Astoria, Shopping
Sep 06, 2016

Eliniki Agora Produce Market May Close – UPDATE

Much beloved 30th Avenue produce market, Eliniki Agora, may not return to their current location after a 3-story building is put up.

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Photo via Google Maps

UPDATE 9/12/16: We were fortunate to hear from the Eliniki folks about the future of their much beloved produce market. Here’s what they had to say:

It is true that we have submitted plans to rebuild the property (since we have owned it for over 35 years we think it’s time to make some changes). Once our construction has been completed we plan on reintroducing a renovated and state of the art fruit market with deli, fresh organic produce, juice bar and the works. We pride ourselves on having exclusive relationships with top Long Island farmers and bring fresh organic produce on a daily basis. As a small business that has been in the heart of Astoria for almost 40 years, we believe in community and see our patrons as family. We’ll be back!

Have you heard the news? The Queens Gazette reports that much beloved Astoria produce market, Eliniki Agora, may leave its space on 30th Avenue. The owner of that location, 32-12 30th Avenue, filed paperwork to build new three-story, mixed use building on that site; currently the plan has been Disapproved, but that doesn’t mean the development won’t go through.

The full square footage will increase to 5,586 and become three stories as opposed to the single story building it is now. There will be two residential units, one on each floor, according to the DOB. There will also be 2,358 square feet of commercial space, which could theoretically hold the produce market, but according to the Gazette, “a store manager said it is unclear if the market would return to the location when the new construction is completed.”

If anything represents the identity of Astoria, is the two produce markets on 30th Avenue (United Brothers being the other). Long time Astorian, Zora O’Neill, declared her love of Eliniki and the 24-hour produce markets in a previous interview on this site, saying, “Every time I go shopping I think, ‘I’m living the dream!’” These markets are definitely an aspect of Astoria living that residents love to brag about.

How about you? How do you feel about the idea that Eliniki could disappear? Do you shop there? Is this a harbinger of doom or a positive development? Leave us a comment with your thoughts.

30th Avenue Fruit Market To Close [Queens Gazette]

About Meg Cotner

Meg Cotner was trained as a harpsichordist and now works as a freelance writer and editor. She is the author of "Food Lovers' Guide to Queens," and is a skilled and avid home cook, baker, and preserver.

2 Comments

Lisa Evers

I’m a bit confused from the story above as it seems to say conflicting things… Are the folks who own/run Eliniki Agora the same folks who own the building itself? Either way, this produce shop is my favorite in all of Astoria. I will be sickened if they do not remain somewhere in the nabe. I am so disheartened by the rapid development in Astoria and how our own politicians are clearly allowing this to happen. Everywhere I look I see new buildings going up. Why even on a totally residential (private houses) block of Steinway btwn Ditmars and 21st Ave, there’s a house I’m guessing was recently sold, and they are now adding a new floor (or two?) to the building. Most of all this new construction is based in greed pure and simple…a way to capitalize on the gentrification of Astoria. Who cares if the character of the neighborhood changes and starts leaning more towards Williamsburg (blech)! You can see it happening as more and more ‘visitors’ are appearing in Astoria’s bars and restaurants, treating Astoria as a tourist destination. I don’t want to live in a hipster tourist destination. I just want to live in a nice ‘neighborhood’. Of course, most (surviving or new) businesses in the area will publicly say it’s good for the neighborhood and that they ‘welcome’ the changes (because it helps their bottom line). But privately, and especially if they live in Astoria, and also if they rent (versus own), they too probably dislike the change in the neighborhood. No consideration is being given by politicians of how we are to manage the effect this is having on public transportation and capacity issues. Trains will be overcrowded, more people will be taking buses, and streets are already starting to shows strains of more traffic. Not to mention the DoT does NOTHING to dissuade double-parking all over Steinway Street. Things are not going to get better folks. It will only get worse, unless politicians take some serious action, and fast.

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April

First Athens Cafe left and now if this fruit store leaves it will be like a piece of old Astoria gone forever :(

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