Jackson Heights Restaurant
« Reply #44 on: April 28, 2015, 01:36:44 PM »