The legendary Arepa Lady of Jackson Heights is moving on up from a food cart to a brick-and-mortar restaurant. Maria Cano, a former lawyer and judge in her native Colombia, announced that her family is opening a year-round restaurant on Roosevelt Avenue, out of which she will be selling her delicious arepas.
The Arepa Lady, who has been a mainstay on warm (and some not so warm) evenings since 1990 underneath the tracks of the 7 train near the 82nd street stop, will be moving into a 300 square foot space on 77th and Roosevelt. Her son Alejandro told Serious Eats that "we want to help my mom more, and the only way to do that is with a permanent location. The cart's permit only runs from April to October, and we can't quit our jobs for something temporary."
The Arepa Lady announced on her Twitter that the plan was to open the store by the spring, with inspection by the city done some time this month. But Cano will not give up her food cart; she will be serving food on the corner alongside her family's new digs.