IRISH EYES of Richmond Hill

Almost as long as there’s been a Richmond Hill, the Triangle Hotel building (seen here in 2006)  has marked the triangle where Myrtle Avenue meets Jamaica Avenue. It was built by Charles Paulson in 1868 and was originally rented out as a grocery and post office. By 1893 the building, now owned by John Kerz and operating as a hotel, included an eatery named the Wheelman’s Restaurant in honor of the new bicycling craze.


According to the Richmond Hill Historical Society, Babe Ruth (who was a golf enthusiast in nearby St. Albans) and Mae West were patrons of the Triangle Hofbrau in the 1920s. Vaudeville-era pianist/composer Ernest Ball (1878-1927) wrote the music for the now-standard “When Irish Eyes Are Smiling” in one of the hotel’s guest rooms in 1912.

The Triangle likely looked like this when Ball was creating the music for the song sung universally on March 17th.



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7 Responses to IRISH EYES of Richmond Hill

  1. douglas maloney says:

    that is where the bus along myrtle ended, getting out of school it was the first stop home, anybody without a bus pass we would in thru the back windows—-Richmond hill 57/61

  2. NY2AZ says:

    The Triangle Hofbrau closed in 1999. What a pity. In the mid ’80’s when there was plenty of lucrative Saturday overtime to be had several of us would go there for lunch. The Hofbrau had great woodwork, a terrific menu, fair prices, & professional, polite, efficient waiters. As Willy Nelson once observed: “Ain’t it funny how time slips away?”.

  3. Chris says:

    I remember eating at the Hofbrau as a kid with my parents and brother. Where have all the German restaurants in Queens gone? I can think of 5 others that have since gone and only 1 that is still there.

    • Rich T says:

      The Hofbrau had great imports on tap, Becks, Lowenbrau, A special Dark, Spaten? And they had the best Turtle soup. I also remember Gebharts, Otto’s, Sammetts over in Ridgewood. Bar/Resturant on every corner. Myrtle Ave coast to coast was just unbelievable back in the 50’s and 60’s!! I worked at Finast Supermarket in the 70’s!

    • dan hanley says:

      does anyone recall ‘Volmerdings” bar on corner of myrtle and 60th lane(diagonal) from Glenwood Theatre…my dad used to sing there and we enjoyed the ‘free’ lunches.

      • Robert Conner says:

        I remember Vollmerdings as a kid. Recalls a funny story. One day they had a minor but smoky fire. The firemen arrived and one started to lead Mrs. Vollmerding out to the fresh air. She kept saying to the fireman “I’m Vollmerding, I’m Vollmerding”! The fireman said “just try to hold it in lady until we get outside!”

      • bill Vollmerding says:

        Dan, I’m Vollmerding jr I don’t know if I know you dad or not but, I’m sure my dad does. Bill V.

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