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Two More Restaurants, Including Arepa Lady, Slated to Open at New International Food Hall in Astoria

A recent picture of The World Artisan Market (Photo provided by EJ Stevens)

Aug. 26, 2021 By Michael Dorgan

The real estate developer behind an upcoming food and beverage hall in Astoria has announced that two additional restaurants will open at the venue.

A Colombian restaurant called Arepa Lady and a vegan restaurant named Urban Vegan Roots are the latest tenants set to be housed at The World Artisan Market, a repurposed warehouse located at 34-39 31st St.

The market has room for six restaurants and all have now been filled. The food hall will also feature Italian, Spanish and Asian restaurants with openings to begin over the coming weeks.

Arepa Lady, a Jackson-Heights restaurant known for its authentic arepas and Colombian cuisine, will open at the food hall (Photo: Facebook)

Arepa Lady is a Jackson-Heights restaurant known for its authentic arepas and Colombian cuisine. It will open at the venue in November, a restaurant spokesperson said, in a space that is connected to the market’s outdoor garden area. It will also come with a bar.

Urban Vegan Roots will open at the location sometime in the fall and it will serve vegan pizzas, waffles and burgers. Its owners operate one other vegan-themed establishment which is located in Manhattan.

“Everyone will be open and operating by end of the year,” said Steve Lysohir, who is the president of EJ Stevens, the Astoria-based development company behind the project.

The warehouse, which is 18,000 square feet, comes with high ceilings, open floor plans, large storefronts and a large outdoor seating area.

The food hall was expected to open in May but problems associated with the pandemic put the project behind schedule.

Some new tenants were hit with delays in acquiring construction materials while others are still waiting on inspections from the Dept. of Buildings, Lysohir said.

It is not the first time the opening has been delayed.

The food hall was initially earmarked to open in 2018. However, one of the partners in the initial development group backed out—causing a delay – before EJ Stevens took over the development.

The onset of the pandemic then forced EJ Stevens to put the project on hold as some restaurants pulled out completely due to financial difficulties or decided to postpone opening.

The World Artisan Market is finally back on track with the first restaurant slated to open in September. The remaining restaurants will open throughout the fall, with each opening date contingent on DOB permits being approved and the necessary paperwork coming through, Lysohir said.

An Italian restaurant called Sotto la Luna will be the first restaurant to open at the food hall next month. The restaurant, which takes on influences from Milan and Puglia – will serve customers pizzas and pastas. It will also feature a Gelateria and a café.

A photo from inside Sotto la Luna (Photo provided by EJ Stevens)

Among the other establishments set to open include Sala Astoria, a traditional restaurant offering authentic Spanish food. It will include a tapas bar and a wine list consisting exclusively of Spanish labels. The restaurant will also host live music and dancing.

A vegetarian bakery, called Elevenses, will also occupy a space at the food hall — offering French, Greek and Scandinavian offerings.

Finally, an Asian fusion restaurant called Potlux Kitchen will offer Japanese Ramen noodle dishes, Japanese crepes and Chinese fare.

Separately, residents who want to learn how to cook Japanese-style food will also be able to get classes at the market. The Yamato Noodle Company will open a cooking school on-site and sell commercial equipment for preparing Japanese noodles, including Ramen, Udon and Soba.

A rendering of The World Artisan Market which is expected to open in Astoria next month (Rendering courtesy of EJ Stevens)

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