Since its opening party in 2003, Fatty’s Cafe in Astoria has enhanced its colorful walls with collections from rotating artists. At their new location, owners Fernando Peña and Suzanne Furboter have carried on their tradition.
“I’d worked in the East Village in the late 80s and early 90s in a couple places that showed art,” explains Fernando. “It changed the place, was fun and there was an ability to support the community.” With this inspiration Peña and Furboter reached out to their artist-friends and within a year of opening were able to showcase a growing number of local artists.
Although bittersweet, moving into a new space has allowed them to take this relationship to the next level. “We actually took the concept of a gallery and incorporated it into our design. We have lighting devoted to the art and big open wall space,” Fernando explains.
Latin-inspired fare in generous portions and fresh mojitos have made Fatty’s a neighborhood favorite for over ten years. Now on 28th Avenue, Miami teal walls and palm plants make Fatty’s feel like endless summer. But as Suzanne points out, “New art always gives our place a fresh design.”
“They’ve helped us out, and we’ve helped them. It’s a nice, symbiotic relationship,” say Peña and Furboter, who take no commission from artists. “They make us look good, and we sell a lot of work. It’s a good thing.”
45-17 28th Ave. Astoria, NY 11103 718-267-7071