By Madina Toure
More than 200 residents of Bayside and other Queens neighborhoods attended the pre-opening of the upcoming rooftop patio of the Bourbon Street restaurant in Bayside Monday night.
The Cajun-style restaurant, located at 40-12 Bell Blvd., is officially opening its new rooftop patio on the third floor Wednesday, which includes a spacious bar, low-rise tables, a lounge area and seven flat-screen TVs for sports enthusiasts.
Mark Boccia, the restaurant’s owner, said the pre-opening was intended to be an informal gathering of his family, friends and other residents to give them a taste of what the rooftop patio will offer.
“It’s pretty much family and friends here tonight,” Boccia said.
Some of the drinks served during the preview included the Blueberry Cosmopolitan cocktail, which consists of stoli blueberry, lime juice and mint, and the Bourbon-Rita, which includes hornitos tequila, orange and lime juice and a splash of blue Curacao.
Food items included chicken wings, pizza, chips with guacamole, pita bread with sun dried tomato hummus and tuna tartare.
Serving Bayside since 1988, the restaurant expanded twice on the lower level, according to Laura Altimari, the restaurant’s marketing director. The restaurant operates on the first floor.
When Boccia decided to open the rooftop patio, a school that was operating on the second floor moved out, so he turned the second floor into a catering and private party room.
“It’s a unique destination because in actuality it’s going to be a brand-new restaurant,” Altimari said.
Flushing resident Deidre Baker, a full-time lawyer in Howard Beach who has been working at Bourbon Street for nearly eight years, said the new patio looks “fantastic.”
“I remember him talking about it for the last year or so,” Baker said. “I saw pictures of it as it was progressing.”
Her father, Jim Baker, said his family has had graduation parties at the restaurant, noting that it is “really nice” to have a businessman involved in the community.
“We did college graduations here, high school graduations, law school graduations,” Jim said. “We always come back to Bourbon Street. It’s probably the best place on Bell.”
Astoria resident Laura Supper, who grew up in Bayside, said she enjoyed running into people she knew.
“It’s really beautiful up here,” Supper said. “I don’t even feel like I’m in Bayside.”
Reach reporter Madina Toure by e-mail at mtour