4 THE QUEENS COURIER • JANUARY 25, 2018 FOR BREAKING NEWS VISIT WWW.QNS.COM
Queens Comfort in Astoria to close in February
BY ANGELA MATUA
firstname.lastname@example.org / @angelamatua
Queens Comfort, a popular Astoria
restaurant that has been around for seven
years, announced on Jan. 21 that they
would shutter their doors.
According to a post on their Instagram
account, the restaurant at 40-09 30th
Ave., will offi cially close on Feb. 4. Th e
eatery serves elevated comfort food and
a variety of sandwiches, burgers, brunch
items and starters like atomic fi re balls,
disco tots and Capt’n Crunch chicken
“Dear friends, we have some bittersweet
Photo via Flickr/Chun Yip So
Queens Comfort in Astoria will close its doors on Feb. 4.
Avella to city: ‘What are you hiding’ on Ft. Totten?
BY SUZANNE MONTEVERDI
email@example.com / @smont76
A Bayside-based lawmaker is calling for
transparency as the city continues to have
conversations to expand its presence in
In a letter addressed to Mayor Bill de
Blasio on Jan. 11, state Senator Tony
Avella raised concerns with the city’s
“serious lack of information” in reference
to certain project propositions by
the Fire Department and Department
of Corrections (DOC). Th e FDNY has
proposed building a wind turbine at the
Bay Terrace location, while DOC considers
using it as the site of its new training
Aft er an alleged runaround from city
agencies, Avella has fi led a Freedom of
Information (FOIL) request for documents
pertaining to both proposals.
“What are you hiding?” Avella writes.
“I would appreciate a full briefi ng on your
plans by all those involved.”
Fort Totten — formally an active U.S.
Army installation in the Bay Terrace section
of the neighborhood — is currently
used by the U.S. Army Reserve, NYPD
and FDNY. Certain portions are designated
public park areas.
For FY 2018, DOC allocated $1.1 billion
to fund a “New Jail Facilities” project,
prompted by Mayor de Blasio’s push to
close Rikers Island and create neighborhood
based and decentralized jail sites.
Avella questioned whether DOC’s interest
in Fort Totten pertained to this move.
“I hope this is not a hidden plan to place
a jail on the Fort,” Avella writes. “Such an
attempt would be fought vigorously by
the whole community.”
Aft er QNS reached out to the mayor’s
offi cer for comment, de Blasio spokesperson
Natalie Grybauskas directed the
inquiry to DOC.
“Th e DOC is not the managing agency
of the feasibility study,” DOC Deputy
Commissioner of Public Information
Peter Th orne said. “We look forward to
seeing the results of the study once it’s
“I can say that the Fort Totten feasibility
study does not include plans for a new
jail,” he continued. “Its focus is on identifying
additional space for training staff .”
Community Board 7 raised similar concerns
about the city’s proposals for the
space at a general meeting in October
2017, where FDNY offi cials stopped by to
share plans to construct a wind turbine in
the southeast portion of the fort.
While board members were initially
open to the proposal, the mood changed
when board member Chuck Apelian
announced he received word DOC is
actively considering Fort Totten as the
potential site for a training academy.
Remarks made by former DOC
Commissioner Joseph Ponte in May 2017
confi rm the agency’s interest in the site.
Aft er allocating $100 million for a new
training academy, Corrections is working
with the Department of Design and
Construction (DDC) on a feasibility study
for the use of Fort Totten. Th e new academy
would provide a space to properly
train recruit offi cers.
Apelian called the news “very alarming.”
Board members agreed not to vote
on the Fire Department’s plan until
details about the proposed Corrections
site were clarifi ed.
Photo by Dean Moses
Show Palace in Long Island City was shut
down after it was busted for prostitution.
Cops shut down
LIC adult nightclub
after sex sale bust
BY ANGELA MATUA
firstname.lastname@example.org / @angelamatua
Show Palace, a gentleman’s club in
Long Island City that was recently
busted for promoting prostitution, was
padlocked by the NYPD Vice Squad
on Jan. 19.
According to the Daily News, cops
shut down the club located at 42-50
21st St. at about midnight. Owner Gus
Drakopoulos must go to court if he
wants to re-open Show Palace, the
Daily News reported.
On Dec. 8, fi ve women from the ages
of 20 to 35 years old were arrested at
the clubfor prostitution. Shortly aft er,
local offi cials and community leaders
held a press conference outside of the
site to urge the NYPD to shut it down.
Bishop Mitchell G. Taylor, the executive
director of Urban Upbound, a
nonprofi t that serves Queensbridge
Houses residents, argued that the 3,000
children living in the public housing
development should not have to walk
past the establishment.
“Th ere have been numerous reports
of fi ghts, shootings, drug distribution,”
he said at the press conference. “Th is
has become the hot bed of criminal
activity and I don’t think that we can
just stand on the sidelines and allow
businesses like this to be active in our
Th e all-nude nightclub had its application
for a liquor license denied by
the State Liquor Authority (SLA) three
times, most recently in January 2016.
Th e nightclub has also made headlines
for violating liquor laws, selling
drugs, weapons charges and several
On Dec. 13, Gianaris wrote a letter
to Queens District Attorney Richard
A. Brown asking that he invoke the
Nuisance Abatement Law, a law used
by the NYPD to shut down violent
clubs and bars and crime-prone businesses.
It was fi rst enacted in the ’70s
to curb the sex and drug industry in
“Th e closure of Show Palace is an
important and hard-fought success for
our community,” Gianaris said in a Jan.
21 statement. “Th anks to the NYPD
and the Queens District Attorney for
continuing to protect our neighborhoods.
I will remain vigilant in case
this establishment attempts to reopen.”
Photo via Wikimedia Commons/Ryan Joseph Daley of Bayside NY
A view from inside Fort Totten
news we’d like to share,” the owners
wrote on Instagram. “On February
4, 2018, Queens Comfort will be closing
its doors at our current location, 40-09
30th Avenue. Although it will mark the
end of an era, you have certainly not
seen the last of us. Please stay tuned for
more details, and come by and help us
say farewell to the place during the next
Th ey also thanked patrons for support
and “amazing memories,” adding that
“it’s been a true blessing” to operate the
business for seven years.
Th e owner, Donnie D’Alessio, also
opened a hip-hop-themed restaurant,
Flattops, at 33-06 Ditmars Blvd. in July
2016 with menu items like the Gucci
Mane Burger, named aft er the rapper
who released multiple records during his
two-year prison term.
In November, We Heart Astoria reported
that a new business called Peanut
Butter World would open at 36-13 30th
Ave. But rumors are circulating that the
site is actually a front for a new Queens
Owners for Queens Comfort could not
be reached for comments as of press time.