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‘There Are No Other Delis in the Area’: Constantine’s Delicatessen Is Closing After 92 Years

Plus, delivery apps make tipping harder after minimum wage mandate — and more intel

The exterior of Constantine’s Delicatessen, a 92-year-old deli in Bayside, Queens.
Constantine’s Delicatessen is closing after almost a century.
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Constantine’s Delicatessen, a 92-year-old deli in Bayside, Queens, is closing at the end of the year. The Di Marco family, who has run the shop since 1986, says deli culture in Queens isn’t what it used to be. “There really are no other delis in the area,” Michael Di Marco told QNS.com. “They’ve been going out of favor in Queens for a long time.” He attributed the closure to demographic changes and an influx of chain restaurants. Due to inflated costs of food and other supplies, the deli hasn’t been able to break even in recent years.

Caleta wine bar now called Bad Habit

In January, partners Jesse Merchant Zuñiga and Javier Zuñiga opened Caleta, a wine bar with savory snacks, that also served as a headquarters for their pandemic-borne ice cream brand, Bad Habit. As of this month, the 131 Avenue A storefront will just be called Bad Habit, serving as a standalone ice cream shop that no longer serves daily savory dishes. Wine and coffee will remain, plus the occasional food pop-ups. — Emma Orlow, reporter

Uber, DoorDash make tipping drivers harder

Thousands of delivery workers are seeing their first paychecks under the city’s new minimum wage, which went into effect on December 4. The base rate, $17.96 per hour, has resulted in higher earnings for some drivers, according to Crain’s New York Business. In response, delivery apps are making it harder to leave tips. After the law went into effect, Uber Eats and DoorDash changed how customers tip on their apps: The prompt now shows up after a customer has already placed an order, which could mean fewer tips overall. DoorDash told Bloomberg it made the change “to ensure our platform remains affordable.”

Queens is getting a new brewery

Finback, a decade-old brewery with locations in Glendale, Queens, and Gowanus, Brooklyn, is opening a new brewery and taproom on December 20. It’s located on the ground floor of a Long Island City development, at 29-37 41st Avenue and Northern Boulevard. Different from the other locations, the business will focus on sour beers and wild ales brewed with local fruits. Beyond beer, there are dumplings made by one of the founder’s mothers, coffee, and cocktails.