By Mark Hallum
Sol Food & Drink is the latest addition to the Bell Boulevard business district, offering a sophisticated atmosphere for young professionals to gather. Business partners Paul Rhee, Dev Viswanath and Norman Cheng took over the space, which had been inhabited by Conga’s Bar and Grill, to start a new adventure in the restaurant business. Sol, located at 40-09 Bell Blvd., officially opened its doors June 24.
Rhee owns a medical equipment business and has spent much of his time on Bell Boulevard. That adds up to about eight years altogether, from his time working for Chase Bank and not including his formative years spending time at the pool hall that existed on Bell and Northern.
Rhee said he saw a challenge in tackling the restaurant business and when the space opened up in Bayside, he pulled the trigger. His vision for the restaurant was to cater to young professionals who work in the city but live on the outskirts of Queens. According to Rhee, the goal was to give his intended customer base the level of style they expect in Manhattan, but in their own backyard.
“We try to be current. Williamsburg, Brooklyn is leading the way in terms of trends in the bar industry,” Rhee said, explaining that his plan was to implement strategy which is proven to work as opposed to reinventing the wheel.
The three proprietors wanted the menu to reflect the diversity of the borough in which they are doing business. Asian and Mexican dishes are on the menu, with the fish tacos and their Asian Crispy Chicken Sandwich being popular among customers.
Reach reporter Mark Hallum by e-mail at mhall