June 6, 2016 By Michael Florio
A new café focused on organic and gluten-free products is coming to 31st Street this fall.
QNS Cafe, a coffeehouse and pastry shop, will open at 22-35 31st St. in September or October, according to co-owner Dino Philippou.
The cafe will offer a variety of organic coffees, as well as fresh organic juices.
“We will be a nicer version of Starbucks with higher quality,” he said.
While the menu is still in the works, QNS Cafe will serve salads and fresh salmon dishes, as well as organic and gluten-free pastries and baked goods.
All of the pastries and baked goods will be prepared fresh in-house, including homemade flour, according to Philippou.
“It will be a lifestyle brand,” he said. “It is a lifestyle to eat healthier and look for the freshest dishes.”
“We will not be your average cafe or bakery,” he added.
Philippou saw a need for this type of establishment in Astoria as residents are willing to spend a little more to ensure great quality, he said.
“We believe the community will embrace us,” he said.
Philippou is very familiar with the neighborhood as he grew up by Astoria Park and still has family that lives there. He has run several businesses in the neighborhood. Philippou is a partner in Cavo and sold his share in MexiBBQ at the end of 2015, he said.
The establishment is named QNS Cafe for a couple of reasons.
“First, when you hear QNS you think of Queens,” he said. “But we are also located right next to the Q and N subway station [Astoria-Ditmars Blvd].”
The subway station was a major reason why Philippou and his partner Tim Pappas decided to open at this location.
“The foot traffic to and from the train is great,” he said. “Plus Ditmars [Boulevard] is right up the block.”
Philippou said a lot of residents have stopped by and asked when they are going to open.
“Everyone loves coffee,” he said. “Those who know about us are really looking forward to the high-quality product we will offer.”
The cafe will seat 20 people. It has a 2,000-square-foot backyard that will add more seating. However, that likely won’t be open until after the winter, Philippou said.
The hours are still in the works, but Philippou is anticipating opening around 6 a.m. He said the closing time will be determined based on the demand at night.
“We may close at 9, 10, 11,” he said. “It all depends on the community.”
The location was previously occupied by Last Stop Restaurant.