March 14, By Hannah Wulkan
A new restaurant and shop with a focus on East Coast comfort food will open up in Astoria next month.
East Coast Foodies is slated to open at 35-11 34th Avenue—the former location of Mighty Balls– on April 15, barring any complications, said owner Dean Pappas. The restaurant will offer locally sourced food from throughout the East Coast.
“The inspiration comes from foods that are quintessential New York, Pennsylvania, Maine and Vermont,” Pappas explained. “We noticed that there was a lack of something like this in Astoria, it’s hard to get a good lobster roll or hotdog, so we focused in on both.”
Beyond Maine lobster rolls and New York hot dogs, the restaurant will offer Vermont cheeses, Philly cheese steaks, New York wings, and more.
The restaurant will offer counter service, so people will be able to order and get their food quickly. While there will be seating for about 14 to 20 people, “it is going to be a great place to come and order and get out within 5 minutes,” Pappas said.
Pappas said that he is working to source all of his food from the states that inspire his dishes. In addition to using the products for the restaurant, he also plans to have a retail shop selling the local products.
“The idea is to find things that are great and made in a small batch, make our menu using those ingredients, then also sell those products so people can use them at home,” Pappas said.
The shop will sell “Boo Yah” wing sauce made in upstate New York that will also be used for the wings in the restaurant, maple products from Vermont including maple cotton candy, and more.
Pappas said that his family goes back several generations in Astoria, making it the perfect place to open a family-run restaurant. “It will be a full family affair,” Pappas said.
He is opening the new restaurant primarily with his mother, but will also be right next door to Sweet Scene bakery, which is owned by his godmother.
“We’re hoping we can have nice experience where someone can have meal here, and maybe go next door and have coffee and dessert,” Pappas said.
He added that he will modify the menu over time based on customer feedback, and may also stretch down to the lower portion of the east coast, perhaps adding a South Carolina-inspired pulled pork sandwich or Cubano sandwiches and key lime pie from Florida.
“The idea is to only serve stuff people want to eat, and the east coast has so many unique sandwiches and flavors to play with,” Pappas said.
Leading up to the opening in April, Pappas said that he will be experimenting with recipes, and will likely have lots of free samples to give away.
“We don’t have a hard date set for opening, but if people happen to be walking by at that time they can expect lots of samples,” Pappas said.
Once open, the restaurant hours will be from 5 to 10 p.m. from Monday through Thursday and from 5 to 11 p.m. from Friday through Sunday.
For a full menu and more information visit https://www.ecfoodies.com.