A new food court is opening in Flushing, this time with elements that align more with trendy "food halls" of Manhattan and Brooklyn. The second floor of Queens Crossing mall underwent a huge renovation this year to create homes for at least nine different food vendors in 10,000-square-feet of space. On Wednesday, the first three options opened: a Japanese curry shop called Curry Bo, a poke stand called Young Street Poke Co., and Happy Lemon, a Taiwanese bubble tea shop known for a whipped cheese tea. Soon, South Korean comfort food chain Tori and Korean tofu soup shop Wonjo Soon Tofu will join as well.
Developer Helen Lee of the family-owned company F&T Group wanted the space and food options to be more upscale, a bid to be a destination for local condo owners, doctors, and other food-savvy professionals living in the neighborhood, according to the Times. She said no to many vendors who wanted to do restaurants that were too similar to the dumpling and noodle shops that used to occupy the floor. "You’re really tempted to say yes, since these people are more than willing to pay the rent," she tells the Times. "But we have to think in the long term."
The resulting change pulls from many of the dining trends that tend to pop up in Manhattan or Brooklyn first. Food wise, poke is probably the trendiest dish of the year, and other new food halls like Union Fare and Williamsburg Whole Foods offer it, too. The design will be more defined and more woodsy than it was previously as well. BHDM, the firm responsible for the Great Northern Food Hall, put in elements like wood tiles, a chandelier made of a birch log, and a living wall with preserved plants and moss in the new hall. Vendors will also now be using real dishes instead of disposable, according to the Times. It’s a move to help the environment, to improve presentation, and to let the restaurateurs charge more for food, Lee says.
More vendors will debut in the coming months. Until then, see the menus for Curry Bo and Young Street Poke below and the Happy Lemon one here, and let us know what you think if you stop by.