Welcome to the Sunnyside Chamber of Commerce


















Where Salt & Fat used to be is now a new trendy place with fish so fresh it jumps off the plate, DAYBOAT! Five kinds of cerviche and paella to swoon over! Plus Digital web and branding expert Brandon Mosley is our speaker and that is a coup! 40th/Lowery Stop on the #7


Have a good Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

Martin Luther King Day

Click here or on poster for more information and to buy ticket today!


Dress Warmly and Come on Down!

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Monica Guzman of Sunnyside Community Services let us know that Judy Zangwill, Executive Director of SCS, lost her mom. Judy is longtime Chamber member and has served on the Board of Directors. Judy’s mom, Sara Carch Zangwill, a lovely and familiar face to many from Sunnyside events of Memphis, Tennessee, died on November 11, 2016 in New York, surrounded by her family.


Born of Eastern European immigrants in Moorhead, Mississippi, (only seven miles from Indianola) in the heart of the Mississippi Delta, Sara worked at her parents’ store and helped take care of her siblings from the age of 13. She was valedictorian of her high school class, and attended the University of Illinois for 2 years, rare accomplishments for a woman of that time. She met Morris, a handsome young football star and they settled in Memphis where Morris practiced dentistry until his death in 1981. Sara was active in Jewish causes and the Democratic party. She also raised four children in her spare time. Sara is survived by four children, Terri and Diane of Atlanta, and William and Judy of New York City. She is also survived by two sisters, Zelda Kaplan of Alexandria, La. And Rae Plitman of Memphis, five grandchildren and four great grandchildren. Sara was active in Jewish causes and the Democratic party. She also raised four children in her spare time.

Judy, Diane, Terri and William of the Zangwill family are holding a “Celebration of Life Memorial Service” for Sara:
December 11, 2016 from 1 – 4PM
Sunnyside Community Services.

If you wish to attend, contact Monica at www.scsny.org by DECEMBER 4.

Donations in Sara’s memory can be made to:
Attention: Development
Sunnyside Community Services
43-31 39th Street
Sunnyside, NY 11104



In response to story by the Editors of the Observer who attacked Majority Leader Jimmy Van Bramer for his support of the community opposition to 50-25 Barnett.

TO: the Editor, Observer
DATE: Sept. 20, 2016
FROM: Patricia Dorfman, Exec. Dir.

(a version of this was presented at “Jobs, Homes & ‘Hoods” a 9/18 public forum in Sunnyside which the Chamber co-hosted with ten other organizations including Woodside on the Move, Small Business Congress, Access Queens, and Queens Anti-Gentrification Project and a number of artist groups, in support of a council hearing to address the crisis of the thousands of small businesses closing and loss of artists studios citywide.)
Developer Phipps Houses wanted to build a 10-story, 100% affordable, 209 apartment building here at 50-25 Barnett Avenue, and hit a brick wall.
Eventually, the borough president, community board and councilman and majority leader Van Bramer opposed it. Over 2500 petition signatures opposed were sent to Van Bramer. Yesterday, Monday, Sept. 19, the Phipps Houses withdrew its petition before the hearing today. Over 150 residents had been headed for City Hall this morning to back up our Councilman’s stance, with anti Phipps signs.
The reason owner Phipps Houses needed approval is because the location is a now a 224 space parking lot zoned only to build light manufacturing. Phipps needs the law changed to get permission to build a residence. The lot is next to busy railroad tracks and used to be a gas station.
With buildings going up all over, and all of us crying out for affordable housing, why did this project meet with such a big “no?” The developer, Adam Weinstein, came out personally twice, already runs a building across the street, 8000+ units citywide, and is the city’s largest builder/manager of affordable housing. Why did this community come together in such unity in opposition? There was not one reason, but many reasons, but all added up the same thing, a “no.”

1. Why did people who want affordable housing here say no?

The apartments were supposed to be affordable but they were not because local people could not afford them. The numbers are based on “Area Median Income,” or $90,600, a high number because it includes not just the five boroughs but also the richer counties of Rockland, Putnam and Westchester. To qualify, people had the following income requirements set by the government:

42 apts. would be for people earning between $32,000 to $44,000
62 apts. would be for people earning $50,000 to $115,00
104 apt. would be for people earning $75,000 to $150,00

Most here felt that they did not earn enough to qualify. To us, it is luxury housing.

