‘Happy Ending’ for Greek Store Owners in Astoria

United Brothers owner Tom Kourkoumelis is just one of the many business owners happy to see the Astoria train stations reopened. (Photo by Costas Bej via The National Herald)

On June 22, the N/W subway stations at 30 Avenue and 36 Avenue reopened in Astoria after eight months of renovations. During that time, business owners in the Queens neighborhood had expressed their frustrations over dwindling foot traffic because of the closings. For the Greek shopkeepers who spoke to The National Herald’s Christodoulos Athanasatos on the day of the reopening, it’s now “finally a happy ending,” as Tom Kourkoumelis of United Brothers said.

“I have been on 30th Avenue for 45 years, I do not remember a happier day than today. We have had many difficulties, all the businesspeople.”

He pointed out the “huge crowd” on 30th Avenue and added:

“Those who said we could benefit from the neighboring stations made a big mistake. Do you know anyone who will come to 30th Avenue and carry 5 bags from the supermarket or a watermelon and go as far as Broadway? We were in a worse situation than 31st Avenue. Today, I’m glad to see! Yesterday, at this time of day, there was not even one person to be seen,” Mr. Kourkoumelis said.

Those neighboring stations, 39th Avenue and Broadway, will be closing on July 2 for around eight months for renovations.

See what’s changed at the 30th Avenue and 36th Avenue stations and hear from other business owners, including one who saw customers he hadn’t seen in months, at The National Herald.

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