I so love watching the neighborhood evolve and change. There seems to be a great influx of interesting, creative people moving into the area. I ride the subway every day to/from work. This gives me a chance to people watch.

I also love all the little new shops that are popping up in the Ditmars area. And...the restaurants...what can I say? Our favorite is Trattoria L'Incontro (spelling?). My husband and I just call it "Rocco's". He's the owner and chef. Feels like a Manhattan restaurant that got dropped in our neck of the woods.

What we really need, and this is just my opinion...a good bookstore like Barnes & Noble. Just some of my thoughts for a Sunday night.

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Comment by Michelle Cast on January 23, 2012 at 1:01pm

Here is the link to put in a location request (just sent mine!):


Comment by Shell Merrill on January 23, 2012 at 12:58pm

yes to Trader Joes and yes to Vietnamese food! (so sad to see Seaburns go too), maybe a good vegetarian restaurant too

Comment by Kara Elise on January 23, 2012 at 12:55pm

French: L'Artiste is a phenomenal French Spot right after Cavo on 31st Ave/42nd'ish.  

Trader Joe's:  There are a couple larger vacant spots on Steinway between Broadway and 30th Ave.  If WLA got a campaign going...signatures...and maybe got some local businesses to participate...I'm sure we could make enough noise to attract Trader Joe's.

***I am 100% with whoever said that ASTORIA DOES NOT NEED CHAIN ESTABLISHMENTS.  No Barnes & Noble, No American Apparel, No more Starbucks.  A HUGE part of our community is all the small, locally-owned establishments.  It's a point of pride for a lot of us in the neighborhood.  It is IMPORTANT to support local businesses because in doing so you are SUPPORTING YOUR NEIGHBORS.  Astoria is huge into having that small community feel and neighborly attitude.  I, for one, would be pretty indignant if Starbucks wiped out Queens Kickshaw, for example.  

Astoria is a pretty green community (thanks to all the bars/restaurants that source locally, as well as brooklyn grange for growing locally), and pretty focused on helping thy neighbor.  I want to see that expand, not get killed off by thoughtless choices in the businesses we bring in.

Comment by Michelle Cast on January 23, 2012 at 12:53pm

I ACTUALLY told one of the associates at Trader Joe's in Rego Park that we need one in Astoria just last weekend!!  He said he would put in a request!  The next one is opening up on Long Island near Roosevelt Field.  But maybe if enough of us put in a request they can consider one in Astoria because Rego Park is just too far lol!

Comment by Ran Craycraft on January 23, 2012 at 12:51pm

Great suggestions, all. This thread has re-inspired us to kickoff a campaign to get Trader Joe's attention. If you think Astoria could use a Trader Joe's, please use this new thread to let them know.

Comment by Daniel P on January 23, 2012 at 12:51pm

A Starbucks would likely not work on 30th Ave since 30th is known as the cafe strip. Plaza, Athens, Avenue, Grand, these coffee houses / lounges would likely oppose a Starbucks. There already is a Brooklyn Coffee & Bagel shop on 30th. If we want to put an independent retailer in Astoria, I suggest Joe's the Art of Coffee

With the increased use of Kindle and iPad, bookstores are closing, not opening.

The condo on 30th Ave and 30th St has had three vacant retail spaces for a very long time. A MetroPCS just opened, but the large space is still available for rent. I have to believe there are restrictions as to what kind of business can open (like no food establishments). I hate to say it, because we have plenty, but another Chase would be useful. The other day, the Chase at the 30th Ave station had one machine not working and a line nearly out the door. Seems everyone uses Chase these days.

As for food, I dig Spiced, but it's not the same as China Spice in Jersey City, which has the best indian chinese dishes. We could use some more variety in restaurants that are 1) not mainly take out, 2) not pizza parlors.

Comment by Lisa Greaves Taylor on January 23, 2012 at 12:49pm

Trader Joe's, Fairway or Whole Foods, pretty please!

Comment by Erica on January 23, 2012 at 12:40pm

oooh Trader Joes would be wonderful! 

Comment by Adrianna on January 23, 2012 at 12:35pm

Oooh yes a Vietnamese or Malaysian resturant needed for sure.

Comment by Lenore on January 23, 2012 at 12:16pm

I second the bubble tea suggestion. And wow, I could really go for some good Vietnamese around here. I would even go nuts for just a simple little banh mi and bubble tea place!

And Trader Joes? YES PLEASE.



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