Giftalicious shuttered near Douglaston LIRR

Photo by Phil Corso
By Phil Corso

Douglaston’s go-to shop for anything from food and treats to gift baskets closed its doors for good after only two years in business.

Giftalicious first opened in 2011 on the south side of the Long Island Rail Road tracks, at 40-39 235th St. in Douglaston, specially geared toward handmade custom gifts. After its first year, co-owner Demetra Sirica said the shop expanded and migrated to the other side of the tracks, at 42-34 235th St., to bolster its offerings and build a larger seating area, similar to that of the Douglaston Market, which had operated in the same location for 12 years.

But the store closed abruptly earlier this month and was left vacant with nothing but a handwritten sign on its front door to the community.

“I thank you for all your support,” Sirica wrote in the doorway. “It has been my pleasure to serve our community.”

Sirica could not be reached for comment.

Though it was only in business for two years, the store had built a following in Douglaston and its closing was another blow to the community, which had recently learned the city would not be bringing back the greenmarket for a third year.

The Douglaston Greenmarket started in 2011 and quickly became a summer staple for many northeast Queens residents, but a dwindling supply of vendors led to the nonprofit GrowNYC’s pulling of the event. Organizers of the market said foot traffic was not as strong as originally anticipated, possibly because the vendors were stationed in an “off the beaten path” location just outside the Douglaston train station.

Douglaston members of Community Board 11 have since been working to bring back the market — whether that means in another Douglaston location or anywhere else in northeast Queens.

Strawberry’s Sports Grill, another Douglaston hot spot, abruptly closed its doors in October and sat vacant for months before being replaced. Smokin’ Aces barbecue restaurant moved in to replace the pub last month and has been maintaining later hours of operation than its predecessor.

Reach reporter Phil Corso by e-mail at pcorso@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4573.

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