‘This is more than just a tasting event’: Sunnyside Shines to host restaurant crawl this weekend

Pulled pork slider from Jacks Fire Department. (Photo courtesy of Sunnyside Shines BID)

Sunnyside Shines Business Improvement District, a nonprofit that promotes local businesses in western Queens, will host a restaurant crawl on Sunday, Oct. 3.

Dozens of restaurants and bars will be offering a variety of tasting portions of food, beer and wine from 2 to 7 p.m. for the “Taste of Sunnyside.” There will also be live music and a photo booth at the event check-in location, which will be located at Lowery Plaza at Queens Boulevard and 40th. 

General admission tickets are $50 and check-in is at 3 p.m. VIP tickets are $75 and grant early access to the restaurants at 2 p.m., as well as a “fast pass.” Security at the event will be checking vaccination cards. Anyone with valid medical exemptions are encouraged to get in touch with the organizers ahead of time.  

About 400 tickets have been sold already. The event has been going on for nine years but was previously held in one venue instead of an outdoor setting. This year the restaurant crawl will spread across Skillman Avenue, Queens Boulevard, 47th Avenue and 43rd Avenue.

Jaime-Faye Bean, director of Sunnyside Shines, said that the crawl is very walkable but there will be an accessible trolley to transport people.

Sunnyside Shines actually decided to change the format of the event to spread across the neighborhood before the pandemic.

Atomic wings from 43 Bar & Grill. (Photo courtesy of Sunnyside Shines BID)

“We thought it was time to do a new iteration where attendees would become more familiar with the storefronts of these businesses, because ultimately we want the event to help generate new business for participating restaurants and breweries,” Bean said.

Sunnyside is a very tight-knit neighborhood, according to Bean. She said that after the pandemic hurt so many businesses and residents, the event on Sunday will be a great way to show support. 

“We are in recovery, but so many of the participants have really great stories of resilience and we really want to celebrate that,” Bean said. “This is more than just a tasting event, it really is an expression of personal stories and resilience.”

Patrick Donagher the owner of Alewife Brewing, a new business in Sunnyside, said he is excited to get some name recognition.

“A lot of people don’t know we’re here yet,” Donagher said. “We want more people to see our business and hopefully enjoy it and enjoy the beers we produce right here in Sunnyside.”

Selection of cans including Sunnyside Blonde Ale from Alewife Brewing. (Photo courtesy of Sunnyside Shines BID)

Construction started on Donagher’s brewery three years ago. As he looks to fully open his business soon, he said he’s honored to being a part of the Sunnyside community. 

“There are a lot of passionate people that live in the neighborhood,” Donagher said. “There are so many great restaurants and bars and the people are so diverse.”

Big Shane’s Ice Cream will also be participating in the event, offering their rich chocolate crinkle, honeycomb crisp and a vegan cookies and mint flavors. 

The owner of Big Shane’s and a longtime Sunnyside resident, Shane Kenny, said he is hoping to get a bigger following after this event.

“This is a chance to give back to our community while also giving the chance for our locals and new people to try our ice cream,” Kenny said. 

The final lineup of all participating businesses is listed as follows:

  • 43 Bar & Grill (Home of the Atomic Wings!)
  • Alewife Brewing Company • Ariyoshi (sushi)
  • Arriba Arriba(Mexican)
  • Austin East Ciders
  • Big aLICe Brewing
  • Big Shane’s Ice Cream (Ice cream!)
  • Bliss 46 Bistro (French)
  • The Boiis (mochi creations)
  • Cakes by Claire
  • Caribbean Cuisine (jerk chicken and Caribbean faves)
  • Chakra Cafe (Cafe Eats with Turkish Flare)
  • The Courtyard Bar
  • Dazies Restaurant (Italian)
  • Firefly Petite Bistro & Cafe(Latin American & Southern European)
  • The Globe Tavern
  • The GOAT Bar
  • Jack’s Fire Department(American)
  • La Adelita de Woodside (Mexican)
  • La Vienesa Bakery (Colombian cafe)
  • The Lowery Bar & Kitchen (Irish American Pub)
  • Maggie Mae’s Bar
  • Mangal Kebab (Turkish)
  • QNSY (sparkling cocktails)
  • Rincon Melania (Ecuadorian)
  • Riko Peruvian(Peruvian)
  • Sanger Hall(American)
  • Senso Unico(Italian)
  • Single Cut Beersmiths
  • SoleLuna (Italian)
  • Sotto le Stelle (Neopolitan Pizza)
  • Sweet Avenue (taproom devoted to local brews)
  • Takesushi (sushi)
  • The Lowery Bar & Kitchen (Irish American Pub)
  • Tito Rad’s (Filipino)