Guyanese-born and former attorney Trevor Rupnarain has traded in his law practice for a swanky 400sq ft watering hole that serves up drink specials in a Manhattan style atmosphere in the heart of Richmond Hill, Queens.
Zen Lounge NY located at 117-15 101 Avenue opened its doors on Sept. 7 to rave reviews from the community that turned out in full to support the entrepreneur.
Rupnarain offered an open bar, live entertainment and a sampling of his Asian-fused cuisine which will be served in his soon to open Hibachi restaurant on the top floor of the building.
The gold and black doors to Zen opens into a spacious ground floor contemporary style lounge, designed with an expansive bar which has a seating capacity of 300.
The space leads to an adjoining outdoor patio with a classic décor that boasts an Asian canopy motif, draped with white curtains.
Steelpan music and featured local artists will entertain patrons as they lounge under the Queens skyline on Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 6:00 p.m. In addition, Zen will host discotheque events with a live deejay also on the weekend.
Rupnarain, who is excited about this new endeavor, said he is adventurous when it comes to the business side of his personality. “I always like to dabble in various projects, and I have always wanted to own a restaurant and bar,” added the owner.
He said the demographic of Caribbean, Hispanic and Japanese influences, is a great mix for the lounge, and the cuisine that he is currently finessing for the planned grand opening in the winter season.
But in the meantime, Rupnarain is focused on the upscale club of which the neighborhood he said has been very receptive.
“Expect something very different when you come to Zen. This is what Queens has to offer, great nightlife in a deluxe setting,” added the owner.
“It’s an ambiance that is similar to that of any club in Manhattan, and we plan to take it to another level,” said Rupnarain.
Guest, Reginald Daniels from Brooklyn praised the bar room. “This is bringing Manhattan to the suburbs and taking nightlife in Queens to another level. I can ride the subway and come to Queens and get the same atmosphere, service and ambiance I get in New York City,” said Daniels, adding, “You get a little of your culture, in a cosmopolitan setting.”
Former lounge owner and president of the Richmond Hill-S Ozone Park Lions Club, Romeo Hitlall, agreed that Zen is a beautiful place and predicts that the hot spot will do well because it is the only one of its kind in Queens.