I would’ve posted this blog right after Labor Day, but life got in the way. Back in August, I did the last of the pilgrimages to summer treats. The last pilgrimage would take us to Jackson Heights, Queens. Home of the last ice cream parlor standing.
Jahn’s was a pretty successful ice cream chain back in its heyday. It’s sugary magnum opus was and still is the infamous Kitchen Sink Sundae. It had locations scattered about the tri-state area, even reaching two towns within the Florida state so it could cater to NYC transplants. However, as with everything else, tastes change and so began the decline of Jahn’s. As I type this, there is only one Jahn’s location surviving, which is the Jackson Heights location. The Richmond Hill location recently closed in 2007.
Apparently the Richmond Hill parlor was an ice cream time warp, where as the Jackson Heights one looks more 1970s/early ’80s. The slightly 70s look is due to a fire some time ago. A Geritol vibe lingered as we walked inside. Its main clientele seemed to be retired senior citizens, quietly chomping on their orders. The only exception was a young couple taking their bratty toddler out for an afternoon treat.
We placed our order, adding a side of french fries for a taste of some ‘real’ food. This is what we got:
To our pleasant surprise, it was actually delicious. Comfort food at its finest. So while Eddie’s Sweet Shop in Forest Hills had the retro decor, Jahn’s delivered where it counts, the taste buds. So if your waist line knows no bounds, perhaps you can dare to try the Kitchen Sink sundae. I say you try it because I’m not going up another dress size.
In tribute, here’s the last of my summer treat sketch series:
*Photos by Ben Herman