2. Why were small businesses old and new opposed? Didn’t they want the 800 new customers coming in?

The building is not near small businesses. They would have to be built. And small business owners suspected that the building was not “affordable housing,” but a way for big real estate to make inroads on the wildly valuable property between 39th Avenue and Northern Blvd, around Sunnyside Yards, the next gleam in big developers’ eyes. If 50-25 Barnett were built, variances would be easier to get for luxury housing to go up using the precedent of rezoning. As with elsewhere in NYC with luxury housing, even with some set aside as affordable, commercial and residential rents would skyrocket and at the end of their leases, current small firms would be out.

Even small property owners signed the petitions against 50-25 Barnett, because although they stood to make much more money if they cashed out, the way the matter was being handled was seemingly not democratic or reflecting their customers’ needs.

3. Why did people with cars say no?

The developer promised 200 parking spaces, with 100 reserved for local residents.

The problem is Queens is a “public transit desert,” according to borough president Melinda Katz. People need their cars to work. Some drive around for an hour to find a spot after work. If 224 spots vanish, and some street parking is lost due to busier street, we still are losing a lot of spots. Businesses here use the lot, too, and where would they go? Phipps answered, “We are not running a business parking lot.”

4. Why did people worried about infrastructure say no?

If more infrastructure would be implemented, most of us are fine with the 2011 rezoning of Queens Blvd and Greenpoint Ave., and high-rises and more traffic were coming to Queen Blvd and Greenpoint. But when advocating the rezoning in 2011 to the Community Board, City planning said the side streets would be protected. But this proposal is not protecting side streets. 50-25 Barnett would be the highest building in the area on a side street with antiquated sewers, no nearby public parks, few schools, and subway system already jammed. The developer told us that if he were not given the rezoning, he would sell the property for $10-15 million, and that would result in something far more objectionable than what he proposed. The community thought, why would he think that? That is all the infrastructure can handle at present; light manufacturing use.

5. Why did the building residents across the street say no?

The most vehement “no” came primarily from those residents who accused Phipps Houses of allowing their 1931, 472-unit building to fall into disrepair. They said Phipps had treated residents disrespectfully. They did not want to give Phipps any more authority here. They complained that Phipps sold the original 1931 playground for profit, and had years of complaints to show their concern at letting their building decline, also converting 13 units back into market rate.

6. Why were unions opposed?

Many unions said they had agreed to support the Mayor’s Mandatory Inclusionary Housing passed March 22 by the city, under which 50-25 Barnett was submitted. They said they were promised more work. But then Phipps said there was no way to build union.

7. Why were anti-gentrification people opposed?

They saw the word “rezoning” as a dirty word. The building and rents were luxury by local standards. It would drive up the price of housing in the area, driving out lower and middle-income residents. It would open the door to more rezoning and more luxury, soon transforming the area. We would lose the neighborhood, with no cheaper places in NYC for anyone to move to if displaced. Like small firms, they pegged 50-25 a stalking horse for development of the land from 39th Avenue to Northern Boulevard surrounding Sunnyside Yards, next up in the eyes of big real estate, and everyone in town agreed. It was a feeling shared by most that Manhattan had been paved over, were out of room, and we were next.

8. Why were senior and many young parents opposed?

Because right now the streets of Sunnyside Woodside are easy to get around on foot, bicycle or stroller and more high-rise buildings along Barnett and side streets would cause much more traffic, and change everyone’s lives for the worse. There are currently not enough schools, with morning commutes taking longer and longer with distance and poor public transit for parents trying to get children to school.

9. Why were infrastructure advocates opposed?

Because there are no public parks nearby, public transit is already jammed, and the sewer system is antique. The cost of that would fall as always on the taxpayer.

10. Why were preservationists opposed?

Because the building itself is ugly, big, and out of place, looks like a prison, would block out the sky, ruin a quiet street, and in one stroke wreck the affordable twenties housing nearby which was designed with real empathy for the poor. Even Phipps showed a slide of how it would be hidden from view from the corner, as though that was our worry, not that its residents and neighbors would be confined in it or near it.

