ROCK PALACE, Marine Park

by Kevin Walsh

Why am I showing a nondescript corner in Marine Park, Quentin Road at East 35th Street? The corner seems newly remodeled, with a day care center occupying the ground floor.


When I previously shuffled by in September 2002 it looked like this and was home to a catering hall.


Back in the 1970s, though, this was one of the premier rock venues in Brooklyn, Zappa’s, which for a time was known as the Rock Palace. The Good Rats were one of the premier live acts in the Northeast from the 1960s into the 2000s.

Tommy Dean Najarian, Zappas’ sound engineer:

For you history buffs, Zappa’s used to be located on the corner of 35th Street and Quentin Road before moving down the block to the corner of 36th Street and Quentin Road. The original site was then converted to Fantasy Island disco, then Marquee. Prior to Zappa’s, it was also the home of the Rock Palace and Camelot niteclubs. Some of us spent a good deal of our lives working at the club in it’s various incarnations. 

After its conversion to a disco, the hard rock scene in Brooklyn shifted to L’Amour in Bensonhurst in 1981, which packed them in with top metal acts until 2004.  By then, the Brooklyn concert scene was shifting again to Williamsburg.

The “outer” boroughs had a lively rock scene in the Super Seventies, utterly unwritten about these days. The top British and American bands in the world played The Ritz in Port Richmond, Staten Island, including the Kinks, Yes and Jethro Tull. For a time the Grateful Dead had a virtual residency in the Albee Theater in Borough Park, Brooklyn, playing matinee shows in what was temporarily called the 46th Street Rock Palace and later, Bananafish Gardens.





Bob Sklar September 19, 2014 - 9:11 am

In the 1960’s, there was a catering hall in Queens called Arele’s (sp?) at Horace Harding Expwy North at 193rd St. By 1995 it had become a funeral parlor, and is now a Jewish center. There is something inherently funny about a catering hall morphing into a funeral parlor. Did they get hold of some bad prime rib?

Stuart Burnett October 2, 2014 - 8:36 pm

From catering hall to bier hall, I guess…

Joy October 28, 2014 - 12:32 pm

Yes, the catering hall was called Arele’s. My grandparents celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary there, probably in the mid 1950’s.

Laura C November 25, 2014 - 4:03 am

Joy, my grandparents did too, in August 1960! On the back of the photo taken at the event, I have “Arele’s New Roumanian, Horace Harding Bl. Flushing.” I didn’t attend the party; I was naughty that day, so my folks left me at home in New Haven. 🙁

Herbert Schonhaut January 2, 2019 - 1:40 am

Arele’s was at corner of Horace Harding Blvd (LIE north service road) and 162 Street not 193 St. It became Sinai Chapels in 1979 not 1995 and is still Sinai Chapels not a Jewish Center.

Martin Gutman March 19, 2019 - 3:24 pm

My bar mitzvah was there on March 19, 1959. Today is March 19, 2019.

FNY Fan Skipper September 22, 2014 - 11:22 am

And don’t forget L’Amour’s East on Queens Boulevard in Elmhurst.

JAD May 9, 2020 - 2:38 pm

In the early 80′ in Sheepshead Bay, “The Brooklyn Zoo” had bands like Billy Idol, and Mountain to name 2. Much earlier it was Perrys clothing store and a bowling alley. Now it’s a big vacant building believed to be a fire hazard because of poor egress.

Michael September 23, 2014 - 6:13 pm

I grew up in Marine Park and rember the copper penny and flame restaurants.

S.K. October 19, 2018 - 10:21 pm

I remember the really cool counter there that had all these pennies encased in acrylic!

Stevo January 28, 2022 - 6:16 pm

Haha! The Flame! Long gone, but that place seemed cursed. After it burned down, the next two or three restaurants it became also burned. The name fits.

Anonymous November 17, 2018 - 9:29 pm

this was my father’s place. Half of the world had simchas with us.

Gbear711 November 18, 2018 - 2:56 pm

Anyone else see the Rascals at Action City?

Leonard Gromkoski March 3, 2019 - 9:57 pm

I saw the rascals, Keith, Tommy James cause I was involved with the cover group ” the what four” ,who opened for them back then. Action city was on Flatbush Ave. before you got to the belt pkway. Lots of fun and great times.

John May 25, 2021 - 7:11 pm

Yup …

Rosemary January 27, 2019 - 12:27 pm

Was this location a nightclub called Camelot?

Tom Najarian March 15, 2019 - 1:03 am

Yes, prior to being converted to Rock Palace.

Danny B. April 10, 2019 - 11:43 am

The guy who owned it was a guy from France I believe.. he’s a real piece of shit is trying to get thunders kid to pay back a debt. Which first of all don’t even know if it’s legit second of all the kid had nothing to do with it he wasn’t even born yet actually he was just born and I have been about 2 years old. Even if this was true and the debt had to be paid are you fucking kidding me you’re going to bother Johnny Thunders kid.

Bobby Black January 28, 2022 - 9:00 pm

For a while in the 90s it was also called Christophers, and they had a weekly metal night (I want to say Wednesdays?) It was a really happening scene. The Type O Negative guys were in there a lot, since their rehearsal studio Ace London was on the next corner, and the guitarist Kenny’s mom lived on that exact block (she probably still does). I know because the first apartment I got after moving out of my parents house was in her basement, so I hung out with them—and at Christophers—a lot. Was great to be able to stumble home in 2 minutes after getting trashed there every week LOL

Kelly February 18, 2022 - 12:32 am

I remember the big bald bouncer when it was Christopher’s I think his name was “big Don” nice guy .


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