New tradition at Red Pipe Organic Café

Visits: 111

A column by Michael Perlman in the Forest Hills/Rego Park Times

Austin Street was once characterized by high-end independent shops and restaurants, but in recent times has been subject to the opening of chain stores and rent increases, causing longtime owners to leave. But in October 2014, Forest Hills welcomed Red Pipe Organic Café at 71-60 Austin Street.

In December 2013, the community waved adieu to the cherished Stoa Jewelry at the same address, and concerns surfaced as to whether Austin Street would receive another mundane replacement.

Marie Sinanian and Rena Monogenis, who offered an extensive range of custom jewelry and locally designed artwork, were a mainstay of Forest Hills for 45 years.

But a new tradition was born at Red Pipe Organic Café, the neighborhood’s first organic and vegetarian café. It also a rare Forest Hills treat that allows patrons to enjoy smooth jazz, acoustic guitar, or piano on Wednesday evenings and features a gallery for local artists, which will rotate on a two to three-month basis.

“A gallery will benefit our community’s arts scene, and I would be interested in displaying my black-and-white photos of nature or street art,” said local professional photographer Susan Gurevich.

Forest Hills residents Dr. Rene Alkalay, Dimitry Benjamin, and Giorgi Tabagari are the three partners whose collaborative vision resulted in a great product. Through the Forest Hills Chamber of Commerce, Alkalay met Benjamin and Tabagari, who have been childhood friends since age six. [FHT]

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