- Age: 32 both
- Neighborhood: Forest Hills
- National Origin / Family from: India
Suraj and Rohan aren’t just soccer fans, they’re big foodies. They’ve traveled all over the USA and abroad, but, as they say, “when you go to other places, the food just isn’t the same. Here in Queens you can get BBQ, Indian, Chinese, Jamaican all on one block.” And speaking of BBQ, they serve up some of the best in the city at their Forest Hills restaurant Queens Bully.
How would you describe Queens to someone who’s never been here?
Queens is just a melting pot, there’s everyone here. There’s indians, koreans, jamaicans all next to each other, it’s incredible.
When and why did you move to Queens?
I was born in London and moved here when I was 10 back in ‘98. Rohan was born and raised here.
Did you play futbol growing up?
It’s funny, in England I grew up playing soccer. Then I came here and it wasn’t as big as it is now in the States. I had to learn to play baseball and basketball, but I was always keeping an eye out for soccer. Nowadays, you’re out and about and you see kids and people playing soccer all over Queens.
Who is your favorite team?
Liverpool – It was so amazing seeing them finally win the Premier League. And then this past weekend—my mom’s family are all Man U fans and I’ve been roasting them in the Whatsapp chat haha.*
[*Interview was conducted right after Liverpool had soundly beat Manchester United.]
Tell us about your restaurant, Queens Bully. You’re really involved in the community, not just serving great food.
We founded Queens Bully in 2017. The name came from when we were kids and we’d say, instead of “Queens Boulevard,” let’s meet over at Queens Bully & xyz street.
We showcase the different flavors of Queens all in one place. And we’re not just a restaurant, we’re a community space. During the pandemic we gave back and turned ourselves into a food factory, teaming up with World Central Kitchen to feed healthcare workers all over the city and doing pop ups too. And we’re still doing givebacks at community kitchens. We’ve delivered food to community houses and the elderly in Queens, Brooklyn, Bronx, Manhattan.
How did you hear about Queensboro FC?
Through word of mouth. When we first heard about QBFC I kept DMing the account. This is amazing for Queens. We need something for our own. A lot of successful people come from Queens but we need something that’s our own and there’s nothing more perfect than a soccer team coming to Queens. I can’t wait for opening day, it’s gonna be fun, it’s gonna be a great celebration of Queens itself. We finally won’t have to pay tolls to travel to see a pro team!
What makes you most excited about having a team in Queens?
Culture. It’s a worldwide sport and Queens is a worldwide borough. It unites. There’s nothing better than a soccer team because soccer brings everyone together.
In a few words, what defines Queens for you?
Diversity, Food, Culture. It’s just different out here.
Have you traveled in the US?
Yes, I’ve been to Nashville, Scottsville, all over. Me and Rohan are big foodies. And when you go to other places, the food just isn’t the same. Here you can get BBQ, indian, chinese, jamaican all on one block.