THE LAST JAHN’S, Jackson Heights

Jahn’s chain of ice cream “shoppes” once covered the NYC metropolitan area with a heady combination of lactose and sucrose. The first Jahn’s was opened way back in 1897 in Mott Haven, Bronx by John Jahn, which (disappointingly) is pronounced “John JAN.” His three children, Elsie, Frank and Howard, opened Jahn’s in Jamaica, Richmond Hill, and Flushing respectively. More Jahn’s opened in the metropolitan area, since I recall the Bensonhurst location for a post-high-school graduation meal. I remember that graduation as quite the accomplishment.

Jahn’s is most celebrated for its Kitchen Sink sundae, which is large enough to serve six.

One — and only one — Jahn’s location remains: 81-04 37th Avenue in Jackson Heights. A Richmond Hill Jahn’s on Hillside Avenue near Myrtle remained in business until 2007. Unfortunately this Jahn’s does not contain the classic stained-glass fixtures and red leather seats that its Richmond Hill entry did — its interior is rather mundane. But the menu is still classic.


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15 Responses to THE LAST JAHN’S, Jackson Heights

  1. Chris F says:

    We used to have one in Eastchester, which was a magnet for all of lower Westchester. Remember fondly some fun times there.

    And I remember an episode of Fernwood Tonight where Martin Mull was given a version of a Kitchen Sink – including brown sprinkles / jimmies to replicate whiskers in a man’s ‘Bathroom Sink’.

  2. Andy says:

    In my college days, late 60s, I frequented the Jahn’s in the Fordham section of The Bronx, located on Kingsbridge Road just west of Fordham Road. Don’t know when it closed, but it was long ago. I do remember Frank Jahn’s name displayed in the front. And one time a bunch of us did order the kitchen sink!

  3. LC says:

    OMG the Jahn’s in Union NJ was our classic ice cream parlor growing up in the 60’s and 70’s. I even had my wedding shower there just before they closed in 1987. I had no idea there were other locations, and could never find any information on their history back in the pre internet dark ages.
    Thanks for this!

  4. Barry Rivadue says:

    Knew Jahns circa 1964 in East Meadow, NY. Best, and I mean BEST charcoal flamed hamburger ever in memory.

  5. Rick says:

    My father built the Jahn’s in NJ, it was in Paramus I think, and knew Frank Jahn. We went there often as kids in the 1960s.

    You got a free sundae on your birthday as a policy of theirs.

    On my somewhat attitude altered 18th birthday my friends and I walked from the West Village to the Battery then up to the Bronx Botanical Gardens. Stumbled on the Fordham Road location, but I had no ID to show it was my birthday.

    Cool website, stumbled onto it researching old Brooklyn rail lines.


  6. Jan says:

    Jahn’s (in Fordham for me) was a special place to go, especially on birthdays (free sunday!). I remember taking my future wife there on a date before the place closed in the 70s A few years ago I visited the Jackson Heights location with my son (on my birthday no less) so he could experience a taste of his parents’ past. Hopefully the last parlor hangs on for years creating new memories for many.

  7. Billy Florio says:

    I remember going to the one in Rockville Centre when I was a little kid.

  8. Jeff B. says:

    The Fair Lawn, NJ Jahn’s was the one I frequented during the 70’s and 80’s. All of the waiters and waitresses were pros! Old timers who took your order without writing it down – and put the right ice cream concoction in front of the right person despite a table of 5, 6 or more all changing seats. Our favorite waiter was Marty. He would tell us high school kids “dirty” jokes and make some really “interesting” sundaes that always generated lots of laughs!

    Kevin – Have a Happy, Safe and Healthy New Year! Thanks for giving us your amazing site.

    – Jeff

  9. Beatrice Rothman says:

    My husband’s father owned a Jahn’s in New York (think it was in Brooklyn). I went there in the 70’s regularly with my sister and was probably served by him. We met in 1986 and got married. He always told me the greatest and funniest stories about his time as a waiter in his father’s restaurant.

  10. Billy G says:

    Friend lives in the apartment building above.

    Was in this one dozens of times.


    • brian says:

      what floor and what years? i was really good friends with a family of ecuadorians that lived above the jahns, the entrance to the stairs for the apartment was in the little foyer before entering the restaurant. i still go every year for my sundae, and so doe sthe rest of my family.

  11. Larry says:

    There was a Jahn’s on Flatbush Ave across from the Loew’s Kings in Flatbush and a great date night place after a movie…

  12. steve says:

    There were quite a few Jahn’s. I recall one on the north side of Queens Blvd near the Rego Park / Forest Hills border, a few blocks west of the Trylon Theater.

  13. Mark says:

    The Jahn’s in Jackson Heights had a policy – a free sundae on your birthday. I’m not sure if the others did as well.

  14. Anonymous says:

    My older brother took me and my younger brother there for ice cream after I got stitches (Jackson Heights) when I was about 10.. mmmm best ice cream ever!!!! Apparently it was my older brother’s spot!!! love himRIP

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