Oct. 8, 2015 By Jackie Strawbridge
Two new restaurants will soon open on either side of Ditmars Boulevard at 35th Street, in the former Okeanos Restaurant and Francis Café locations.
At the old Okeanos (35-02 Ditmars Blvd.) a Mexican bar and grill called Two Lizards will open in about five weeks, owner and East Elmhurst resident Juan Liz said.
This will be the second Two Lizards location; the original is located on 1st Avenue in Manhattan.
The menu focuses on authentic Mexican dishes, including mole poblano, a variety of tacos and flan.
Liz said the Ditmars Boulevard location will follow the same concept. He noted a particular focus on margaritas, guacamole made fresh tableside and a “cozy atmosphere.”
Across the street at 35-01 Ditmars Blvd., owner Francis Staub will revamp the Francis Café into a new concept called Mussels ‘N Sausages.
According to spokesperson Philippe Petolon, the restaurant was inspired by Staub’s background in the Alsace region of France, which borders Germany.
“Staub loves moules frites [mussels and french fries] because for him it’s one of the simplest dishes you can create in French cuisine, but it’s also one of the most delicious,” Petolon said. “He also loves sausages and Germanic foods – sausages are very much a part of Alsatian food. [So] there is this combination.”
The menu is still being finalized, but Petolon said Mussels ‘N Sausages will offer a “worldwide tour” of both dishes. Sauces to accompany mussels will come from French as well as Thai and other cuisines; German, French and Spanish sausages will be available.
“We’re looking at two very simple, yet very tasty types of food,” he said.
Petolon said that after a long wait for a liquor license and “getting a little tired of the concept” of the Francis Café, Staub decided to revamp with this new idea.
Mussels ‘N Sausages is expected to open in about three weeks.
Both new restaurants are hiring, according to signs posted on the properties.
Reach reporter Jackie Strawbridge at [email protected]