The restaurant will officially open on July 13, however there will be a soft opening on Thursday, July 6, with limited hours and menu.
The gastropub is the brainchild of owners Rohan Aggarwal and Suraj Patel, two Queens natives who wanted to bring a new dining experience to the neighborhood.
Zagat recently listed the restaurant as one of the city’s 47 most anticipated restaurant openings.
Queens Bully’s cuisine will center around comfort food and barbecue with inspiration from the borough’s many distinctive cultures.
“Our borough is home to so much diversity, this is something we are extremely proud of and are inspired by, not something we want to hide or change,” Aggarwal said.
Dishes include Corona corn elote, Korean fried sticky wings, artisanal naan pizzas, and shrimp ceviche stuffed avocados. For barbecue fans, 14-hour slow roasted brisket and ribs from the restaurant’s in-house smoker will be offered.
Arim Isabel, who previously worked at Hell’s Kitchen’s Southern Hospitality and Park Avenue’s Branded Restaurants USA, will serve as the restaurant’s executive chef.
Their staff includes an experienced horticulturist, and the restaurant has a basement-level hydroponic garden currently growing fresh herbs that will be incorporated into the food and cocktails. They’re planning to create a sustainable composting program for the restaurant as well.
And if the city permits it, the owners are hoping to open an expanded herb garden on the roof next spring.
Queens Bully will also partner with vendors from the Forest Hills Greenmarket, including Ronnybrook Farms and Nature’s Way Farm.
“We want to source ingredients that will really make an impact on the flavor profile of our food and drink,” Aggarwal said. “Using quality ingredients makes all the difference and this is a primary focus of ours.”
Those with a sweet tooth will appreciate Queens Bully’s handspun milkshakes, with flavors such as Avocado Turmeric, and key lime pie made in-house.
The bar, with a 30-foot Calcutta stone top, will offer a rotating selection of six beers on tap, as well as local New York craft beers and wine. Summer drinks include smoked bacon-infused bourbon.
Queens Bully was originally scheduled to open in April, but its delay and lack of updates has caused a stir on social media, with dozens of potential customers expressing annoyance on the restaurant’s Facebook and Instagram pages.
“We completely understand that there’s been some frustration surrounding the delays with our opening,” Aggarwal said. “Believe me, no one wants to get this restaurant open more than Suraj and I. “However, we’re finally at the end of the tunnel and we can’t wait to host our guests and show them what we’ve been so diligently working on,” he added.
While conceptualizing the space, the pair visited numerous restaurants, lounges, bars and hotels in and around the city. They wanted to create a space that felt comfortable, cozy and approachable, yet cool.
The decor of the 2,000-square-foot space features a slate grey brick facade, large elliptical windows, and accordion doors, a complete contrast to the former Baluchi’s, which Aggarwal helped run before it was closed.
Inside, there are rustic-industrial and art deco elements such as aged mirrors, wooden beams, treated cement flooring, brick walls and custom wood tables and benches. They’ve also sourced vintage pieces from around the country.
With a background in private events, Aggarwal wanted the space to be open with room for up to 150 guests.
As music fans, Aggarwal and Patel are hoping to charm customers with a variety of music, many times featuring music from well-known Queens artists.
“I like more classic old-school musicians, while he likes hip hop and R&B,” Aggarwal said. “So you might hear the sounds of Louis Armstrong one minute and then Nas the next.”