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Queens Museum Looks to Expand Cafe With Outdoor Seating and Diverse Menu

By Katie Honan | October 24, 2016 8:55am
 The Queens Museum's new cafe would offer outdoor seating, steps from the Unisphere. 
The Queens Museum's new cafe would offer outdoor seating, steps from the Unisphere. 
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DNAinfo/Katie Honan

CORONA — The Queens Museum is looking for a new food and beverage operator for its revamped cafe — with longer hours, a more diverse menu and outdoor seating.

The museum put out a request for proposals for the new vendor last week, and a spokeswoman said they'd like someone local who "can reflect the museum's mission of engaging surrounding neighborhoods."

"We're embracing the fact that there are so many great places available in Queens," spokeswoman Grace Munns said. 

The new cafe — which is expected to launch in April 2017 — will have the option of outdoor seating steps from the Unisphere. It would also be open for an extended breakfast and dinner, offering more food in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, which lacks many options to grab something to eat. 

The new cafe operator would ideally be able to co-produce events with the museum and pair food with current exhibitions, the proposal says. The museum also is hoping the space will offer beer and wine for visitors.

The existing museum cafe currently remains open and that operator is expected to stay on to cater museum events, officials said.

Just like they did by tapping Lockwood to run its museum shop, the museum wants to turn its cafe into a destination that better reflects Queens. 

"The borough is celebrating its culture and we really want to be a leader in that," Munns said. 

The Queens Museum, which underwent a major renovation in 2013, is currently in the second phase of the expansion.

It will also add a branch of the Queens Library right next to the new cafe, officials said.