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repeal of Prohibition

from SiLive.com:
Schaffer’s Tavern: Historic Staten Island restaurant is closing

By Pamela Silvestri

on September 14, 2016 at 1:22 PM, updated September 15, 2016 at 11:00 AM

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — Rumors have been afloat for more than a year that Schaffer’s Tavern was sold. Well, turns out there’s truth behind the talk.

Pending regulatory and Buildings Department approvals, Victory State Bank is taking over a long-term lease of the historic space at 2055 Victory Blvd. in Meiers Corners.

Construction of a new building will begin in early 2017, according to Joe LiBassi, Victory’s founder and chairman. When that happens, proprietor Winky Schaffer and his family will retire from the restaurant business.

A final day of Schaffer’s Tavern service has not been announced.

SOLID ROOTS ON STATEN ISLAND

Back in March, when rumors ran rampant of a bank taking over the spot, Schaffer shrugged off the chatter as he tended bar. He couldn’t complain about business and admitted it’s been a great stretch — 83 years in Meiers Corners — making the place the longest-running family-owned eatery on Staten Island.

Photos: A look at the enduring appeal of Staten Island's Schaffer's Tavern

Photos: A look at the enduring appeal of Staten Island’s Schaffer’s Tavern

Schaffer’s Tavern, the longest running family-owned restaurant in the borough, celebrates its 80th year

“Hello, my friend! How ya doin’?” said Winky back on that balmy spring day. He reached over to the side to shake hands with a patron, then took back to his spot behind the taps filling chilled mugs with beer.

There’s a lot of history within these knotted pine walls, many fond memories of families and neighborhood “good people” types, Schaffer has said.

And, the story of Schaffer’s goes like this: Winky’s grandfather, George, had a speakeasy, located at the top of Jewett Avenue at Victory Boulevard in the 1920s. (That’s where a Burger King is now.) When Prohibition ended, George opened Schaffer’s in its current building (2055 Victory Boulevard) purchased in 1933. The structure resembles a Bavarian tavern with its flower boxes and roof line.

Winky manages the restaurant with sons Chad and Troy. Some of the family members live in two apartments upstairs.

On Tuesday, waitress Mary Karpeles shuttled to tables Schaffer’s famed pastrami and separate platter of tender, brown sauce-topped fresh sliced ham served with string beans and mashed potatoes. She’s been a server at the restaurant for over 30 years and knows customers by name.

Other long-time employees are held in high esteem like the Schaffers’ late bartenders — Ed Cicci, Ed Lunny, Peter Barquin, Charles “Cookie” Farley, Ed Noonen — who are memorialized in the front room.

THE FEEL OF SCHAFFER’S

Detail inside the two-room tavern include ceramic tile floors and auburn woodwork, both original to Schaffer’s. Only the bar has changed: Seventeen years ago, a fire damaged a mantle that hung over the space and subsequently a carpenter named Joe Tuite built a new back-bar.

Other traditions in the place include small jars or bowls of hot red peppers and vinegar-pickled green tomatoes, potato pancakes and sauteed red cabbage.…

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Link to slideshow of past historic Daily News photos and headlines below shared from the NY Daily News depicts events surrounding the enactment of Prohibition and the celebration of Repeal as they affected New York City. While I knew the late Mayor Jimmy Walker has been no fan of Prohibition (and that enforcement was lax, and he himself was said to have frequented speakeasies), I had no idea that there had been a Beer Parade through city streets, with floats urging that beer be re-legalized and taxed to get the economy out of a slump. Talk about history repeating itself!

http://nydn.us/http://nydn.us/1fcz6PD

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