11. Why were our Community Board, Borough president and eventually Majority Jimmy Van Bramer, opposed, all of whom at first were open to the proposal?

Because even though the developer had said he would listen to community concerns, there was no real change in the proposal from the beginning to the end of the process.

And because every suggestion given by them was ignored. Land use chairman Lisa Deller of CB2 by day works for affordable housing and advocates for it daily. Pat O’Brien, then chair of CB2 and the committee spent over 200 hours trying to help make the project work. Not one suggestion they made to make the proposal more desirable was considered.

12. Why is the community even more opposed now?

When our Councilman listened to his district and opposed the project, the Daily News wrote an editorial accusing him and us of having a “Not in My Backyard/NIMBY” “stench of hypocrisy.” Such attacks also appeared in five other outlets. Today we see this one in the Observer (bringing to mind the adage “flogging will continue until morale improves” from the administration, real estate interests and the media) as those who run the city see this as a “must pass.” There is no doubt they will be back. It is not, we now see, a must pass for the poor, but a must pass for big real estate interests and media is being used to bully us.

Charging us with NIMBYism in saying we live in former affordable housing but are trying to keep out others out we do not like as though it would drive down our property values. It would DRIVE UP OUR PROPERTY VALUES and we all know it. They bank on it. The project is seemingly a wolf in sheep’s clothing. The Daily News is published by a real estate mogul who according to Forbes has a net worth of $2.8 billion dollars. This community, although not wealthy, can’t get any more “progressive” and re-elected our LBGTQ councilman in a landslide.

We are a diverse neighborhood and aren’t trying to keep anyone out. Come to a worship service in one of our mosques or churches. Check out the the nearest (overburdened) subway stations to 50-25 Barnett on Northern or on Roosevelt and see for yourself to see who is getting on and off before you judge us to be NIMBY elitists.

The disproportionate media reaction on this matter reveals, we believe, that 50-25 Barnett on our little side street seems to be more about using the project as a stealthy way to start the takeover of all the land here in and around Sunnyside Yards by pretending to build something for poor and middle income people, and not actually do something for poor or middle income people. It will hurt far more people than it helps.

Is the Observer today running negative material perhaps from those representing big real estate interests? We would be happy to talk to reporters and show you our neighborhood. Come out here and see or yourself and talk to us. We believe that to attack Jimmy Van Bramer as though the REBNY/media/city are actually in favor of and care about 50-25 as affordable housing, is hypocritical. The Observer has lost its “moral compass.”

Informational Forum with many groups to support mom & pops and our “Small Town in the Big City:”
“Health Hour” – Crash Course by Local Experts A Hit
Screen Shot 2016-09-02 at 2.46.22 PM

See more photos on Facebook & read story in the Woodside Herald.  Thank you organizer Eric Barthels of Cooldown Juice on 47th Avenue a block from Queens Blvd. The Mets officially chose organic, cold-pressed juice from Cooldown this summer so we are officially taking credit for all wins!
Screen Shot 2016-08-15 at 11.06.25 PMMay you rest in peace:
Maulama Akonjee, 55, imam at Al-Furquan mosque
Thara Uddin, 64, his assistant
We concur with the good people of Woodside On The Move, Inc. who posted:
“Our heart goes out to the families in Jamaica and across the globe. Queens, we are so much better, peaceful, and tolerant than this. Every single day, we show the world what its like to live side by side with neighbors speaking 100+ languages and religions. Let’s emerge from this tragedy with more love and solidarity and understanding.”
Health Hour
9xforsitebffflyer Tix $22 includes beverage

Lily Gavin, Longtime Chamber Leader 1931 – 2016

•Harry & Lily Gavin cutting the rug back in the day
•Lily taking care of Sunnyside and assisting with graffiti removal on Queens Blvd.)

Lily Gavin of Dazies Restaurant, former Chamber president and civic leader, has passed away. It is hard to imagine the future without her wisdom, passion for Sunnyside, determination, bridge among many, effervescence and love for life. A longer account will appear in the WoodsideHerald.com Thursday night online, and on Friday, July 8, in print, and Sunnysidepost.com has already published a story on this remarkable and beloved person.

