Feb. 10, 2023 By Michael Dorgan
A family that has operated grocery stores in the Queens Plaza section of Long Island City for more than 30 years has opened a new location near the Queensboro Plaza subway station.
The new store, called Green Valley, opened Monday, Feb. 6, at 25-12 Queens Plaza South and offers a range of quick hot food items, cold sandwiches, snacks, drinks, and a range of grocery items.
Green Valley is owned by brothers Abdullah Nassir, 45, and Hussein Nassir, 40, who are originally from Yemen. The store faces the steps to the Queensboro Plaza subway station and is adjacent to a Starbucks coffee shop. It has replaced Yoyoso, a global discount store chain that closed last year.
The brothers previously operated a deli on the next block called 3 Friendly Grocery and Deli which was located on the corner of Queens Plaza South and 28th Street. The pair were forced to close the establishment nearly two years ago when the landlord decided to bulldoze it to make way for a Walgreens.
Abdullah said their father established the store in the early 1990s. Their father also operated another store on Queens Plaza South from 1989 until the early 2000s, Abdullah said.
Abdullah said he and his brother had been looking for some time to find a suitable location to replace 3 Friendly Grocery and Deli before they eventually secured the lease on the 25-12 Queens Plaza South space.
He said the new location a good fit and they hope to take advantage of the street’s heavy foot traffic, including the areas many subway riders. Ahmed, his son, also works at the store.
Abdullah and Hussein operate several other delis across the city under different names. The Queens Plaza store is their only Queens location, Abdullah said. The store has no affiliation with the Green Valley supermarket on Greenpoint Avenue in Sunnyside, he said.
He said the pair, who currently live in Jamaica, have been renovating the space for the past six months. The renovation is nearing completion with a small area at the rear of the premises still under construction.
The store has undergone a complete overhaul with a fresh and bright new look. New shelves, light fixtures, refrigerators and check-out counters have been installed.
A new deli area has been built on the right side of the store while there is both a hot food and a cold food bar at the rear. There is also a smoothie and açai bowl area next to the check-out counter. A new sign has gone up outside along with green and yellow colored balloons.
Abdullah said the pair are happy to be open and back operating again in Long Island City.
“This area is like my home, I want to stay here all day,” Abdullah said. “We are excited to be finally open.”
He said the new location is better than the previous spot, given its proximity to the subway station. However, the main downside is that rent is more expensive, he said.
“We hope to do better than the last location, the rent is high here but we will see what happens.”
Green Valley also sells a host of grocery items including dry food options, canned goods, potato chips, candy, chocolate, cakes, as well as personal care items.
The deli offers paninis, wraps, sandwiches and a range of breakfast and dinner items.
Abdullah said business has been steady so far but he hopes it will improve once word of mouth gets around that they are open.
Opening hours are from 5 a.m. to 1 a.m. Mondays through Sundays. Abdullah said he is looking to keep the store open 24 hours a day once he finds staff to work overnight shifts.