A down home sandwich-serving neighborhood lunch place is slated to open sometime in the next few months on the southern edge of Queen Village. The commercial space at 525 Washington Ave. has been a vanilla shell since the building was constructed over a year ago.

On the right

It will mean the introduction of a different kind of eatery to this street, which mostly features ethnic establishments representing various corners of the globe. That it is a new kind of restaurant contributed to the support for a needed variance to operate at the location. Members of the Queen Village Neighbors Association (QVNA) supported the project, despite what zoning chair Mike Hauptman described as serious concerns from neighbors. The concerns, it seems, have been addressed.

Closer look at the space

Neighbors voiced concerns about trash, and staffers loitering outside the rear of the building, based on past experiences with other restaurants. As a result, QVNA attached provisos that stated trash must be stored inside the restaurant, staff is prohibited from loitering behind the building, hours of operation are from 10am – 7pm, the majority of business must be sit down, and no liquor license application would come in the future.

“It just seemed like there was no really good reason to deny them,” said Hauptman. He added the owners seemed like sincere nice people interested in investing in the neighborhood.

What we have here is a civic group working to address concerns raised by neighbors while at once compromising with business owners. It’s positive to see a site that faced a year-long vacancy finally secure a tenant. Now we hope that a much more prominent vacancy on the block can likewise be filled in the near future.

Corner of 5th & Washington

–Lou Mancinelli