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Arepa Lady to Move into Former City Coffee Location


Feb. 13, 2018 By Tara Law

The Jackson Heights restaurant Arepa Lady has finally found a new home.

The restaurant will be moving into the former location of City Coffee at 77-17 37th Ave, two blocks from its present location at 77-02 Roosevelt Ave.

The owner of Arepa Lady announced in August that its current location would be demolished and replaced with a 7-story apartment building. The restaurant is known for serving its famed Colombian specialties such as patacones (twice-fried plantain slices), chuzos (kebabs) and arepas (cornmeal cakes).

“Sadly our Roosevelt location will be closing soon, but we have found a new home down the block,” the restaurant tweeted yesterday. “We will be working day and night to be able to open as soon as possible.”

Owner Alejandro Cano initially said in October that the restaurant would move to 78-31 37th Avenue. The restaurant announced on Twitter a month later that the deal had fallen through.

The restaurant was started by Alejandro’s mother Maria Cano—the “Arepa Lady.”

Maria was a judge in the Colombian city Medellín when she moved to the U.S. to flee the drug war. She settled in Queens, and sold arepas from a food cart on Roosevelt Avenue for more than 30 years.

The arepas took off, and she managed to open a brick and mortar store at 77-02 Roosevelt Avenue.

Maria has since retired, but often visits the kitchen. Her son, Alejandro, and his wife, Nelly Klinger, carry on her legacy.


Cano could not be reached for comment.

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What good news. I hesitate to venture to Roosevelt Avenue (other than to hop from bus to subway there when my bus fails to pull in to the depot,) but I’ll be glad to try the restaurant at a 37th Avenue location.


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