RE: Sheepshead Bay, etc...
Lundy’s Restaurant --
It was big, very big! It covered a whole city block. At its zenith it could seat 2800 diners.
The clam bar stretched for almost 60’, and always had at least two and as many as ten people shucking clams and oysters. You could order six or twelve. They were opened right in front of you and you topped them with cocktail sauce, of your own creation. It was made from chili sauce, horseradish and hot pepper sauce. If you wanted a cold beer you could walk to a wet bar that was in an adjoining room and buy a large draft beer. In the 50’s and 60’s they had only one brand on tap – Brooklyn’s own Piels. I know that some might think less of Piels Beer but at Lundy’s it was always cold, always fresh and always satisfying.
Their fish was very fresh – quite good broiled or fried. They seemed to do the best job with their broiling. My mother’s favorite was broiled filet of sole. Each piece was about 2” thick. We found out years later that they stacked the sole using an egg batter to stick it together.
The chowders, clam and fish were different and outstanding. The fish chowder was one of a kind – oily, stringy, and a bit spicy. Very distinctive! Other fish chowder recipes are mild and very nice, but not oily/stringy/spicy. The clam chowder had a pale red color that might have come from minced carrots. It was very different and quite fantastic.
They didn’t offer a white clam chowder. They served clam bisque. It was thick, creamy and loaded with clams.
Lundy’s was always there and then it was gone. Its abandoned hulk stood unoccupied for years like a derelict ship that had run aground or an unused roller coaster decaying in the elements.
When it was re-opened, 10+ years ago, it was much smaller, quite well appointed and not at all as good.
Pappas Restaurant was a block west of Lundy’s. Their fish was almost as good and they served a very good complimentary tossed salad.
McGinnis’s was a block or two away from Lundy’s in the other direction. They had very good hot dogs, fair clams and great fried fish. They also had another location in NYC. It was called McGinnis of Shespshead Bay!
The Lewis House was down near the east end of Emmonds Av., almost across from the Verona Boat Club. It had a large circular bar, stained glass windows, great roast beef and lots of boat captains and fisherman.
In the 40’s and 50’s you could take a ferryboat from Sheepshead Bay to Breezy Point – a family beach resort. The boat left one of the docks and made port at Kennedy’s Bar. There passengers disembarked and took a bus or walked to the Point. That’s right, the bar was a part of the dock. Passengers got off the boat and walked through the bar to the street.
In the 40’s, 50’s and 60’s it was a different world and a kinder one.