Queens Comfort, a beloved restaurant on 30th Avenue in Astoria, has permanently closed its doors.
The popular brunch spot, located at 36-18 30th Ave., is the latest of several Queens restaurants to shut down as a result of the economic crisis caused by COVID-19.
The restaurant announced the closure on its Instagram page, which has more than 44,000 followers, on Oct. 2.
“Thank you for so many incredible memories, you filled our dining room with love everyday. You showed us the meaning of community,” said the caption on the post, which featured images of the Queens Comfort storefront. “Love you Astoria.”
Local Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez commented, asking if there was any way their patrons could help.
The restaurant’s owner, Donald D’Alessio, set up a GoFundMe page to collect funds for his staff, but also explained why they decided to close.
“Operating during the pandemic is too difficult for a brunch spot with 14 seats on the sidewalk heading into the slowest season of the year, winter,” the post read. “Our rent is too high, the overall overhead of running a restaurant is too costly, and the uncertainty of when business will resume back to normal leads us with no choice but to close our doors, for now…”
However, they didn’t rule out the idea of returning to Astoria some day.
“We plan to reopen somewhere in Astoria as soon as shoulder to shoulder brunch can take place again, we can only take things day by day right now,” the post read. “So we don’t have any other information, but we assure you we will do everything within ourselves to make our return happen.”
Proceeds from the GoFundMe campaign will be used for relief of the financial stress the Queens Comfort staff will endure, settle small debts with local vendors and help with any small expenses needed to close up and store the restaurant’s personal property, “until the the next chapter begins.”
In four days, they have raised more than $10,000 in donations, with a goal of $25,000.
Queens Comfort’s last day of operation was Oct. 11.
For months, small businesses in Astoria and across the borough have called for immediate action and relief from Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio to prevent the economic and quality-of-life collapse that may result of the pandemic.