Movie-themed eatery reopens in Queens
Video Channel: Noe Alford
The original Paramount Pictures commissary space in Queens is back in business — as an eatery that pays homage to the silver-screen stars who once dined here. George’s, in Astoria, has just opened at 35-11 35th Ave. in a revamped space that formerly housed The Astor Room. Decades earlier in the 1920s and 1930s, the Paramount Pictures commissary was a grub spot for the Hollywood elite, who dropped in to shoot more than 100 films at the studio. Rudolph Valentino filmed “The Sheik” here in 1921 and “Monsieur Beaucaire” in 1924, while the Marx Brothers shot ‘Cocoanuts” there when they were still performing on Broadway as vaudeville actors. Italian-born Valentino loved to make a six-foot long spaghetti, and reportedly loved to watch who could twirl it all “while keeping each strand intact,” said John Nikach, George’s manager. Accordingly, menu offerings now include Valentino’s Pasta, with six-foot-long fresh spaghetti from Bronx-based Borgatti’s, with Italian sausage, red wine and Valentino’s family tomato sauce recipe. George’s is named in honor of the late George Kaufman, who founded Kaufman Astoria Studio here in 1980. He died in February. The studio has shot hit shows like Netflix’s “Orange is the New Black” and NBC’s “Shades of Blue,” along with films like “Men in Black 3” and “The Bourne Legacy.” The menu will also feature cocktails named for the studio’s stars, along with live jazz, cabaret and other entertainment. The 3,500-square-foot restaurant has 70 seats in the main dining room, 25 seats at the bar, and 40 seats in the private Valentino dining room. It also features the renovated Zukor Theater, a 73-seat screening room once used by Paramount Pictures founder Adolph Zukor, that can now be rented for private events. Bareburger is moving from the East Village to 173 Orchard St. on the Lower East Side. The new space is 1,100 square feet and will seat around 45 people. The eatery joins neighborhood spots like Pizza Beach, Dr. Smood, Blue Ribbon Sushi and Mr. Purple. Josh Siegelman and Michael Shkreli of Winick Realty Group repped Bareburger, while landlord David Zarin was repped by Mizrahi Realty. Otto’s Tacos is also opening its fourth New York City spot on the Upper East Side, a 700-square-foot space at 1568 Third Ave., within walking distance of Whole Foods and an upcoming Chick-Fil-A. More Otto’s are expected, says their reps, Siegelman and Shkreli. The landlord, Solil Management, repped themselves in-house. Siegelman and Shkreli also repped Nobody Told Me, a new concept from Nick Pfannerstill, a former chef at Michelin-starred restaurant Dovetail. It will open at 951 Amsterdam Ave., as Side Dish previously reported, in a 1,000-square-foot space, serving light bites and cocktails to the Columbia University and neighborhood crowd at 951 Amsterdam Ave. Landlord Ranger Management was repped by Mihran Shlougian.