Saturday, February 26, 2011

Daily News remembers Niederstein's

From the Daily News:

Six years ago, the German restaurant Niederstein's still served platefuls of bratwurst and Wiener schnitzel for its hungry faithful in Middle Village.

Today, a cowboy hat outlined in red marks the spot where Niederstein's stood on Metropolitan Ave., welcoming visitors to its fast-food successor, Arby's.

Longtime residents still shudder when recounting the loss of the 150-year-old local institution after its purchase by Arby's and demolition in 2005.

"That kind of ripped the gut out of us," said Bob Holden, president of the Juniper Park Civic Association. Since the the sandwich joint replaced one of Queens' most well-known eateries, he added, "Middle Village hasn't been the same."

Locals say the exit of Niederstein's - where generations gripped beer mugs while celebrating birthdays and weddings - symbolizes about a decade's worth of lost working-class hangouts in Queens.

The restaurant became a popular stop after funerals, too, given its proximity to multiple cemeteries. But it met its demise after a co-owner died. His slice of the property passed on to his estate and the land was eventually sold.


Oh well, there's always Zum Stammtisch, which the Times Ledger thinks is in Ridgewood...

Photo from Forgotten-NY.

25 comments:

Snake Plissskin said...

I hate this 'its all gone' mentality - like a bunch of oldsters talking about the good old days.

Even worse, its like having sex through a screendooor.

What is the point unless you drive the point home? (pun intended)

If you bring up something needlessly destroyed because (pick one or pick all) the politicans, the developers, the weak wristed preservation community, the venal community board, the lack of community pride

then you should, no, you MUST couple it with a polemic that this should have not happen, and MUST not happen going forward.

Its time we stop this.

Rick said...

Well, we all know most newspapers don't get everything in their articles 100% correct, but let's face it, the biggest reason for the loss of the restaurant was the lack of business. Their food wasn't all that outstanding, and much of their business came from after-funeral groups, not from locals going for a good meal. Let's hope Middle Village can survive having its 'guts ripped out' and has more substance than one over-the-hill and past-its prime restaurant.

Queens Crapper said...

A past its prime restaurant could be sold to someone that will revitalize it. But, the loss of the history is what stings more, not the loss of the business. Businesses replace each other. History is irreplaceable.

Anonymous said...

Maspeth Mom says...

Its a shame when a business in a historic building goes out...but take a look at Metropolitan Avenue since that happened... 99cents stores, check cashing joints, and Laundromats have opened. That says in no uncertain terms that Middle Village is a neighboorhood in decline.

Anonymous said...

Those are the businesses you would expect to flourish in bad economic times. HELLO?? We're in a recession in case you haven't noticed. When the economy improves, better businesses will replace them because the rents will skyrocket.

Anonymous said...

Maspeth Mom says: That says in no uncertain terms that Middle Village is a neighboorhood in decline.

Once again Maspeth Mom speaks through her ass. She should take a good look out her window to Maspeth.

She hasn't yet figured out that the entire country is going through a recession.

georgetheatheist said...

I ate in Niederstein's once. When you looked out the window, what came across your eyes? A sea of tombstones. How romantic.

Bon App├ętit . . . Yeccch!

ew-3 said...

My uncle used to own the luncheonette just outside the station at the end of the line for the M. I remember when Niederstein's before they enclosed the porch in the front.
Many fond memories from back then (late 50's early 60's)

Babs said...

"Maspeth Mom says...Its a shame when a business in a historic building goes out...but take a look at Metropolitan Avenue since that happened... 99cents stores, check cashing joints, and Laundromats have opened. That says in no uncertain terms that Middle Village is a neighboorhood in decline."

Just like what happened to College Point - when they demolished Flessels - there wasn't dry eye in the nab AND there is nothing on the Blvd. either any more.

Anonymous said...

The developers built a condo complex with retail space in the former parking lot.Slightly more than 1/3 of the residential units unsold............no takers for the retail space...........

Anonymous said...

When I was a kid, my big, extended Italian family spent many a Thanksgiving dinner in a private room at Niederstein's. Thanks for reviving those memories. Sorry to hear that it's gone. But, what else is new? They call it progress.

Joe said...

Sal pizza an timeless Icon in Little Neck went RIP along with 4 other storefronts.
Koreans that own the 24hr "adult store" bought the remainder of the block on Northern and threw everybody out.

Anonymous said...

The Times Ledger article also laments the loss of "Karl Kehmer Stores."

Dave in Milwaukee

Anonymous said...

had my 6th grade gaduation there in 1983

Anonymous said...

Honest question: I ate there a total of 4 times -- in 1990, 91, 92 and 2003. Each time for a private event in which Nierderstein's German specialties were oddly not an option.

I remember the food being not just okay, but BAD, particularly in 2003.

Were their German specialities amazing but their other options not good? Or was none of the food good -- patrons just liked the place/staff/atmosphere/etc?

