Peruvian restaurant in Queens designed to be accessible and welcoming
NEW YORK - Rosatoro Restaurant in Astoria, Queens, is more than just delicious Peruvian food. The owners of the restaurant put a lot of thought and compassion into designing it.
"One of the reasons we chose this venue is because every wall rolls up," co-owner Bruno Salazar said. And one area is completely flat so "no matter what type of wheelchair you have, you have easy access to it," he added.
Salazar knows exactly what it is like to live every day in a wheelchair. He understands the struggles. And so do his two brothers, who experienced how difficult it was to go to restaurants with him that weren't wheelchair accessible.
In addition to the rolling gates, there is a ramp at another entrance and the back table is right next to the bathroom.
"Because I'm in a wheelchair and I know how frustrating it is to try and get to the bathroom moving through people and having to constantly say, 'Excuse me,'" Salazar said.
He said he is trying to make his restaurant feel comfortable for everybody. He is also having his staff trained in sign language to communicate with deaf customers.
"To be able to say their names, to be able to describe the cuisine," he said. "Some people have dietary restrictions, allergies. We have to be able to communicate that very clearly."
In addition to celebrating traditional holidays, Rosatoro will be celebrating special events like International Wheelchair Day in March, American Sign Language Day in April, Deaf Awareness Month in September, and Pride Month in June.
"Every single holiday is including somebody, " Salazar said. "It's making sure that they do feel welcome."