Five Dead and Gone Classic Brooklyn Restaurants

Categories: Featured, Sietsema

At one time, Lundy's claimed to be the world's largest restaurant, seating 2,800 hungry souls.

Shed a tear for Brooklyn's great restaurants of the past. They once defined life in the borough, making it unnecessary to toddle to Manhattan for a lively and memorable night out, and they died as the floodgates opened on the national franchises that came to dominate many neighborhoods. (As Cartman would say, "Suck my balls, Dunkin' Donuts!") Now, Brooklyn's undergoing a restaurant renaissance, yet these antediluvian joints can never be replaced. Here's a look at five estimable restaurants that should have lasted forever.

Lundy's spun off a cookbook while in its dying days, and even had a Manhattan offshoot.
1. Lundy's, 1901 Emmons Avenue, Sheepshead Bay -- Lundy's was the city's most humongous -- and one of the best -- seafood restaurants. It could seat 2,800 patrons at once, making it the largest dining establishment in the country. Occupying an entire city block, the structure still stands today, a two-story building with unusual Spanish architectural flourishes, poised on the concrete lip of Sheepshead Bay. Favorite dishes included raw clams on the half shell, small buttered biscuits, tomato salads, corn on the cob, shore dinner, Manhattan clam chowder, and huckleberry pie served with Breyers ice cream. The place evolved out of a clam bar that opened in 1907; the current premises dates to 1934. It closed in 1977, only to reopen in 1995, filling only half of its former floorspace, and persisted for an additional decade or so. Now an upscale food market occupies the space.

Lundy's in the '50s.

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