Forgotten New York is a program of the Greater Astoria Historical Society, a non-profit organization supported by the Long Island City community.
Only remaining remnant of Fishbein’s, which was either a convenience or hardware store at Astoria Boulevard and 21st Street in Queens.
Categorized in: One Shots
Fishbeins was a convenience store along with a seperate liquor store. originally some parts of it had apts above it. it was, i believe, seperate buildings that were made into one. also was a family business handed down from father to son. last time i went thru there it was still a mosque or a hindu temple or some such house of worship. has it changed???? had a major fire in 71 or 72
Fishbiens was a deli back in the 70s&80s. We went there for cold beer on hot summer nights. After the 80s I dont know what became of it.
Convenience store – it was very much a going concern in the early 1970s, with the bus stops at the intersection. The hardware store was at the corner of 14th St, catty-corner to the library, running through about four of the shop fronts there. Don’t remember the name offhand, but it was one of those old-school establishments where if they didn’t have what you wanted on the shelves the owner or one of his sons would vanish into the basement and come back with it, however obscure or impossible the request.
The hardware store at the corner of 14th Street & Astoria Blvd. was Reichman’s. (I’m not sure of the correct spelling).
As a young teenager, I was raised in Astoria in the early 1950′s and remember Fishbein’s well! It started out as a humble newspaper/magazine/candy stand – a literal hole in the wall! Max Fishbein, a wonderful, gentle man, was the proprietor and was always receiving continuous comments and instructions from his wife upstairs by way of a 2-way speaker system. The Fishbeins had two children, Leon and Barbara (“Babs”). Leon was in the Army during the Korean War and eventually returned to help run the store, as his father’s health declined. Leon began the gradual expansion of the store into a full-service convenience facility. The liquor and deli operations must have come later after my family moved from Astoria. Leon also found time to own and manage the small Square movie theatre a few blocks away on Newtown Avenue. These were “golden” years for me!
I used to know the Fishbein family that owned the convenience store.
You can see Fishbeins in the movie “Crazy Joe” about gangster Joe Gallo. I lived across the street at a young age and my cousins continue to live there today on 21st street across from the Irish famine cemetary.
The time 1967 1969; a cross the street from Fishbein’s
north-west corner there was a burger place with huge packing lot call
“Yankee Burger”. Afterward, it was a Exxon Gas Station, now a apartment complex.
Now for some historic trivia: the triangle building near Fishbein; where Astoria Blvd emerge with 27th Avenue is a landmark. This building is well over 100 years old. Check an historic Queens New York book to verify it.
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