Rebirth of Jade Eatery & The Tea Garden
by Michael Perlman
Jun 17, 2020 | 5014 views | 0 0 comments | 601 601 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The pandemic placed an economic strain on small businesses, causing some to permanently shutter, but one longtime Forest Hills business is planning an even stronger comeback.

Jade Eatery & Lounge at One Station Square, which has offered a unique dining experience since the early 2000s, was recently acquired by A. Kumar, but in March the pandemic hit. Currently, the restaurant is open for takeout and delivery.

“Factors such as music, lighting, artwork, spacing, and the popular koi fish pond in the center of the main dining area create comfort and intimacy,” said Kumar. “Our goal is to provide an unforgettable dining experience.”

Kumar describes Jade’s style as “modern Asian fusion” with the new addition of Mughlai Indian food.

“We offer cuisine that combines elements of different culinary traditions,” he said. “It is really about experimenting with different flavors, cooking techniques, and more to create something new.”

New additions like chicken tikka masala and Tandoori shrimp will join popular Jade staples like pad Thai and Clacutta chicken on the menu. The $14.99 lunch special offered from noon to 4 p.m. is also new and features soup, vegetable or chicken, and rice.

Part of Jade’s optimistic rebirth is marked by the restoration of the Tea Garden, a long-lost Forest Hills Gardens treasure that was abandoned sometime around the residential conversion of the Forest Hills Inn in the late 1960s.

The Tea Garden was once a center of social life, nestled behind an ornate gate on Greenway Terrace and accessible from what is now Jade’s special events room. It opened in 1912 along with the Forest Hills Inn.

“The Tea Garden of the Forest Hills Inn is a veritable fairyland when lighted with Japanese lanterns, with the trickling fountain heard in the background and a new moon shining overhead,” read an edition of the Forest Hills Bulletin from 1924. “There is no more delightful place in Greater New York for one to spend the dinner hour.”

In warmer months, guests would dine to the sounds of the Inn Trio. The Tea Garden once featured rocking chairs and a “ring for tea” stand, which were later replaced with tables and umbrellas. It was also the site of Fourth of July celebrations, theater performances by The Gardens Players, and wedding receptions.

Fast-forward to 2020, and the graceful trees have matured forming a vaulted canopy, the central fountain will once again spout water, the rusted pergola will be repainted, and the flagstone tiles will be repaired.

“We are planning to restore the Tea Garden into a proper dining area,” said Kumar. “We will introduce multiple tea and coffee stations, an outdoor bar and television, and a large fountain in the middle to accentuate the surroundings.”

Reopening dates for the dining areas and the restored Tea Garden will depend on governmental orders. The traditional concept behind the Tea Garden already adheres to social distancing protocols.

“We already have safety precautions in place, which we will further implement once we fully reopen,” said Kumar.

For the past 30 years, Kumar has been in the hospitality business. His five personal values are supporting the local economy, hospitality, creativity, teamwork, and respect for all. Every Wednesday, complimentary meals are provided to first responders.

“The pandemic has made me more compassionate and giving towards society,” said Kumar.

Jade Eatery & Lounge’s current hours of operation are Tuesday to Sunday from noon to 10 p.m.. Takeout is 20 percent off and delivery is free through jadeeatery.com or by calling (718) 793-2203. Additional options are Grubhub, Uber Eats, Allset, and DoorDash.
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