Star of Queens: Dominic Stiller, president, Dutch Kills Civic Association
BACKGROUND: Stiller was born in Canada and made the move to Queens when he was two years old. Along with being president of the Dutch Kills Civic Association, he is also the owner and manager of DSENY Engineering Services, a safety and structural engineering firm of 12 employees, also located in Dutch Kills in Long Island City.
“As well as renovating our limestone townhouse in Dutch Kills, I have also recently completed the design and construction of a full mechanical and structural interior and exterior restoration of the Dutch Kills Centraal, an existing bar/restaurant located in the heart of Dutch Kills, at the corner of 29th Street and 39th Avenue.”
FAVORITE MEMORY: Although not one particular memory stands out, Stiller said he has an overall love for his Dutch Kills community.
BIGGEST CHALLENGE: “My biggest challenge is convincing small scale Queens owners and developers to think broadly, think outside their own property lines, and realize that long-term decisions yield very different conclusions than short-term decisions. In addition, it has been a challenge to convince local businesses that the business community and the residential community have more things in common than in opposition, we all spend a significant portion of our lives in this neighborhood, and it’s in everybody’s best interest to improve the local quality of life.”
INSPIRATION: “This is a neighborhood of rapid change. My wife Jean and I realized that if we do not get involved in the direction that the neighborhood goes in, then we will have no reason to complain if it goes places we don’t want it to. She is a real star of queens, tending tree pits, planting flowers, and cleaning up litter up and down the avenue.
She is also working with the staff of our wonderfully supportive and involved local elected officials, Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer and State Senator Michael Gianaris. The goal is to have the Department of Transportation install many traffic calming devices to slow down the vehicular traffic which races through our neighborhood, causing frequent accidents, and some recent fatalities. She has started an on-line petition at dutchkillslic.com which, once complete, will be presented to DOT with a request for curb extensions, more stop signs and lights, remarking of cross walks on many avenues and speed bumps.”
New Gastro Pub in the Dutch Kills Area of L.I.C. Local hub, area game-changer, dedicated to our community and beyond!
More than a pub with a history, we believe in the finest quality food and drink, sustainable furnishings and an original bar and floor tiles dating back to the 1940’s.
After renovating a nearby limestone house in 2008, engineer, community leader, and Queens native Dominic Stiller and his wife Jean longed for a local neighborhood spot that simply served great food and drinks. Mr. Stiller envisioned a place reminiscent of European local pubs where everyone could gather to drink a pint, and strike up a conversation with the person next to you. His vision and basic need inspired the creation of Dutch Kills Centraal. Two years later it’s one of the most celebrated dining spots in Queens, directly in the center of Dutch Kills neighborhood of Long Island City. To our knowledge Dutch Kills Centraal began as Victor’s Bar & Grill in the 1940’s, a place where Jackie Gleason was rumored to be a regular. The original Arts and Craft tiles and Art Deco mahogany bar suggest otherwise placing it between 1915 and 1925. At some point, it was known as Scotty’s where Rosanne Barr performed her stand-up act. Renamed Just A Pub, the local haunt suffered a long decline until it eventually closed. In 2012, the bar was salvaged and underwent major renovations re-opening as Dutch Kills Centraal. Dutch Kills Centraal is not affiliated with any other bar or restaurant.
Dutch Kills Centraal strives to welcome locals and travelers alike. Cold beer, cocktails and great food greet folks from all over the world. More than a bar or restaurant, Our menu is comprised of innovative comfort foods utilizing local purveyors and organic products. Beers on tap are from local breweries that rotate seasonally, as does our cocktail menu; our wines are affordable and selected to match the menu. The interior promotes the use of sustainable furnishings. Nearly all of our seating was sourced from Build It Green, the light fixtures are wine bottles, and the front door was proudly salvaged out of the trash of a local school needing a fresh coat of paint. Each choice was based on our commitment to the preserve the environment. The original bar and floor tiles were restore to pristine condition giving the space a unique and timeless charm. With so many ways to give back to a neighborhood, opening Dutch Kills Centraal is ours. As the neighborhood develops as a hub for travelers and residents alike, we hope everyone has a chance to experience our hospitality.