02 February 2009

Checking in With the Sunview Luncheonette

On a cold spring day Last April, I discovered the Sunview Luncheonette—too late. The almost-too-perfect Greenpoint diner, founded in 1963 at the corner of Russell and Nassau in Greenpoint, had been closed by the Department of Health some months prior to my visit. A little detective work uncovered that the old Greek woman who ran it was heartbroken, but had no plans to reopen. The place was famous among its patrons for its humble, friendly service, absolutely unchanging decor and ridiculously low prices. (Nothing seemed to cost more than $2.)

While in Greenpoint recently, I went out of my way to look in on the Sunview. Though I never had the pleasure of visiting, it has some mysterious claim on my heart.

It is just as it was. Nothing has changed in nine months. The same signs in the window, the same DOH notices, the interior untouched and apparently maintained to a certain extent (it didn't look overly dusty). The building still appears to be owned by the Greeks, according to city records. Perhaps they can't bear to part with it, or can't find a buyer in these hard times. For now, it's a living museum of luncheonette history, one you can't gain admission to.


Ken Mac said...

another long island restaurant...all these ghosts

Evan Bray said...

If you knock on the door, B would let you and you could have a looksy. They still live in the back. Her son was trying to help them get up to code with the DOH but, for example, they'd have to remove the phone booth, new fridges, etc...

They spoke as if they were going to reopen but obviously never did. It's really sad. I miss my 150 cheeseburger made with love with an egg cream. That's right, egg cream. Still not quite sure how I never got food poisoning. She'd always pull out the raw ground beef, form a patty; then, immediately cut my tomato and bun without washing. I don't want to talk about the fingernails. I guess it was sanitized with love.