The city’s aggressive insistence on opening food halls has now reached Astoria, where yet another real estate company is planning a multi-restaurant development.
Commercial Observer reports that Vass Stevens Group has snatched a property at 34-39 31st St., at 35th Avenue, and plans to turn it into a food hall with eight vendors — each of them manning 2,000-square-feet within the building.
No contracts signed yet for restaurateurs, but the company says letters of intent are out for a brewery, a coffee roaster, an Asian concept, and a dessert purveyor. “High-end pressed sandwich places, high-end Asian concepts that do dumplings, and ethnic Hispanic concepts that are well known in Queens,” as well as a Brooklyn-based butcher shop, are also in the mix, according to CO. Though food is a major focus, boutique fitness or a performance group could end up in there as well.
New York now has at least two dozen food halls across the city — most of them concentrated in high volume areas in Manhattan. With tons of food options squeezed into one space, density plays a role in what might make a food hall a successful business venture.
Astoria’s not nearly as crowded as Midtown at lunch hour, but the company’s leasing president is betting that the people visiting three new hotels, a production space, the Museum of Moving Image, and local schools will become customers.
So far, though Queens has iconic food halls in Flushing, the borough has largely remained unscathed by modern, “artisanal”-minded new food halls. For this new project, expect the first restaurants to start opening by the end of the year.
Eater has reached out to Vass Stevens Group. Stay tuned for more.