It's looking to be a lousy week for neighborhood institutions.
Diner saver Michael Perlman wrote in to say that the longstanding Jay Dee Bakery, at 98-92 Queens Blvd, Forest Hills, has closed its doors after nearly 60 years. He didn't say when exactly it closed, just that it closed. Being Perlman (the man who found a home for the Moondance and Cheyenne Diners), he's trying to save it in any way he can. This does not appear to include keeping the business open. Instead, he said:
n Aug 10th, my colleague and I met with the owner, and tried to convince him to preserve and adaptively reuse the property, making him eligible for grants, positive media, & awards. It will be transformed into a Russian restaurant, and the owner decided that he is not interested in preserving its historic Art Deco features. The news is unfortunate, but the owner said he will give away any salvagable Art Deco features for free, if an individual, organization, or museum is interested. Rego-Forest Preservation Council is hoping that several features will live on elsewhere and showcased or creatively and adaptively reused, which has been done countrywide. We would be saddened if these unique businesses' Art Deco attributes are demolished forever.
Among the Art Deco feature one could conceivably claim are:
- The classic reverse channel neon sign reading Jay Dee Bakery;
- Ravenna green mosaic columns surrounding the window, which features a classic Art Deco orange and red vertical swirl pattern that resembles jewels;
- Art Deco Lucite door and steel handle with "Pull" etched vertically;
- Window featuring a variety of vintage tiered wedding and birthday cake models;
- Exterior green terrazzo exterior floor (which likely continues inside underneath current floor tile);
- Circular Art Deco recessed ceiling & indented cake displays built into upper walls (silhouettes); and
- Any original counters & the brass cake tie devices hanging from the ceiling.
I visited Jay Dee only once, blogging about it back in April 2006. I was, in fact, one of my earliest posts on Lost City. It was a lovely, old style place. I bought a Passover cake there that, against all odds, tasted quite good.