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After the City Shut it Down, Corona Plaza’s Food Vendors Have Returned

Plus, Saigon Social is adding a takeout spot — and more intel

Street food vendors seen in Corona, Queens.
A much smaller version of the Corona Plaza food market has been permitted to return.
Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty

This summer, the food vendors at Corona Plaza were forced to shut down by the city. Protests followed, with the Queens Borough President Donovan Richards Jr. and AOC joining the chorus of voices in favor of the Queens food market, calling it a “heavy-handed” show of law enforcement. This week, Mayor Eric Adams’ office announced that Corona Plaza’s food vendors, which had previously made the New York Times list of 100 best places to dine in New York, will be permitted to return. The catch is that only 10 food vendors are now allowed — that’s a major cutback from the some 80 vendors at its height, according to a report by Gothamist. Back in August, the city claimed that the disbanding of the immigrant-run market was related to “significant issues” regarding sanitation. In response, Richards Jr. said the Adams administration was implementing “draconian raids” amidst “an asylum seeker crisis, no less.” The hours for the revamped Corona Plaza food vendors will be limited to Wednesday through Sunday from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., according to Gothamist; previously the market was running into the late-night. The New York Times reports that sales tax must also now be paid by merchants.

Saigon Social is adding a takeout spot

Saigon Social owner Helen Nguyen says she’s in the process of trying to open a new takeout spot, Saigon Social Express, next year. In the meantime, she’s operating a version of the takeout menu out of Saigon Social. The to-go menu lists several banh mi, pho ga, and rice bowls. Nguyen is currently handling delivery in-house versus a third-party app: There’s a two-mile delivery radius and orders over $30 are eligible for free delivery. A full menu is online.

A Chinatown roast pork spot expands to the East Village

Hay Hay Roasted, which opened on Mott Street in 2021, is adding a follow-up in the East Village this week. Located at 167 First Avenue, at East 10th Street, its opening day is December 2, according to an Instagram announcement.

An upstate, 87-year-old supper club shuts down

Kozel’s, a steakhouse lifeblood of Ghent, New York, that also functioned as a local community space, closed its doors this month. The restaurant had been in business for 87 years, according to a report by Times Union eulogizing the establishment.