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New Forest Hills Gourmet Store to Have Massive Beer Selection

By Ewa Kern-Jedrychowska | February 28, 2013 2:39pm

QUEENS — A new gourmet food store slated to open in March on Austin Street will offer cheese tastings paired with wines as well as a massive beer selection, the owner said.

After many setbacks that kept the shop under construction much longer than expected, Mr. Vino's Cucina is about to open.

"We are putting the finishing touches and bringing inventory now," said the owner, Nicholas Protopapas.

The store will carry more than 100 types of cheese, imported from around the world, including France, Spain, Italy, Holland, Greece, Eastern Europe and Israel. The selection, Protopapas said, will include manchego, gouda and mozzarella among others.

It will also offer pâtés, Tuscan olive oil and imported olives, caviar, smoked salmon and various types of meats, such as prosciutto and Serrano ham.

And the restaurant says it will have the largest selection of beers in the area, which will include more than 100 beers from Belgium, Germany, Japan, Greece, as well as from domestic microbreweries, the owner said.

Protopapas, an optometrist who also owns an eyeglass store and a wine store, Mr. Vino, in the area, said he is planning "to have cheese tastings every weekend."

He also said that each day the store will offer different specialty sandwiches.

"There is a lot of demand for specialty products in this area, especially for products from Eastern Europe," said the store's manager, Robert Vintimilla.

The store's opening has been delayed a few times. "It should have been done a lot earlier," Protopapas said. "We had some setbacks, especially with Hurricane Sandy, because a lot of the vendors that were building the construction were flooded in Long Island."

"But now we are ready to go," he said.