And tonight is no exception.
El Olivo has graced 31st Street for 20 years, and this afternoon they will open their doors once more.
The family owned Spanish influenced tapas restaurant has seen its fair share of memories.
Proposals, parties, births and graduations. This quaint little Astoria hub has had a homely feel since the beginning.
And today marks a 3 month journey which saw an extensive renovation which I’m very glad to say, has still very much retained its quaint warm feel.
The entrance takes you to the bar (stocked to the brim with anything from tequilas to vodkas) all the things you need to make one hell of a Sangria.
All new seating against the walls with a brown leather back to match the dark mahogany decor gives it an earthy warmth.
While the main wall is adorned with a massive art piece that has inside the makings of a medieval castle. Swords spraying out with a custom chest plate in the middle. The conquistador theme is strong, with another smaller piece on the adjacent wall showing an old thick metaled candle holder.
But the space hasn’t lost its character, and that is something that the woman behind it all greatly wanted to keep.
Thalia Aguayo runs the show for her father and his partner, and amidst the chaos of getting things ready is nothing but smiles. She remembers growing up here, seeing all the regular faces over the years, and all the new ones. Friends were made easy in El Olivo. The cosyness of the place wanted nothing less. And the family is as inviting as ever.
With all the stale, hard edged and disconnected restaurants going up these days, it gives me great pleasure to see that there are still strong family based places staying very much alive and stronger than ever. The experience of stepping into a family owned and run restaurant against a mainstream disembedded one, is incomparable.
Opening their doors today at 12pm, the Menu sees a few delicious additions, along with a larger wine list and craft beers to match.
Bon Appetite Astoria!
Where: 21-15 31st Street Astoria
Phone: (718) 932-4040
Sun-Thur: 12 – 11pm
Fri-Sat: 12 – 1am