McDonald’s, Mandee disappear from Bell Boulevard

By Juan Soto

There is a McMystery on Bell Boulevard.

The busy Bayside McDonald’s spot shut its doors unexpectedly, leaving patrons out of their favorite joint to enjoy a Big Mac and a flavored coffee.

The operators of the fast food restaurant at the intersection of Bell Boulevard and 42nd Avenue packed up everything, leaving nothing behind. There is no trace that the Golden Arches establishment was once there on Bayside’s main commercial strip.

“We just don’t know why it closed,” said an observer who follows happenings on Bell Boulevard.

Customers were shocked when they saw the doors close.

“What happened?” a Bayside neighbor asked Tuesday afternoon at the restaurant’s shuttered door.

But McDonald’s had the clue to solve the enigma.

“The restaurant closed due to the expiration of the natural lease and the non-renewal by the leasing agent,” a spokesman for the McDonald’s Corporation said. He added that the multinational is already canvassing the area in hopes of finding a new, suitable location.

“We are in the process of looking for a new location,” the spokesman said. “We are looking forward to the grand reopening.”

Sometime before the McNuggets and McFlurries disappeared from Bell Boulevard, the women’s clothing retailer Mandee, just down the block, also closed.

The owners of Mandee, at 42-19 Bell Blvd., planned to close shop more than a year ago when the parent company, Big M Inc., filed for bankruptcy after Superstorm Sandy. But the Canadian-based company, YM Inc., rescued Big M and agreed to pay more than $22 million to save the retail stores.

YM operates more than 600 stores in Canada, including the chain Bluenotes. In New York City, there were about 15 Mandee stores before Sandy hit.

“The closing of Mandee I understand was a corporate decision,” said another source familiar with businesses on Bell Boulevard.

Mandee started in the late 1940s as a family-owned business out of New Jersey.

A pharmacy also closed recently on Bell Boulevard.

“Nobody likes to see businesses closing,” said Lyle Sclair, executive director of Bayside Village Business Improvement District. “But we try to help,” he said.

Sclair pointed out the association collaborates with owners and landlords in transition and puts them in touch with public and private organizations “to launch the businesses with the right resources.”

The executive director of the Bayside BID said the boulevard is going through some normal changes, including the already completed renovation of Dunkin Dounuts, Pizzeria Uno and Karma Boutique.

He also said the Mexican restaurant Cinco de Mayo closed at its prior location but opened immediately after at a new location on Bell Boulevard, tripling its size. Its owners inaugurated the Peruvian foodie Piura Restaurant at Cinco de Mayo’s old spot.

Also new is the Colombian Mr. Pollo 1 establishment that opened at 42-20 Bell Blvd., a storefront that was closed for a few years.

Reach reporter Juan Soto by e-mail at jsoto‌@cngl‌ocal.com or by phone at (718) 260–4564.