Knish Nosh: From Forest Hills to Times Square
by Michael Perlman
Nov 18, 2020 | 2145 views | 0 0 comments | 31 31 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Owner Haig Schneiderman in front of Knish Nosh at 98-104 Queens Boulevard.
Owner Haig Schneiderman in front of Knish Nosh at 98-104 Queens Boulevard.
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Chef Ana Vasilescu as seen on the billboard in Times Square.
Chef Ana Vasilescu as seen on the billboard in Times Square.
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Knish Nosh, a Forest Hills institution since 1952, is the result of the dedication, passion, and creativity of owner Haig Schneiderman and chef Ana Vasilescu, who preserve and expand upon the vision of founder Sam Heller.

“Owning Knish Nosh is wonderful, since we offer comfort food that makes everyone happy,” said Schneiderman. “We are an iconic place.”

Earlier in the week, Knish Nosh was celebrated on a Times Square billboard above Dos Caminos at Broadway and 47th Street.

It was the work of Astoria resident Nick DiPillo, a senior designer at the Our Man in Havana creative agency, who visited Knish Nosh and met Chef Ana.

He was inspired by Knish Nosh’s traditional character and one-of-a-kind products in an age when mom-and-pop shops are all too often forced out of business by rising rents.

The ad is part of the NYCNext campaign. It was founded in August by Maryam Banikarim, Andy Lerner, and Caroline Donahue, and recognizes and celebrates businesses, cultural institutions, and community life throughout the five boroughs.

It was designed to empower New Yorkers who were being told their city was fading away. The public can follow @nycnext on Twitter for updates about the campaign.

“Our ads dispute this notion, declaring that New York City lives because you live here,” said DiPillo. “If you keep participating in local culture and continue to frequent independent shops, then New York City will live on and live strong.”

The billboards were also made possible by Clear Channel Outdoor.

“The Clear Channel team enabled us to leverage digital displays in Times Square through October and November,” DiPillo said. “Times Square is such a symbol for advertising, so to see these beloved artists and institutions showcased alongside some of the world’s biggest brands is a true testament that our city is at its best when we lift up, support, and show up for one another.

“We all know that New York’s remarkableness does not come from national chains and franchises or shiny new shopping centers,” he added. “It’s places like Knish Nosh, which not only bring culture to their surrounding communities, but help form the culture around them, that make New York City special. They become neighborhood fixtures and landmarks that feed more than just patrons, but feed culture.”

Schneiderman said the food at Knish Nosh is “in fashion.”

“Most of our knishes are plant based and have vitamins C, B6, and B12, so when you eat a knish it’s really something nutritious and delicious, he said, noting the restaurant attracts diners from all of the city. “They come here by train just to have our products.”

In next week’s column, we’ll explore how the Queens Boulevard restaurant has become a popular backdrop for the film and television industry.
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