Jahn’s Ice Cream Parlor: One Stop Shop for Food and Ice Cream

BY TRISHA SAKHUJA
Staff Writer

Jahn’s Ice Cream Parlor in Jackson Heights is one of the longest standing restaurants in the neighborhood, having been in business for 117 years.

This particular location at 81-04 37th Ave. has been in the same family for more than 40 years, Peter Moukas, one of the owners said.

Peter said he and his brother, Nick Moukas, have taken on the leadership of the restaurant for the past 15 years.

Jahn’s Ice Cream Parlor has been a member of the Jackson Heights community for more than 100 years.  Photo by Trisha Sakhuja

Jahn’s Ice Cream Parlor has been a member of the Jackson Heights community for more than 100 years.
Photo by Trisha Sakhuja

At one point in time, Peter said there were approximately 26 Jahn’s Ice Cream Parlors spread across the City, but the one in Jackson Heights is the only one remaining.

Peter said the secret to their ongoing success is “great food and great service.”

He said they have seen the neighborhood at its worst in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

“But, it’s been getting better ever since,” he said. “It’s a great place to work and live.”

As the neighborhood has become safer, Peter said the demographics have also changed.

He said during the 1960s and 1970s, more restaurant-goers were of Irish, Italian and Jewish descent, and now it is predominantly Hispanic.

The change in demographics does not matter, because Peter said, “we cater to everybody.”

“We love the neighborhood and our customers,” he added.

As for their menu, they have a diner-style menu that offers a variety of breakfast, lunch and dinner specials.
Peter said their most popular items include their burgers and sandwiches.

Some of the burgers that Peter said were must-try include their standard hamburger, Swiss burger, fondue burger, pizza burger, bacon cheeseburger, turkey burger, vegetable burger, BBQ burger and the English-style burger.

Their sandwiches come with names associated to different neighborhoods in Queens, such as the Jackson Heights sandwich, which contains grilled chicken breast with cheddar cheese, bacon, lettuce tomato and French fries.

Other sandwiches on the menu include the Elmhurst, Woodside and Astoria.

As for their breakfast specials, Peter said, “Our breakfast is a big hit because we have a variety of omelets.”

Their never-ending list of omelets includes their American cheese omelet, Swiss cheese omelet, Spanish omelet, sausage and cheese omelet, spinach omelet, Greek omelet, Italia omelet and many more.

In addition to the omelets, Peter said they also serve the “Jahn’s Big Breakfast,” which includes three eggs, a double order of bacon, ham or sausage, served with three buttermilk pancakes or potatoes and toast.

After your hearty meal is complete, you must try their ice cream, Peter said.

“Ice cream does well mostly over weekends,” he said. “The sales are not as good as they used to be in the 60s and the 70s, but it is very still popular.”

Their selection of ice creams come with unique names, such as the Kitchen Sink, which includes 30 scoops of ice cream for a serving size of eight.

Jahn’s is open Monday to Thursday, from 6 a.m. until 9:30 p.m. On Saturday, it is open from 7 a.m. until 10:30 p.m. and then it reopens Sunday morning at 7 and closes at 9:30 p.m.

Reach Trisha Sakhuja at (718) 357-7400, Ext. 128, tsakhuja@queenstribune.com, or @Tsakhuja13.