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King Of Falafel’s Customers Block Driveway And Drop Trash, Neighbor Charges

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Dec. 1, 2015 By Michael Florio

The king is being challenged.

After moving to a new space at 31st Street and Broadway, the popular King of Falafel food truck was alleged to be a poor neighbor causing disruptions to nearby residents at this month’s 114 Police Precinct meeting.

The building manager of Astoria Tower 31, located at 31-72 31st St., right next to where the King of Falafel parks, spoke out against the food truck and its customers at the meeting.

According to the building manager, many cars and cabs double park in front of the driveway from the building’s underground garage, blocking the way while they wait on line to purchase food from King of Falafel.

“Our parkers can’t get out and when they do they are harassed and at times, almost assaulted,” she said at the precinct meeting. “They are very obnoxious and block the sidewalk.”

She told the Astoria Post that she did not wish to give her name because she lives in Astoria and “didn’t feel like getting attacked” for speaking out against the popular food truck.

However, she added that numerous residents have had issues trying to exit the driveway since the food truck moved near their building in October.

The truck was previously parked for years on Broadway and 30th Street, but had to move due to construction work at the neighboring C-Town. As the Astoria Post reported in October, the truck expects this new location to be temporary.

The driveway

The driveway

“One guy is in the military and when he gets called he needs to get out,” she said. “He has gotten blocked two or three times and said it’s ridiculous.”

However, Esam Mohammad, co-owner of the King of Falafel food truck, said he recently became aware of this issue and is looking to put a stop to it.

“Every person [who] comes in a car and if we see them double parked, we tell them to move,” he said. “We don’t serve them if they block the driveway.”

“It’s not nice and it’s inconvenient to block the driveway,” he added.

Mohammad said at times confrontations have risen where customers do not want to move their car.

“We won’t serve them,” he said. “I’d rather lose a customer than lose my neighbors.”

The building manager added that customers throw their garbage on the ground and the building then receives the violations from the Department of Sanitation.

As for the trash, Mohammad said he sets up a garbage can right next to the truck for customers to throw their garbage out. He also said he has his workers go out and dispose of any garbage they see on the sidewalk.

“We are very willing to work with our neighbors,” he said. “We have been in the community for nearly 15 years and have a good relationship.”

The building manager said that she has reached out to Community Board 1 and the Health Department, but the problems remain.

The building manager met with 114 officials after the precinct meeting. She told the Astoria Post that they told her they would reach out to the Health Department to check it out.

“There is not much else they can do as the truck is legal,” she said. “They have a license and are allowed to park where they are.”

She also charged that the food truck sets up chairs in front of neighboring storefronts for its customers.

However, Mohammad said he doesn’t set up chairs.

The truck’s new spot is also in front of Daly’s Pub and Parisi Bakery.

The owner of the pub, who did not wish to give his name, said that he has no complaints about chairs being set up. He added that the food truck has been a good neighbor.

The owner of Parisi Bakery could not be reached for comment.

 

 

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30 Comments

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James

$400 a month and people have to deal with assholes blocking a driveway? I would have their car towed. Not blaming the food truck owner he’s just serving customers. Unacceptable.

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Mark

People have phones and i am sure there is surveillance video of the area. If this was a big issue I am sure visual proof would of been submitted. Use 311 to complain about blocked driveways and noise that is what its there for. Broadway is a busy, business area. Lets not blame the food truck and its much needed service on a couple of parked cars! I am sure the food truck pays an arm and leg for the spot!

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Klla

Many of his his customers are of the working class that do not have the time or the money to eat at the many overpriced restaurants in Astoria. Leave this business alone! They provide an affordable meal to many and I am sure fed the workers that build your apartment.

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Keba

This might be a case of discrimination! I am all for protecting small and minority business. Nothing illegal is happening here. I pass by it daily. Just send in (on occasion) traffic police and the issue will be solved.

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anon

What the fuck does minority owned have to do with anything? If you are blocked in cutting tires is an excellent way to teach manners.

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Peace

How will cutting someones tires resolve getting in or out of a driveway? When the owner of the car sees you or your caught on video, instead of waiting a couple of seconds for the car to move you will end up waiting in the back of a police car or courthouse. Let us all be a little more careful about the advice we give out.

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anon

Are you really that naive? They haven’t caught the guy that set 6 buildings on fire. Its not waiting a couple seconds, it’s 10 – 15 minutes for some jackass that wants cheap food. Double park and block a taxi or livery car in and see what you get.

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Ali

That area is no more problematic than any other MTA entrance/exit area in Astoria. All the main Avenues under 31 Street are filled with people, traffic, double parking, business, noise etc. Get over it! The truck has every right to be there!

