By Tammy Scileppi
In the ‘80s and ‘90s, Long Island City’s golden age of hip-hop produced amazing talent like legendary rapper Nas.
With the grand opening in LIC of popular chicken and waffles hot spot Sweet Chick Monday, partners Nas and John Seymour have brought their restaurant chain home to Queens – Nas’ original stomping grounds.
Located at 46-42 Vernon Blvd., the eatery’s fourth NYC location (and its fifth, nationally) offers a tempting variety of their classic finger-lickin’ Southern comfort foods, cooked with a modern twist and created by Executive Chef Lawrence Duda.
Unique dinner and anytime dishes include crab cake or fried chicken sliders, crawfish hush puppies, crusted catfish, and short rib meatloaf. For brunch, you and your family can sample their ricotta pancakes, Eggs Benedict, mac and cheese, and other tasty fare, like shrimp and grits. Prices for main dishes range from $9 to $26.
And who can say no to donut ice cream sandwiches, chocolate latte cake, and bourbon apple cobbler?
The restaurant chain was founded in 2013 by John Seymour, who opened his first Sweet Chick in Williamsburg. It caught the attention of Nas, a successful entrepreneur who grew up in Queensbridge. He invested in and eventually became co-founder of the food empire, and is credited with spreading Sweet Chick to the West Coast.
“The opening of the Queens location is a big moment for Nas and I. To be able to open up a few blocks from where Nas grew up and spread the Sweet Chick love all the way from Brooklyn (our first location), touches home for both of us,” said Seymour. “We’re excited to be in LIC and continue to create a sense of community for everyone. For us it’s magic to see music, food and people coming together.”
On any given day, you’ll find Seymour behind the bar, not only serving his customers, but also talking and bonding with them.
And rumor has it, you can choose from over 10 guzzle-worthy cocktails with names like “Purple Drank,” “Christopher Wallace,” and “Cuffin Season” – all specially concocted by beverage director Wilmer Reyes.
With a new private back room inspired by the jazz clubs of Harlem, where chicken and waffles had its roots, the Queens location is a tribute to Nas’ jazz musician father, Olu Dara. And that much-requested backroom is a cool space for exclusive parties and events.
Already booming in Brooklyn, the Lower East Side, and Prospect Heights, Sweet Chick is also expanding its presence in Queens to Citi Field, with a new ‘Lil Sweet Chick’ menu, the first of this new concept to serve Sweet Chick favorites on the go.
Long Island City can certainly use more neighborhood spots and Sweet Chick is a welcome addition – there to provide not only great food but a place where customers can feel like family.
Hours are from 11 a.m. to midnight, Monday through Thursday, and until 2 a.m. on Friday. Weekends: 10 a.m. to 2 a.m Saturday and midnight Sunday.