History bloggers, myself included, have long been confounded by Long Island City's Brooks 1890 Restaurant, a purportedly old eatery on Court House Square that seems to have no traceable history. Who founded it? What was it like in the old days? What do the "K" and "N" in the stained-glass canopy behind the bar stand for? Nobody knows, not even the current owners.
Well, a reader recently wrote in with a critical piece of information. Before Mr. Brooks (actually Bill "Brooks" Gounaris) bought the place in the 1970s and slapped his name on the joint, the place was called Court Square Restaurant. Armed with that tidbit, I was able to do some new research. Here's what I found. It was called that as early at the 1920s. In 1928, the restaurant was the site of the, um, the Queensboro Kennel Club monthly dog show. Same happened in 1929 and on and on. No DOH back then, I guess. Weird. The Queensboro Kennel Club are spoken of as a very "progressive organization."
OK, it's not much, but it's something. The search continues.