If there was
but only one place that people could associate Richmond Hill with, chances
are they would name Jahn's Ice Cream Parlor. They almost seem synonomous!
cream parlor had continuously operated in Richmond Hill since the 1930's
up until the year 2008. It was one of Richmond Hill's favorite restaurant
spots for dinner and ice cream. Many of the original items from that
era of the early 1900's were still on display in Jahn's such as the
working nickelodeon piano. It was a real historical treat for the eyes
as well as the stomach!
was located at 117-03 Hillside Avenue, Richmond Hill, NY 11418.
It is a sad passing to know
there is no longer a Jahn's in Richmond Hill but due to the longevity
of this Ice Cream Parlor with its unique interior of times gone-by,
memories will remain strong for those who frequented this local establishment.
Thanks to Nancy
Cataldi, President of the Richmond Hill Historical Society, for
the following research and article that first appeared in our Winter
year was 1888 and it was snowing. Arriving on a sailing ship at the
age of 14, John Jahn steps off into New York City Port. He was a real
greenhorn with nothing but ambition.
He worked for five years in a bakery at ten dollars a month plus room
and board. He did not like the heat so much, so he went to Brooklyn
a got a job as an ice cream maker in a store there. They started calling
He meet his wife-to-be at Weber's Dancing School. They fell in love
at first sight and married. Papa opened his first store in the Bronx
at 138th Street and Alexander Avenue in 1897. He had three children,
Elsie, Frank and Howard. In 1918 he let them take charge for five years
while he vacationed and enjoyed himself. Later in life, he opened three
more Jahn's; one for Elsie in Jamaica, one for Frank in Richmond Hill,
and one for Howard in Flushing.
According to photographs, The Richmond Hill Jahn's opened much later
than the RKO Keith's Albee Theater. The
theater was up and running in 1929 and Jahn's was not there yet, so
we assume this Richmond Hill location happened in the early 1930's.
The soda fountain inside though, is a beauty and was made in 1894. The
one behind the counter was called a Puffer and was from 1888.
The fixtures were made in the "Gay Nineties" style, with the old nickelodeon
(now a quarter) in the back room, stained glass coca cola light fixtures,
and of course the wood booths and woodwork throughout the ice cream
parlor. How many of you have left your initials carved in some part
The Kitchen Sink was complied of a sundae suitable for a group of 6
or more and had many flavors and toppings. There was the 1950's Super
Duper for two... served in a saucepan with 14 flavors of ice-cream,
lashed with ribbons of whipped cream and further enlivened with nuts,
syrup and a heavy dose of chocolate sprinkles. It cost a dollar at the
time! Some of the coolest names were: the Boilermaker, the Awful Awful,
the Suicide Frappe', Screwball's Delight, the Joe Sent Me and the (#”&’$?/)
swamped Jahn's in the 1950's, it was the place to be, and the lines
formed down the street. A favorite date was the Keith's for a movie
and Jahn's for ice cream.
Well, much time has passed and wonderful memories were made in that
spot, and it still is there, although a bit different and the ice cream
is not homemade anymore. But parties are still held in the back room,
and all our names are still etched in the woodwork. Let's hope that
this place full of youthful memories remains with us.
Sadly, Jahn's Ice Cream Parlor ceased operating in Richmond Hill, NY in 2008.