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Kelly

Sorry, the falafels might be good but the truck is definitely problematic. The double parking is a huge problem. Not only do you hear verbal fights but the honking can drive you mad. People pay almost $400 a month to have the underground space and no matter what time I walk by there is ALWAYS a car double parked in the driveway and almost always empty. Also, is it necessary, even legal, for them to take up THREE metered parking spaces? When I leave for work in the AM I see cones set up to reserve the spaces, pretty sure that’s not legal. Then, I come home in the evening and they have cones set up in front and behind the truck. It’s already hard to find parking now with the lot closed and the construction taking over half the block but now they steal 3 out of 4 metered spots. If it’s legal it shouldn’t be.

I would like to add that I have never seen any chairs set up.. Maybe the person who made that remark was thinking of the souvlaki truck at the corner of 31st Street and 31st Ave?!

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Kelly

Lived here my whole life… And for the record I’m not against the falafel truck but I do agree with some of these issues “blahblahblah”

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Wth

For the amount you claim the building charges you should demand the building hires someone to stand outside and scold the people munching on falafels while parked in front of the driveway or even scold at the people who walk by the driveway too slow. They can also walk around holding signs saying “QUIET! This is an Overpriced rental building!”

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Jenn

Well, excuse me for not feeling sorry for anyone who can pay a ridiculous high rent and almost “$400 in parking space” fees that on occasion has to honk their horn or wait a couple of seconds until a car parked by the driveway is moved!

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Kelly

Next time you walk by notice the yellow painted line and giant sign that says no parking in driveway and tell me who is in the right… The double parked car or the person who is actually suppose to be using the driveway.

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J

I understand some of your frustration however, this is Astoria and this occurs throughout the city! You should of thought of this before you rented your car space! Honking your horn or waiting a couple of seconds until someone moves from a driveway is nothing new and part of city living! Geesh! That area is always busy with people and traffic even someone new to the neighborhood could see that. Use 311 via phone or internet to report blocked driveways! I rent a parking space by a school and there are double parked cars and some blocked driveways frequently, morning and afternoon when i go and return from work! So i honk and wait a couple of seconds.

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hjil

Even if the truck is moved your still going to have the same issues…There is a bank, pub, bakery, dollar store, train entrance, people etc. all in that area. Move!

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Kelly

In my posts did I ever mention living in the building.. No. However, I’ve lived in the area nearly my entire life and there is a HUGE difference between how that corner was before and after the truck was there. Yes, this is NYC but to say that area was like this before is 100% false and the people who do use that driveway rarely had these problems before the truck was there. Now it’s a daily occurrence so I feel their frustrations and I don’t think an article would be written if this hasn’t been a problem for locals for quite some time.

Anonymous visitor

Learn how to read and don’t block a driveway, it’s simple. But you can be added to the list of another inconsiderate selfish person.

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joe

Kelly, keep voicing your concerns to your Buildings Managing Agency. It seems like some do not understand until the food trucks park near their homes or driveways. I know it is a nuisance and i feel that food trucks should not permitted to run business near residential or commercial driveways. Even when walking, the food trucks take up space and it is so hard to see the upcoming traffic when they park near a crosswalk and you are trying to cross the street. Luckily, the food truck is not a permanent business I am sure the city gives permits but also considers complaints. Good Luck.

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moh

I bet if it was some food truck run by young white entrepreneurs and sold flowers or cupcakes the people in that building would not care.

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Jace

The real problem is that the high paying rent tenants of that luxury building don’t like the smell of the food so they’re complaining in force. They hate the noise coming from the train and they hate the smell from the truck. They want a luxury experience for their luxury priced rent. Funny enough the truck had to move because of construction of a luxury building. God bless gentrification.

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Harry Ballsagna

The funniest part of this is that Tower 31 is luxury in the absolute loosest sense of the word. People buy into marketing and are suckered into paying too much for an apartment. Buildings like that are nothing more than builder’s quality materials and fixtures.

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Mark

What a fully story.
I live in astoria and i believe that the truck is kinda far from this building, its right in front of the Irish pub and the owner is ok with that, also this truck is very clean and they always have a garbage can , i really cant understand why that manager and people like her try to bother other people and create issues.

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mark

The Green Food truck has a tremendous amount of customers double park in front of my driveway and through out the block, I ask someone to move his car politely, the man turn around and told me very rudely no that he is waiting for his food. I brought it to the attention of the guy in the food truck he said that it is not his problem Green Food truck has a tremendous amount of customers double park in front of my driveway and through out the block I ask someone to move his car politely, the man turn around and told me very rudely no that he is waiting for his food. I brought it to the attention of the guy in the food truck he said that it is not his problem. I have been living here for 7 years and never had this problem till they moved next to our bar.

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