Anonymous said...

If you bring up something needlessly destroyed because (pick one or pick all) the politicans, the developers, the weak wristed preservation community, the venal community board, the lack of community pride

then you should, no, you MUST couple it with a polemic that this should have not happen, and MUST not happen going forward.

Its time we stop this.

--------------------------
I like you! But there's always the older generation saying things like this who will stand in the way of change. It's like "a law of nature" that the old people have defend "their history". In the end, what history are you talking about? Does that mean everything that is built can never be demolished/replaced? That's illogical economically. Sure this restaurant is 150 years old, but the only value it has is sentimental value to a small number of people. I would ask those people, would you rather it become public property and become a museum?

Anonymous said...

The food quality was poor in it's later years. Why bother remembering something that was a private business and was sold by the owners. They didn't care too much about the customers or they would have sold it to a new owner who would have kept it going. They're greed got the best of them . Im sure they are not looking back while they count they're money in Florida.
It's gone get over it.

Anonymous said...

I don't know why they care what Holden thinks. He let Arby's give out coupons at a Juniper Civic Ass. meeting a few years ago. For someone who was against The Arby's being there, he sure had no problem with the free burger coupons.
Talk about sleeping with the enemy.
But that's Bob for ya.

Queens Crapper said...

"Does that mean everything that is built can never be demolished/replaced? That's illogical economically. Sure this restaurant is 150 years old, but the only value it has is sentimental value to a small number of people."

How ill informed you are. This was a stagecoach stop/hotel and really the reason Middle Village got its name. It was where you rested when hauling your goods between Jamaica and the Brooklyn market/ferry.

Joe said...

I had a friend who worked there in the late 70's
At the time that building still had its original system of pulleys and belts that drove ceiling fans.
A wooden drive-shaft went into the basement where a bicycle and large flywheel powered it all.

Today when I walk or drive down around 72 st I get friggan lost.
I don't recognize ANYTHING. All the pre-war A frame houses, yards, grass lined walkways and trees are gone.
All its charm and postcard "jewels" are about gone. The Denigs family house and property completely gone. Not a trace.
It totally ruined my day

Anonymous said...

Nobody mentioned the Radio Shack next door. I am surprised at the reaction. People hoped that an upscale restaurant, not necessarily German, would open there, but there was no special affection for the atmosphere, the menu, the management, etc. It was long in decline. As I have remarked when these neighborhood locales have closed, if they had brought in the customers, they wouldn't have to close.

Anonymous said...

They closed because a partner died and the family cashed in.

Anonymous said...

But there's always the older generation saying things like this who will stand in the way of change. It's like "a law of nature" that the old people have defend "their history". In the end, what history are you talking about? Does that mean everything that is built can never be demolished/replaced?
---

No, you are the older generation - or should I say the one that is not too educacted.

Most people these days in the better part of town certainly, dont go apeshit when they see a bit a lawn or an older building and tell people that pink stucco is just the thing.

Yes, some fall for it but then again, some people spend their evening watching Jersey Shore.

Its about time that the development of Queens and the outer boroughs stop taking cues from the backward, ignorant, and just plain venal.

Its one of the reasons that Manhattan laughs at us. And its about time this stop.

Anonymous said...

What a crock of crapola !
If change was so good so many people would not be against it.
With exception of some stuff in the medical and dental fields the only change I seen in the past 20 years as been for the worse.
If you young punks want and Berkley libs want overpopulated stucco barracks move to China where mountains of garbage in the streets reach 2 story's high.
Then disrespect the elderly and pound your fists for "change" and see what happens.

The immigration act of 1965 destroyed this city. The new people and dept of education who push this left wing "change" and "multiculturalism" agenda totally suck.

Cav said...

Anonymous #15 said:
"I like you! But there's always the older generation saying things like this who will stand in the way of change. It's like "a law of nature" that the old people have defend "their history". In the end, what history are you talking about? Does that mean everything that is built can never be demolished/replaced? That's illogical economically. Sure this restaurant is 150 years old, but the only value it has is sentimental value to a small number of people. I would ask those people, would you rather it become public property and become a museum?"

Response:
The wanton destruction of history and culture in pursuit of profits is the delight of the philistine.

I can't tell if you're a pro-developer troll or a really clueless/soulless SWPL tower person but read this quote from Jackie Kennedy Onassis and maybe you'll understand:

"Is it not cruel to let our city die by degrees, stripped of all her proud monuments, until there will be nothing left of all her history and beauty to inspire our children? If they are not inspired by the past of our city, where will they find the strength to fight for her future? ... this is the time to take a stand, to reverse the tide, so that we won't all end up in a uniform world of steel and glass boxes."

Maybe some of us here do not see the virtue of sterile glass condo towers, bland brick fedder box buildings, suburban strip malls and mindless overdevelopment.

And no, I'm not some "old person", unless you count 40 as being a senior citizen.