Lundy's Restaurant

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Lundy's as seen across the Sheepshead Bay

Lundy's Restaurant, also known as Lundy Brothers Restaurant, was an historic American seafood restaurant in the Sheepshead Bay neighborhood of the New York City borough of Brooklyn. A local institution, it operated from 1934 or 1935 (accounts vary)[a] to 1977 or 1979 (accounts vary),[b] and then again from 1997 to early 2007.


At the turn of the 20th century, Irving Lundy started a business selling clams out of a pushcart. By 1907,[2] he had opened a clam bar built on stilts over Sheepshead Bay, closing it when the city built a new bulkhead at that location. Lundy, with several family members, subsequently built the formal restaurant, located at 1901 Emmons Avenue, in 1934. The architect that designed Lundy's and oversaw its building was named George Washington Smith.

Lundy's closed in 1979, following Irving Lundy's death. It was acquired two decades later by the publicly traded Tam Restaurant Group, which in 1995 reopened it as a smaller venue in the same location.[3][c] The new owners also opened a branch location in 2001, at 205 West 50th Street in Manhattan's Times Square district, but it lasted only a short time.[5][6]

In December 2004, a family-owned business, The Players Club, headed by restaurateur Afrodite Dimitroulakos, announced it had acquired Lundy's from the Tam Restaurant Group.[7] Lundy's again closed down in early 2007.[3] The space now houses the Lundy's Landing Shopping Plaza.[8]

Storm damage from Hurricane Sandy forced the waters of Sheepshead Bay to overflow, causing the Russian themed Cherry Hill Gourmet Market (located at the site of the former Lundy's Restaurant) street level water damage resulting in tons of spoiled food. During the post-hurricane cleanup the food had to be discarded, but the Lundy's Building otherwise survived.[9] The front of Masal's Cafe looking out on Sheepshead Bay at Lundy's Landing Shopping Plaza (the current name of the Lundy's building, which now hosts several restaurants and businesses) shows the high height of the water level entering the Lundy's structure at the peak of Hurricane Sandy.[10]


Lundy's in its heyday was reported to be the largest restaurant in the United States, seating, per various reports, 2,400[11] to 2,800[2] patrons. Heyday dining at Lundy's was unlike at any other restaurant. Firstly, all or virtually all the very hardworking waiters were African-American. Its surrounding neighborhoods being almost exclusively European-American, this probably shocked new diners, especially younger ones, but it of course became a non-issue during the course of the meal. Even more unusual, the restaurant did not provide hosts for seating and reservations were not taken. Arriving diners would spread out throughout the expanse in pairs, searching for empty or about to be vacated tables, and, with success, dispatching one of the successful searchers to find and alert the others in their party. The 1997 version seated 700–800.[12]

The restaurant was decorated with the letters "F.W.I.L.," standing for "Frederick William Irving Lundy". Irving Lundy's brothers Clayton and Stanley died in January 1920 in a boating accident while tending the family's clam beds in Jamaica Bay.[13] Another brother, Allen, survived and helped Irving manage the restaurant.[12]

Food critic Mimi Sheraton wrote that her favorite dishes included the "Huckleberry pie (not blueberry), biscuits and Manhattan clam chowder" [14] No mention of the fare at Lundy's should properly omit mention of a couple of items: the bucket of steamed clams ("steamers") and its eating ritual: dip each clam first in a broth to get rid of any sand, then in the melted butter. Also, the multi-course Shore Dinner, frequently misread as the ShAre Dinner, because of its excess.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ 1934[1] or 1935[2]
  2. ^ The New York Times itself gives two different closing dates: 1977[3] and 1979: "It opened at its present site on the northwest corner of Emmons and Ocean Avenue in 1935, serving 2,800 diners at a seating. It closed in 1979 because of family squabbling when the last Lundy brother died. Within 10 years, Lundy's was derelict, with broken windows",[2]
  3. ^ Additionally, the December 18, 2005 New York Times article,[4] says restaurateurs Frank and Jeanne Cretella "helped revive Lundy's" in the 1990s, but did not specify their relationship, if any, with the Tam Restaurant Group.


  1. ^ The Brooklyn Paper (July 23, 2001): "B'klyn Lundy's Still the Best: Manhattan clone lacks charm of dining on the bay", by Jennifer Crutcher Wilkinson
  2. ^ a b c d The New York Times (March 30, 2003): "If You're Thinking of Living In/Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn", by Janice Fioravante
  3. ^ a b c The February 14, 2007 Off the Menu column, "Closed: Lundy's" (p. F2)
  4. ^ December 18, 2005. "Living With Frank Lloyd Wright", by Fred A. Bernstein. the New York Times
  5. ^ "Lundy's Times Square". Retrieved October 3, 2015. 
  6. ^ "The Brooklyn Paper: GO Brooklyn". Retrieved October 3, 2015. 
  7. ^ "Lundy Brothers Restaurant Looking to Regain Former Glory". Retrieved October 3, 2015. 
  8. ^ Biederman, Marcia (March 29, 1998). "NEIGHBORHOOD REPORT: SHEEPSHEAD BAY; Mall Has Plenty to Eat, but Nothing Much Left to Buy". The New York Times. Retrieved October 3, 2015. 
  9. ^ "Emmons Avenue businesses clean up after Hurricane Sandy". Brooklyn Daily. Retrieved October 3, 2015. 
  10. ^ Ned Berke. "Flooding Reported All Around Neighborhood". Sheepshead Bites. Retrieved October 3, 2015. 
  11. ^ American Public Media: The Splendid Table (April 26, 1997): "Seafood Feasting at Lundy's" Archived September 27, 2006, at the Wayback Machine.
  12. ^ a b "The Brooklyn Paper: GO Brooklyn". Retrieved October 3, 2015. 
  13. ^ The New York Times (Feb, 3, 1920))
  14. ^ The New York Times (March 26, 1983): De Gustibus (column): "Of Dishes and Restaurants Gone but Not Forgotten", by Mimi Sheraton

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 40°35′1.6″N 73°56′57″W / 40.583778°N 73.94917°W / 40.583778; -73.94917