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Job market heats up at new Jamaica BBQ

Abdul Mosaver shows off the mural inside his new barbecue restaurant in Jamaica. Photo by Rich Bockmann
TimesLedger Newspapers

City Councilman Ruben Wills (D-Jamaica) is lending a helping hand to a Queens restaurateur who is bringing some Southern barbecue flavor to Jamaica via Springfield Gardens and Afghanistan.

The councilman helped spread the word about the first of two job fairs Abdul Mosaver held Monday at his new Smoke BBQ Pit restaurant, at 147-01 Liberty Ave., where he was looking to fill up to 25 positions — including cooks, servers, dishwashers and a restaurant manager — by the time he opens his doors May 15.

“I am delighted to welcome Smoke Pit BBQ to the Jamaica community. It is imperative we support small businesses like Smoke Pit BBQ that strive to hire locally and continue to reinvest in our community,” Wills said. “If you desire to work in a local business and have a strong work ethic as well experience in these positions, I encourage you to attend the open house.”

Mosaver said he will be inviting job seekers to stop by again this Thursday from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. to drop off their résumés and fill out applications.

Jahi Rose, Wills’ director of constituent affairs, said the councilman maintains a database of job opportunities and qualified applicants who call his office inquiring about job opportunities.

After filling out an application for a register/waiter position, 22-year-old Quasan Pierce, of Ozone Park, said he thought the job market was getting better than it has been in the past few years.

“There are more opportunities for more jobs than there were a year ago, or even two years ago,” he said.

Mosaver said the location on Liberty Avenue used to be a restaurant he owned called New York Fried Chicken. He said he spent upward of $500,000 to renovate it and another Smoke BBQ Pit restaurant he owns on Merrick Boulevard in Springfield Gardens.

“There’s nothing like this in Jamaica, the food, the design,” he said.

The interior of the eatery is clad in reclaimed timber, with one interior wall adorned with a fiery stained-glass mural reminiscent of his Springfield Garden restaurant, which has added an extra room that can seat up to 80 people, he said.

Mosaver said that after emigrating from Afghanistan in 1978, he owned a number of chain restaurants, including a Dunkin’ Donuts and a Nathan’s, but his true passion lie in low-and-slow cooked Southern barbecue.

“I traveled all over the South, to Georgia and Arkansas,” he said. “I’ve got hundreds of menus. There’s a stack in my office.”

The prize of his kitchen is his stainless steel smoker, which uses the indirect heat from burning hickory and apple woods to slow cook his entrees for hours — up to 18 for tender beef brisket.

While the dining room in Jamaica is much smaller than his restaurant in Springfield Gardens, the location does have a seating area outside that can fit up to 25.

Mosaver said he was looking for good references from prospective employees and appreciative of the help he got from Wills.

“He’s a good reference for someone to use,” he said.

Reach reporter Rich Bockmann by e-mail at rbockmann@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4574.

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