QUEENS — A new high-end barbecue restaurant that can seat up to 200 people is coming to downtown Jamaica, aiming to give residents more food options in an area that's currently dominated by fast-food chains.
The restaurant, Cityrib, will be opening this spring on the first floor of a recently completed building, Moda, at 89-14 Parsons Blvd. A soft opening is planned for May.
Moda, which opened in 2010 near 89th Ave., is a 12-story building adjacent to the former Queens Family Courthouse.
It has a mix of low-, middle- and market-rate apartments, and contributes to ongoing revitalization efforts in Jamaica, according to Drew Spitler, director of development for the building's developer, The Dermot Company.
“There is a demand for nice restaurants,” said Spitler. “People want to have more food options.”
Spitler said the venue would be operated by the Poulakakos family, which owns a slew of well-known restaurants and coffee shops in downtown Manhattan including Harry’s Café and Steak at Hanover Square and a chain of coffee shops called Financier Patisserie.
No managers or staff from the restaurant were able to discuss how the new space will look or what's on the menu, but a marketing agent said the restaurant will serve ribs and barbecue-style food that is both “high-end and affordable.”
“It will be casual but neat and very classy at the same time,” said Richard Clarke, director of account services at Fifteen Degrees, an agency that markets Moda.
He noted that the population in downtown Jamaica has been changing and, with many young professionals moving in, they're filling a void in terms of food offerings.
Community leaders seem to agree.
“We are all looking forward to its opening,” said Yvonne Reddick, district manager of Community Board 12. She said that except for the Applebee’s on Jamaica Avenue, the area has "no sit-down restaurant.”
“It will be great to have another option,” Reddick said.