Inside Weiss’ Restaurant
Even people who didn’t know about Broad Channel knew about Weiss’ Restaurant. Some who were around to visit the well-known Cross Bay Boulevard eatery in its heyday noted that it was one of the must-see destinations for people visiting New York.
Here is a rare look inside Weiss’ posh dining room.
Originally caterers, Bella and Meyer Weiss, who lived on 19th Road in Broad Channel, opened their first roadside snack stand on Cross Bay Boulevard in the 1920’s.
In 1935, even while the Depression had a hold on the country, the Weisses opened up their soon to be famous location at 1614 Cross Bay Boulevard.
Outside signs boasted steaks, chops, wine, liquors, beer and Louis Sherry ice cream. The well-appointed dining room inside was complemented by sidewalk café style tables and umbrellas outside.
According to a 2006 Queens Chronicle article by Ron Marzlock, for people leaving the beach in Rockaway “the catchphrase of the 1940s, ’50s and ’60s was “Meet you at Weiss’.”
“Always busy,” Marzlock wrote, “many residents of the area had their first job there.”
The Wave’s Emil Lucev later recalled “the only time operations ceased was during World War Two; no gas, no cars running, and no people coming down to the beach and a roadside restaurant.
Weiss’ reopened in the closing months of the 1943 season, as gasoline rationing was eased up a bit, and stayed open 24/7.”
Business went well through the decades until 1973 when Meyer Weiss died suddenly. Shortly thereafter the restaurant closed and its fame became a memory.
Today even the building, which Google identifies as the current location of the East 17th Road Park handball courts, is gone.
A few years ago the Broad Channel Historical Society received a donation of a complete vintage place setting embossed with the Weiss logo and a dining room chair to add to its collection. The set was last on display at the Broad Channel Historical Day, just one day before Hurricane Sandy.