“The Avenue”

5th Avenue – Brooklyn

Originally uploaded by talker.

A liaison of The Fifth Street Boys writes in the Park Slope Message Boards:

“Back in the day, when I was kid, not only were there no restaurants on ‘The Avenue.’ There were none of the boutiques and niche-market stores that give it its current flavor.”

“There were no Starbucks (Plaza Drugs), there were no Barnes & Nobles (a parking lot for the hospital), there were no Sushi restaurants (Danny’s Candy Store and others)…there was nothing!”

“There were two Bohack markets and an A + P (Now Key Food and Dagostinos) and a few bodegas.”

“The absolute first restaurant on “The Avenue” was Szechuan Delight … (they) rented the site of Keiton Cleaners (sp?) after they had a fire. I remember people were shocked to see a Chinese restaurant on The Avenue and to be honest the atmosphere sucked. I liked the food, but the place still smelled like smoke when they opened.”

“The one thing there were lots of on The Avenue was bars. In no particular order, there was City Lights was on the corner of 1st and The Avenue; The Iron Horse on 2nd and The Avenue; Ryan’s on Garfield; Minsky’s on 3rd; The Coach between 1st and Garfield; Mooney’s between Carroll and President; The James between Union and Berkeley; The Gaslight on the corner of Union; and others that I can’t remember now.”

“As a rule, there was a bar on every corner and sometimes another one in between. The good ones like Ryans (now The Appletree grocery strore [which is NOT a bodega] ) opened at 8:00 a.m. for the old timers and didn’t close unil “last call” at 4:00 a.m.”

“And Ryan’s, like Farrell’s (which sadly used to be located on 9th Avenue in Windsor Terrace–a neighborhood with some balls–but somehow without having to move is now located on Prospect Park West in the South Slope), used to serve “taps” which were waxed paper quart containers that you could take outside and drink on the corner and shoot the shit with people as they walked by…and all the time enjoy a cold–well, luke warm–beer (I think it was Miller High Life on tap, oh well, you can’t have everything)!”

“So there you have it…The Avenue…back in the day…before there were stroller nazis, before there were panhandlers, before there was anything other than bars and the Fifth Street Boys and then the Savage Nomads and the Crazy Homicides out past 16th street…but we didn’t go there…not unless we had to…not unless we wanted to rumble.”

4 out of 5 former Brooklyn Gang Members prefer the Park Slope Message Boards

One Reply to ““The Avenue””

  1. Actually, Minsky’s was at the corner of 222 7th avenue, about two blocks from the hospital. They opened in the middle 70s, and were closed down in the early 80’s for watering down the call liquor (I used to work there, so I know this first hand).

    Still, this was a wonderful trip down memory lane!

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