Stepping into Queens Comfort on 30th Avenue is a bit like becoming a kid again. On a recent night at this Astoria Art Festival venue, 90s hip hop filled the room, Christmas lights enlivened toys behind the counter and Kill Bill was playing silently on the big screen.
“We draw from our childhoods,” explains owner Donnie D’Alessio. “Nostalgia is so important to us – from the toys in the restaurant, to the ingredients we use.” The Atomic Fireballs, for example, are deep fried mac & cheese nuggets with Sriracha and ranch dressing.
Nostalgia can also be felt in the innumerable family photos that cover the walls. “It’s sort of like a never-ending art project,” D’Alessio says. Last year he painstakingly took down each frame for the week of the Art Fest. This year, the lively illustrations of Brendan Carroll will be showcased amongst the family photos, many of which were brought in my customers.
“We’ve been doing the Art Fest since the beginning, and I love watching it grow,” says D’Alessio, who has a background in film and a lifelong passion for the arts. “Being an artist, it makes me feel good to be surrounded by a growing artist community in Astoria.”
In addition to serving as a venue for the 10 day Astoria Art Festival, Queens Comfort will once again host an evening event with donuts and a DJ. As D’Alessio says of the restaurant, “I just want it to be a party all the time.”
40-09 30th Ave.