Fogo de Chão partners with Queens Together to feed locals
First Queens location to open in Elmhurst later this year
By Jessica Meditz
Fogo de Chão, an internationally renowned restaurant founded in Southern Brazil in 1979, will soon make its Queens debut.
Later this year, the restaurant will open a brand new location next to Queens Center Mall in Elmhurst—marking its first Queens location, fifth in New York and 67th globally.
In preparation and celebration of the upcoming opening, Fogo de Chão partnered with Queens Together, an organization formed during the COVID-19 lockdown to address food insecurity.
Last Friday, the two groups came together at First Baptist Church of Elmhurst to provide fresh, high quality meals to over 1,500 community residents.
Fogo de Chão and volunteers worked together to provide people with meats butchered and prepared on their full-sized mobile churrasco grills.
Folks enjoyed their signature churrasco-style meats—Fraidinha and Picanha—along with mixed greens and their well-loved potato salad.
“Coming to Queens is such an amazing opportunity for us because it’s the most culturally diverse city and borough, and that’s what we love to do at Fogo,” Katie Calvin, general manager of Fogo de Chão, said.
“Especially for people who are from Latino or Hispanic countries, they often don’t have somewhere to go that feels like home,” she continued. “That’s why we love that we’re coming to Queens; we’re really excited.”
In addition to the Queens event, Fogo de Chão is committed to providing for the communities they serve, and arranges for mobile events to take place across the U.S.
Queens Together was also proud of their presence at the event, continuing their mission of empowering, representing and supporting the local restaurant community, as well as Queens residents in need.
We’re just trying to be a forward-facing program. We try to close all the gaps and connect people with food and services, and with restaurants in general, our biggest thing is trying to help them stay in business,” Devin Kloss, media director at Queens Together, said.
“Our goal is just to be somebody that they can call when they have a question, and then either we’ll find out the answer, or we’ll find the person to get them the answer,” he continued. “That’s really our goal.”
Also in attendance was third baseman for the Mets, Eduardo Escobar, who is a big fan of the restaurant.
“It was actually a really organic, beautiful connection that was made with Eduardo. He started to eat at Fogo, and we started to hear him saying, ‘Fogo power,’ and ‘I play better after Fogo,’” Calvin said.
“Now we have luckily have a really tight-bonded relationship, and a percentage of our sales go to his foundation, where he provides to kids mostly in Venezuela with baseball materials, opportunities, food and supplies.”
Escobar spoke fondly of Fogo de Chão as he helped prepare the meats that went out into the community, and is happy that the restaurant so close to his heart is now physically close to him, where he plays baseball.
“The food is just so delicious, and I love everything about it. The people are also so nice,” Escobar said.
“Everything they’re doing to help the community is so important and special, and this is an amazing opportunity,” he continued. “God bless this restaurant. The food helps me feel at home.”