VELVET CUP, Flushing

162nd Street in Flushing, my home base between 1993 and 2007,  was bookended by two ancient and hoary taverns, the Velvet Cup near Northern and Paddy Quinn’s, near Sanford. Quinn’s is still hanging in as Paddy’s Tavern, but a number of businesses have shuffled through where the Velvet Cup used to be. Sharp-eyed observers on the LIRR can still see the sign, which was removed and placed on the building’s roof — I haven’t checked of late, but it may still be there. The Velvet Cup space is currently occupied by an outfit called the Boomerang Bar. Across the street at 162nd and Station Road was a large grocery where I would stop and pick up something for the evening, Milk Barn Farms. That is now the White Noise Coffee Co., where millennials freelance on their laptops (the old Scobee Diner in Little Neck also turned into one of these places). A similar outfit called Coffee Monster is a few doors away. Steve’s Coffee Shop, and the pizzeria next door, are there as they were in the mid-1990s. 

I gather that people drink gallons of coffee per capita. I have one cup per year, at one relative’s house or another, during the Christmas holidays.

Nearby on Northern Boulevard was a full-blown Irish joint called Bridie’s, which baked their own soda bread. The Bridie’s space is now given over to the I Luv Luxury Room Cafe on the ground floor, with a  Korean-language Presbyterian Church on the second floor. 

I told parts of this story while accepting a Best Website Award from the Guides Association of New York in March 2015 but I’ll tell it again here. When I worked at Publishers Clearing House in the 1990s, there was an art director named Steve Molaro who I used to hitch a ride to the LIRR Port Washington terminal once in awhile. When I told him I was starting Forgotten NY, he let me have some software called Adobe Pagemaker, which I used for 5 years to create FNY pages. Our careers diverged wildly after that because Steve went on to be a big time Hollywood producer for the runaway hit Big Bang Theory. I went where I went.

I’m trying to confirm it but rumor has it that Steve and a couple friends once stumbled into the Velvet Cup back when it was open. Maybe the Big Bang Theory gang could stumble into an old man bar and see what kind of hilarity ensues.

Check out the ForgottenBook, take a look at the gift shop, and as always, “comment…as you see fit.”


(For some reason, my 162nd Street page from a few years ago is one of my most commented-on pages. I have no idea why.)

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8 Responses to VELVET CUP, Flushing

  1. Sue Coyne says:

    Great place I worked for a brief time there but the Log Inn I worked for a few years. My family owned the pest control business across from Paddy Quinn. Stil going but up across from Flushing Ambulance.

  2. Peter says:

    While the reasons are subject to debate, neighborhood bars are in major decline throughout the country.

  3. Anonymous says:

    My cousins stepfather owned the velvet cup.way back when

  4. Imran A Malik says:

    So many incredible fond memories were made there.

  5. Pete McDonnell says:

    I used to work at Scaturro’s Supermarket, on Crocheron and 162. We grew up visiting Milk Barn, after Sunday Mass. Also, we often bought our Christmas Trees from under the 162 nd st trestle. One year, while toting the tree, we hit all the bars down to Popeye’ s Pub. The next day, we forgot about it, and repeated. The year we it two Christmas Trees.
    Great job, thanks!!

  6. Rocky P. says:

    Some one mentioned the Log Inn. I remember when it was Harry Levines Log Inn. I remember when Harry put up that big HARRY’S BAR sign. RIP Harry

  7. B says:

    162nd Street before it became a den of vice. These bars certainly had there share of trouble, but the drugs/prostitution that has taken over 162nd Street now were off limits at places like Popeyes.

  8. Dave Cuneo says:

    I used to buy some nice bottles of vino at the Liquor Store there. My mom was a Flushing Volunteer Ambulance EMT and dispatcher for many years.

    Dave Cuneo
    Wilmington, DE.

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