From the Daily News:
A business-friendly neighborhood that locals have dubbed the "new Manhattan" is thriving in Long Island City.
The area around Queens Plaza, a once-grungy transit hub at the base of the Queensboro Bridge, has emerged as an unlikely mecca for small businesses, buoyed by a face-lift of the streetscape and a building boom of luxury condos.
Despite the Great Recession, the area has become fertile ground for mom-and-pop merchants, many of whom have opened shop this year.
A key tipping point seems to be the construction of the Gotham Center mixed-use tower, which replaced the drab municipal parking garage on Queens Plaza.
Owners of fledgling businesses also said the influx of residents from Manhattan, the relocation of office workers - notably from JetBlue and the city Department of Health - and the loosening grip of the economic downturn have created the perfect environment for local startups.
"It's a critical mass," said Gayle Baron, the executive director of the Long Island City Business Improvement District. "Retailers are interested in investing in this community."
I was trying to figure out where the pictured establishment is in Queens Plaza, because I pass through there on a regular basis and have not seen it. The article continues:
A large number of merchants have set up shop over the past year on Vernon Blvd. and Jackson Ave., including Madera Cuban Grill, Testaccio Ristorante, Little Closets, Matted, Dutch Kills and the Burger Garage.
That's a mile away, but what's distance when you are shilling for real estate interests?