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Bruson Building Reconstruction Nears Completion

Bruson 3

Dec. 7, 2015 By Laura A. Shepard

Construction is almost finished at the Bruson Building more than year and a half after it was ravaged by fire.

Most of the scaffolding at 74-09 37th Ave. has been removed and owner Craig Bruno said he hopes to wrap up by New Year’s.

The rebuilding took about a year and cost “a lot,” Bruno said. His grandfather built the original building in 1952.

Bruno confirmed that Habib Bank, which occupied the Bruson Building before the fire, will reopen a branch in the building in a few months. One other tenant, a restaurant, is in the process of negotiating a lease, he said.

Most of the Bruson Building’s former tenants relocated and signed leases elsewhere after the fire, so Bruno doubts that many will move back.

Frank Buonagurio, the owner of Frank’s Pharmacy, said he’ll never forget the date: April 21, 2014, when the five-alarm fire broke out at 6 p.m. After the flames blazed for hours, only the shell of the building remained.

“We were out of business,” Buonagurio said, but he continued filling prescriptions for seniors at a neighboring pharmacy until he was able to reopen on the corner of 37th Avenue and 77th Street six months later.

Buonagurio used his insurance money from the fire to build the new store, so he does not plan on moving back to the Bruson Building.

The new location is across the street from a school and working out well, but Buonagurio noted that he has lost some customers, who say they don’t want to walk an extra block.

“You have to know what you’re doing,” Buonagurio said, as the rents are high in the neighborhood and “not a lot of businesses can make a lot of money.” The pharmacy is a “good, independent retail business, though.”

Armondo’s Italian Restaurant moved to 73-16 Northern Blvd., which was formerly Trieste.

Several Queens Community House programs, including Immigration and ESL, moved to QCH’s other location at 108-25 62nd Drive in Forest Hills, while the Queens Center for Gay Seniors meets at the Jackson Heights Jewish Center.

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Fake donald trump

At least la portena closed. The bald headed man that ran it was a rude person who thought his sh!t didnt stink. I tried calling,emailing,faxing to reserve a party of 25 and he never answered me. When i went in last time and asked him why no reply,he actually got mad and said im here 20 yrs i dont need your business. Hope you had insurance you azzwipe. The older man who built the place up,i think was his father or uncle never would have done that,typical of when dad works hard to build a business and the son ruins it because he didnt have to earn it. Go to la fusta their happy to have the business. F U baldy man azzhoe


So because you didn’t like 1 business owner, it’s a good thing that all his employees lost their jobs? I never had any issues with that place and if their food was good you wouldn’t be crying over not being able to make a reservation for 25 people. That place wasn’t huge. 25 people would be 2 thirds of his space if not more. Should he have replied sure, is that a reason to be happy that a business that employed others is closed, no. Unless you are a heartless selfish bastard.

JH Resident

Can’t we just let people enjoy their holidays without complaining about every little thing. I’m not Christian, but I can still enjoy the pretty display he put up. If a local Jewish business owner put up a nice Hanukkah display, I’d enjoy that too. Let’s just relax and let people enjoy their celebrations, please.


Buonagurio claims “You have to know what you’re doing,” Well he DOESN’T. He is a poor example of a local businessman. If he wants JH residents to support his business he should acknowledge that there are Jews living in this neighborhood. His entire window display is dedicated to Christmas, where is the menorah?


here we go with this political correctness again I believe he not ever had one there in all of the years here was in business before — stop starting with this –


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