March 20, 2019 By Meghan Sackman
A Peruvian restaurant is opening in Jackson Heights this month after a year-long legal battle forced its owner to flee his Astoria location.
Warique Restaurant will be opening at 90-04 37th Ave., a space previously occupied by Taco Mix. The owner, Jimmy Lozano, anticipates a grand opening next week.
Lozano got into a dispute with his Astoria landlord, when he was located at 40-17 30th Ave., stemming from an unpaid tax bill. The debt, he said, was owed by the previous occupant of the space.
Lozano, a Middle Village resident and Peruvian native, said that the landlord wanted a sizable sum of money to cover the disputed debt, so he decided to leave his Astoria location and come to Jackson Heights instead.
“We lost the place because of the complications so I decided to start over and reopen because a lot of people follow us and like what we offer,” Lozano said.
His restaurant will be offering authentic Peruvian cuisine.
“We have very traditional dishes,” Lozano said, who also noted that Peruvian dishes are heavily influenced by Japanese, Chinese, African, and Italian gastronomy.
Signature dishes include: Lomo Saltado, a dish that consists of thinly sliced sautéed beef stir-fried with onions, tomatoes, and French fries served with rice; Anticuchos, a beef skewer dish that is made of beef heart; Papa a la Huancaína, which consists of boiled yellow potatoes in a spicy, yellow cream sauce; and the traditional seafood medley dish, ceviche.
The Peruvian spot will also serve a special purple Peruvian beverage called Chicha Morada. The drink is made from purple corn, which is widely found in Peru and abundantly grown along the Andes Mountains.
Lozano is applying for a liquor license and for sidewalk seating to supplement the 18 indoor seats.
Despite the chaotic circumstances that surrounded the need for the move, Lozano says he is very excited about his Jackson Heights location.
“I feel so excited because there is a lot of foot traffic in this area and people have missed our food so I’m excited to come back,” Lozano said.
Warique Restaurant will be open seven days a week from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Lozano’s previous landlord could not be reached for comment.