Aug. 8, 2019 By Shane O’Brien
An international food and beverage hall is set to open in Astoria this fall.
The food hall, to be called the World Artisan Market, will be located in an 18,000-square-foot space at 34-39 31st St., inside a repurposed warehouse.
The initial developer Vass Stevens Group was supposed to open the market at the end of last year. However, the project was delayed when a partner pulled out of the investment group and a new company had to be formed. The new firm called EJ Stevens had to find new funding.
A diverse mix of international restaurants are expected to open at the market, including a French and Scandinavian bakery, an Italian café and gelato shop, a Korean BBQ restaurant and an authentic Indian restaurant.
Many restaurants have signed leases to be part of the food hall, with about 25 percent of the space accounted for.
Italian operators Sotta La Luna are taking 3,000 square feet in the warehouse, with plans to open two eateries. They will be opening an Italian café/gelateria as well as a restaurant serving authentic Italian food. Meanwhile, a French-Scandinavian bakery called Elevenses Viennoiserie is taking 1,000 square feet.
The developer is close to finalizing deals that will account for another 8,000 square feet of space, according to Steve Lysohir of the EJ Stevens Group, which owns the building and is behind the development.
A Korean BBQ stall, for example, is likely to join the market and is said to be close to signing a lease for a 2,000 square foot space, Lyoshir said. The establishment would be called Kini Korean BBQ and would be chef Juwon Song’s second Queens location.
Other likely tenants include Indian restaurant Masala Box, which has an existing location in Flushing. Furthermore, a well-known South Asian chef and restaurateur is likely to take 4,000 square foot space in the building, according to Lyoshir.
The owners are currently seeking other tenants and particularly want eateries to move in that offer of Middle Eastern, African or Caribbean food. They aim to make the market as international as possible to echo the diversity of Queens.
“We want to create a place that brings this amazing local artistry into the spotlight, accessible to a wider audience. It will promote diversity, while allowing the innovators to showcase their customs and talents to a larger audience,” Lysohir said
Lysohir also said that an official grand opening will be put off until the market is fully tenanted, which is likely to be early next year. However, he said that many tenants will be open for business by the end of fall.