By Madina Toure
A restaurant owner in College Point who made waves in December when he hosted a Christmas Eve community meal for Flushing residents says the meal was a stepping stone for him to give back to area residents.
Danny Lye, 56, owner of Danny’s Steakhouse and Oyster Bar at 13-46 127th St. in College Point, hosted the holiday meal called “Feed Those In Need on Christmas Eve” at Flushing Town Hall.
More than 400 people showed up for grilled chicken, vegetables and mashed potatoes, along with a bottle of water.
Lye, who is also a member of the Greater Flushing Chamber of Commerce, said he is very passionate about food and thought the dinner would be a good way to help those who were hungry.
He was going to host the meal at his restaurant but ended up doing it at Flushing Town Hall because College Point is too far for Flushing residents.
“I eat at good restaurants, but I do realize a lot of people out there, they really have no food to eat… I saw a lot of homeless people, they were so cold,” Lye said.
An only child, Lye moved to the United States from Malaysia in 1988. He has a wife and two children, a 17-year-old boy who lives with them in Bayside and a 27-year-old daughter who lives in Malaysia. He lived in Chinatown in Manhattan and Fresh Meadows before he settled in Bayside.
He opened Danny’s Steakhouse in June 2014. He said he discovered the restaurant’s location when a friend brought him to check out the spot, which has a fireplace.
“Since I am a chef and I’m very strict on food, what I eat, what I drink, all the food has very good ingredients,” Lye said.
He said the Flushing Chamber has been very supportive of him and he tries to attend its events from time to time.
Lye has other businesses he is operating in College Point. He has owned a point-of-sale company called POS OneStop for about 25 years that offers hospitality and surveys for restaurants, fast-food joints, salons and retail with branches in College Point, Chinatown and Chicago.
He also has another year-old company called Opala Payment System that provides secure payment solutions to help make merchant operations more effective.
Lye said he hopes to expand the community meal and make it an annual event.
He said the meal even drew state Assemblyman Ron Kim (D-Flushing) and City Councilman Peter Koo (D-Flushing) and there are other companies and restaurants that are interested in contributing to the event in the future.
“One of the men from Cisco gave me a business card right away… I was really touched,” Lye said. “Some restaurants in Flushing, they really want to help, too. This year we might have some sushi, some Korean food.”
Reach reporter Madina Toure by e-mail at mtour