Sunnyside Chamber has long been associated with Lily and her leadership for decades, and her contributions will live on in that organization and Sunnyside Shines, LaGuardia Community College Foundation, Sunnyside Community Services, and virtually ever other non-profit in Sunnyside.

On April 3, Lily Gavin and her good friend Anthony Lodati of Lowery’s Wine & Liquor, gave their all to help current Chamber president, Manny Gomez and other officers to fundraise for the Chamber on a wild and wooly trip to Atlantic City. Lily obviously enjoyed herself and never stopped giving.

Edward D. Lynch funeral home has announced:

Visitation will be Friday, 7-9pm
Saturday and Sunday, 2-5, 7-9
A mass of Christian burial will be celebrated at Our Lady of Queen of Martyrs Roman Catholic Church on Monday, July 11, at 10:30AM. Burial will follow at Calvary Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that contributions be made, indicating the gift is for the “Lily Gavin Scholarship Fund,” to LaGuardia Community College Foundation, 31-10 Thomson Ave., Rm. E508, LIC, NY 11101

Member computer tech Jun Medina has the many photographs Lily gave us and also that Luke Adams had previously, to prepare a slide show for later events this year, likely at holiday time when Lily always welcomed everyone to dine after the Sabba Park Tree Lighting, this year, November 29.

However, this lovely photograph, we had in hand because we were going to use it for the invitation (we had Lily’s permission), and shows her beauty and verve. As requested by Lily, a trip will be made by the Chamber to our LaGuardia College offices, offices so kindly arranged by Lily Gavin and kindly donated by LaGuardia, to go through the many photographs Luke Adams collected – to put many of up in the new chamber site being developed by Chip Moeser, assisted by a grant from Assemblywoman Catherine Nolan.

We will need to recruit one of the “rememberers” out there, to make sure nothing is lost in the mists of time and those who gave so much to create Sunnyside as “Small Town in the Big City” are not forgotten.
lincolnPERISH-01deMole Mexican restaurant tonight! On the menu, Monday, June 27, 6-8pm, vegetarian & vegan Appetizers plus beer or wine menu:

You are invited 4pm Sunday, November 22 on Chamber excursion as a group to to see this great singing, dancing extravanza. Meet at 4pm at Thalia Theatre at 41-17 Greenpoint Avenue in Sunnside! Click on image for more info.

Photos: @Michael Palma

Photos: @Michael Palma

NOTE:  No Showcase Luncheon in November; We did instead Luke Adams Sunnysider of the Year VI to Angel Gil Orrios! We are waiting to post pix and tales of until story comes out in 11/13/15 Woodside Herald. Both serious and fun event and here is the crowd on its feet below!  Next event: December 1 “Sabba Park Lighting /Acapella & Crowd Caroling & Sunnyside Drum Corps / Dazies Prix Fixe $25 Holiday Dinner.” Call Pres. Rigoberto Cardoso at 646-206-1241 or email SunnysideChamberofCommerce@gmail to make a reservation!

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APOLOGIES! This site was down because of problems with the server, and 
when the host company restored the site today, it lost updates! We will redo the material and get it up as soon as we can!

1. See flyer below! You are invited for prix fixe $22 Wednesday, October 28, at 12:30 sharp a wonderful lunch at Tito Rad’s Grill is on with cyber security expert Francis Gianfrocca. Call Rigoberto Cardoso at 626-206-1241 or Manny Gomez at 718-909-4806 or Pat Dorfman at 718-729-4688, or email sunnysidechamberofcommerce@gmail.com.

2. And, November 3, at 6:30pm Angel Gil Orrios will be honored as the Luke Adams Sunnysider of the Year at Tangra Restaurant. The link for tickets and more information (scroll down below ticket area) on the event is at www.eventbrite.com/e/picasso-party-angel-gil-orrios-luke-adams-sunnysider-of-the-year-2016-tickets-18825251835
f you want to sponsor a banner ad, please do so by Thursday, October 29, by calling Manny Gomez at number above.

Thank you for your patience!

October 28 Lunch at Tito Rad's Grill with Speaker Francis Gianfrocca


Manny Gomez, Dorothy Morehead



A big block party will be taking place on Skillman Avenue this Saturday that is being organized by two of Sunnyside’s leading business groups.

