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Owners of Queens Kickshaw to transform venue into Chinese restaurant


Sept. 11, 2017 By Tara Law

A trendy Astoria restaurant is reopening as a Chinese restaurant with a twist.

The owners of the Queens Kickshaw are in the process of renovating their 40-17 Broadway space for an October opening as a Chinese restaurant. The menu is still in the works, but will be a combination of traditional Sichuan style cooking and an innovative take on American Chinese food.

The Queens Kickshaw was known for serving beer, coffee and specialty grilled cheese sandwiches. The old restaurant closed on Aug 27.

Ben Sandler, who opened the Kickshaw in March 2011 with his wife, Jennifer Lim, said that the couple had been considering opening a Chinese restaurant for a long time. When it became a financial challenge to keep the Kickshaw open, the couple decided to seize the opportunity to make a change.

“Sales were suffering, and we didn’t really have a choice,” said Sandler. “But we really love Chinese food. That’s what we eat at home.”

Chinese food and culture has been an important part of Sandler and Lim’s relationship. Lim grew up in the Philippines, but her family is Chinese. The couple are documentary photographers, and met while photographing the Three Gorges Dam in China’s Sichuan province.

Sandler emphasized that the couple intends to keep the spirit of the Kickshaw alive.

“There’s a lot of things that we want to keep from the Kickshaw,” said Sandler. “Especially about the involvement in the community. We want it to be the kind of place where people can gather and a great place to work.”

Opening week dinner tickets are available for purchase on the Kickshaw’s website. The $35 ticket covers food, drink, tax and gratuity during the first week, and can be redeemed as a $35 gift certificate if unused after the first week.

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If they made it a fusion restaurant, I’d be inclined to eat at it. Otherwise, I’d miss their grilled cheese sandwiches there.

Still I’d give it a shot and see what they can muster.


Jian says her ‘American’ boyfriend will love it. ‘American’. That must be code for something. hmmm…


…you mean your white boyfriend? Asian men can be ‘American’ too you know. But for many messed up AFs, only a white ‘American’ will do.


He is from the Midwest. We met in college. His family has been in America for many generations. When asked, he says American.


Of course he says he’s American. But it’s interesting, and very ‘telling’, that instead of you simply saying ‘my boyfriend will love it’, you had to say ‘my American boyfriend will love it’.

If you were dating an asian guy in the U.S., and he and his family were here for generations, I highly doubt you would have referred to HIM as your ‘American boyfriend’.


They should open an Astoria location for Xi’an’s Famous. It would make a killing. There’s a serious lack of good Chinese food in Astoria


Like chop suey. It’s not really Chinese cuisine but was invented here for white people’s taste.


And how would you know? You’d whip the chefs and tell them to remove some parts that other people hate, but let em try bland food in the Kickshaw simply because YOU told them to? Who died and made you king?


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