Forest Hills breathed a sigh of relief tonight thanks to an anonymous comment posted 6:30pm. The comment states:
People, that UJ place will be replaced by a fusion asian cusine, called MOCA Asian Bistro and will be open in spring 2008. There is one in Long Island also. Go check it out!
It's closed now so don't bother calling tonight, but a few people who did see this post called and according to them, it is confirmed - MoCA in Hewlett is opening in Forest Hills. I'll call tomorrow when they're open again and see if I can get the exact address. The post looks pretty authentic, from the exact name of the restaurant, down to the "Go check it out!" hint that it's from someone connected to the existing place.
Maybe Leslie Brown or Peter from UJ's (both of whom I emailed looking for intel) called someone there and told them to make a statement before people start fleeing the 11375. One guy already sold his Lane Towers co-op (according another iron-clad reliable anonymous comment).
From a quick search, MoCA sounds a lot like Jade (or is it JaDE) with the hip decor and Japanese/Thai cuisine. And it's apparently very popular out in Hewlett - aka Forest Hills' triple-A team. And Bangkok Cusine must be psyched they invested their life savings to open a place, only to have a bigger place with the same menu open next to it a year later with same landlord.
Leslie said last week in the Forest Hills Ledger that it would be a Japanese place, so points for her and the Ledger for being right all along.
So for now it looks like the Popeyes rumor wasn't strong to the finish. Unless of course an anonymous comment Sunday night on a neighborhood blog is actually wrong. Because I have to tell you, a reference number of "Popeyes" submitted by an architect connected to an already-existing Popeyes on West 72nd St (I mean West 172nd St) is quite a coincidence.