The event, dubbed “The Skillman Avenue Fall Festival,” will take place on Saturday, September 26, from 4 pm to 8 pm. It will be held between 45th and 51st Streets, with Skillman Avenue between those streets closed off to traffic.

The festival, organized by the Sunnyside Chamber of Commerce and the Skillman Project, will take on a distinctive Sunnyside/Woodside flavor.

Restaurants and bars such as Claret, Dog & Duck, Saffron Garden, Flynn’s, Quaint, Aubergine, Copper Kettle and the Globe will have tables and chairs on the street where people can dine and enjoy music and an array of performances.

Skillman Avenue businesses such as Stray Vintage will display some of their items on the street outside their store.

Some Sunnyside eateries will also be handing out free food samples at the event.

There will be a host of groups performing along the 5 block area at various times. Most groups hail from either Sunnyside or Woodside.

They include:

Battle of the Bards (Shakespeare antics)
Big Apple Circus (Hula Hoop Demonstration, raffle for circus tickets, coupons, clown noses)
Trevor Bowen and Friends (Irish music)
Call Her Magic (The Sparkler Booth)
Donie Carroll (Irish music)
Noelle Clancy (Face painting)
Brian Gormley and Friends (Irish music)
Gantry Kids (demonstration of children’s exercises)
The Guitar Center (guitar demonstrations)
The Hurt Project (Blues band)
McManus School of Irish Dance (kids Irish dancing)
Phyzique Fitness (exercise demonstration)
Queen of Angels RC Church Chorus, Musical Director Nicholle Bittlingmeyer
Sunnysideartists (all family activity, mural art)
Sunnyside Ballet Studio (ballet performance)
Sunnyside CrossFit (demonstration of CrossFit exercises)
Sunnyside Reformed Church: (Children’s activities)
Swim Strong (water safety and swim skills education)
Tae Kwon Do School (demonstration of Tae Kwon Do)
Urban Iguana Productions (music production)
Woodside Fencing Center (demonstration of fencing and equipment)”

Skillman Avenue Fall Festival on September 26!



 Luncheon! Reprinted with permission of “The Woodside Herald”
fanbluorchid june_lunch2015
May Luncheon Update!
• Capt. NYPD’s Anti-Terror Unit will be taking Capt. Travaglia’s place as speaker because he will be at City Hall with hero cops Detectives Kinsella &  Stefanakos (rescued woman on bridge) getting Proclamations from City Council!
• And Dolores Capace will be coming to lunch to try and give back $7,430,366 in unclaimed funds in state coffers to 14,250 listed in 11104!   MayLunchChamberweb

savethedatelargerSAVE THE DATES:
• May 9: The Historic “Sunnyside Chamber First Calvary Cemetery Tour with Mitch Waxman,” $20, includes sandwich lunch Bantry Bay Publick House
• May 13: Queens Chamber Bix Expo table at Citifield. Information: Pat 718-729-4688
• May 27: Public is invited prix fixe Showcase Luncheon at Tangra with Guest Speaker Capt. John Travaglia (who will discuss police history, bring in a terrorism expert, and share about his NYPD past posts).• June 24: Showcase Luncheon at Blu Orchid (last Luncheon till fall)
• July 18: Biz Card Exchange at Artists & Craftsman Supply, artists demonstrate materials! Kids welcome! Snacks from Mangal Kabob and wine from Lowery Liquors!
• September 26: All local mega fest on Skillman Avenue; Skillman Project and Chamber co-host Walks festival sponsored by the DOT. Committee heads: VP’s Mike Murphy  and Dorothy Morehead. Food! Booze! Entertainment! Chamber members get free table.
• October: Casino Trip in honor of Bob Lodati, Roel Vanderkooi and Luke Adams presented by Anthony Lodati of Lowery Liquors.
• Fall: Sunnyside Chamber Walking Tour of Historic Sunnyside Gardens with booklet written by historian and licensed guide Anthony Rohling (thank you, Cathy Nolan)
• November: Chamber co-hosts “Luke Adams Sunnysider of the Year Award VI” at Tangra