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Queens Chronicle

HOWARD BEACH & OZONE PARK CELEBRATE THE HOLIDAYS No place like home for the holidays

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Posted: Thursday, November 21, 2019 10:30 am | Updated: 12:40 pm, Wed Nov 27, 2019.

An average of two-thirds of every dollar — or about 67 cents — spent at a small business stays within your community, a 2018 report by American Express found. In other words, the more money you spend at Howard Beach and Ozone Park businesses, the more you’re investing in your area.

So this Christmas and Chanukah season, log off Amazon and spend Black Friday morning at home with the family — and shopping local businesses.

Of course, the holidays may mean you’ll be expecting tons of family over the next few weeks and it’s important to feed them. For that, stop over to Brother’s at 161-16 Cross Bay Blvd. But don’t wait too long — owner Nick DiBlasi encourages shoppers to put their orders in early so they can get the freshest items.

“I won’t substitute the quality of my food just so I can reach a certain amount of orders,” DiBlasi said. “I just won’t do it.” The rib roast is a neighborhood staple at Brother’s, so be sure to call them at (718) 835-7508 to put yours on hold.

Brother’s is also known for its many gift baskets, which DiBlasi says can be customized to each customer’s preference — a great gift idea for anyone on your nice list.

And while you’re feeding the family, why not offer them some wine? Liquor Town & Fine Wines, at 135-21 Cross Bay Blvd., has countless options for sale always at the lowest prices. Follow the shop on social media as it highlights some of its favorite picks along with tasting notes and pairing ideas.

That’s not your only option though, as Wines & Spirits of Howard Beach, at 159-26 Cross Bay Blvd., also has a helpful staff on hand to help you pick out the best bottle for your festivities or gift basket.

What’s for dessert? Why, only the best pastries, cakes and cookies from La Torre Bakery, of course. Along with its usual offerings, this real-deal Italian bakery, at 158-12 Cross Bay Blvd., sells hundreds of pounds of struffoli, also called honey balls, around Christmas. Be sure to pick up some of La Torre’s famous cannolis and cheesecakes while you’re there.

Visit the shop soon if you want a custom cake made, as those take time to bake.

Don’t feel like cooking? The Cross Bay Diner, at 160-31 Cross Bay Blvd., and Matteo’s of Howard Beach, at 155-10 Cross Bay Blvd., always offer Thanksgiving and Christmas specials that’ll feed a small army — never mind your family. Check out the Chronicle this week for their offers.

World famous Lenny’s Clam Bar, located at 161-03 Cross Bay Blvd., has many special offers including all-you-can-eat ribs in November, a Thanksgiving Day special menu and catering for holiday parties.

Fresco Gourmet Market, at 157-48 Cross Bay Blvd. offers a complete Thanksgiving catering menu for parties of all sizes: everything from 16- to 20-pound turkeys to trays of lasagna, baked ziti and sweet potato mash. It also has cookie trays and fruit platters. All orders must be placed before Nov. 23rd. Fresco will also be offering a full holiday catering menu. They can be reached at (718) 845-4582.

The pharmacy might not seem like the most festive place to shop, but Cross Bay Chemist’s Howard Beach and Ozone Park locations both offer gifts for everyone, such as fragrances, toys, board games and more. There are tons of goodies to stuff stockings for your loved ones with, throughout both locations. Visit Cross Bay Chemist at either 157-02 Cross Bay Blvd. or 96-05 101 Ave.

With Christmas as the season of giving, who better to give to than your area public schools?

On Saturday, Nov. 23, PS/MS 207 will be hosting its Holiday Extravaganza from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at 159-15 88 St. There will be a mobile animal land, where children an make their own stuffed animals, pictures with Santa and Mrs. Claus for $10 and plenty of shopping opportunities — clothes, toys, candles, jewelry, accessories, sports collectibles and more will be for sale.

On Dec. 9, Our Lady of Grace Catholic Academy will hold its Holiday Shopping Fair — a one stop shopping event at Roma View Catering, located at 160-05 Cross Bay Blvd., from 7 to 11 p.m. Come pick out handbags, baked goods, jewelry, children’s clothing and more. Contact Doreen DeCandia at (718) 757-2728 or ddecandia@olgcahb.org for more information.

And of course, be sure to spend plenty of time with your friends and family around the Christmas tree. Merry Christmas and Happy Chanukah to all!

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