QUEENS — Jamaica is smokin' hot.
A new sit-down barbecue eatery run by a high-end Manhattan restaurant group is slated to open in the neighborhood next Monday, aiming to give residents more food options in an area that is currently dominated by fast-food chains.
And that just might be a taste of things to come — two more full-service restaurants may soon be coming to the area.
One of them is A Plate of Soul, a restaurant on Merrick Boulevard which serves soul food and is looking to open its second location in downtown Jamaica, said Katie Wauchope from Jamaica Center Business Improvement District.
The only sit-down eatery currently in downtown Jamaica is Applebee's on Jamaica Avenue, which opened in 2010, but the area can support many more restaurants, advocates say.
“There is enough demand in downtown Jamaica to support 36 full-service restaurants," said Wauchope referring to data provided by the Greater Jamaica Development Corporation.
“It’s a perfect time for a full-service restaurant in this area, there is a calling for it,” said Regan Uriarte, Cityrib’s manager. “It’s going to be affordable for the neighborhood and it’s going to be something exciting and fresh in the area.”
Cityrib, which can seat up to 200 people, is located on the first floor of a recently completed building, Moda, constructed atop of the former Queens Family Courthouse at 89-14 Parsons Blvd.
The restaurant is a venture between The Dermot Company, the building's developer, and a restaurant group from Manhattan owned by the Poulakakos family.
Uriarte said he hopes Cityrib, which features communal tables and booths, will become a family restaurant. It offers a children’s menu in the hopes of attracting that clientelle.
Customers will be able to eat dinner starting at $20 per person, he said.
Appetizers, which include BBQ or Buffalo chicken wings and shrimp and sausage gumbo, cost between $5 and $10 and sandwiches and burgers are between $10 and $12, he said.
For spare pork ribs (1/2 rack) patrons will pay $16 ($28 for a full rack) and for a hand carved brisket, $16.
"All of our vendors are local and we're going to be smoking everything here," said Uriarte, pointing out two smoking machines in the kitchen.
The restaurant will also offer options other than BBQ, such as steaks and grilled salmon, Uriarte said.
Cityrib, which has 12 large TV screens and free wi-fi, will feature jazz as its background music. It will also have an option to host live music events.
The bar — built around an old column which used to be part of the courthouse — will serve a variety of beers, including some from the Brooklyn Brewery, as well as wines and drinks, Uriarte said. Caribbean rum punch will be the restaurant’s signature drink.
At first, Cityrib will be open for dinners only, plus weekend brunches.