Neighborhood Relics Still Standing in Forest Hills

BY LUIS GRONDA
Staff Writer

Eddie’s Sweet Shop has served delicious ice cream since 1909.

Eddie’s Sweet Shop has served delicious ice cream since 1909.

Forest Hills is a neighborhood full of history, and with that comes several places that established themselves during the old days of Forest Hills and continue to exist today.

One of those is the famous ice cream store, Eddie’s Sweet Shop.

The ice cream eatery on Metropolitan Avenue first opened in 1909 and is still going strong today, switching ownership four different times but still serving the same delicious ice cream that many have come to love.

In an interview with the Tribune earlier this year, Vito Citrano, the current owner of Eddie’s, said they have stayed open in the neighborhood because they still offer many of the same original ice cream flavors that people love to have on a hot summer day.

“Everything is the same as it was in the 1920s and 1930s,” said Citrano, whose father Giuseppe bought the store in the late 60’s.

It offers 20 different flavors, including your traditional chocolate and vanilla and mostly sticks to the staple flavors instead of more experimental choices. They have added about eight to 10 flavors since they have taken ownership.

All of the ice cream, including all of the toppings and syrups you can add to your purchase, are made on-site, according to Citrano.

The Church-In-The-Gardens located on Ascan Avenue.

The Church-In-The-Gardens located on Ascan Avenue.

The Midway Theatre is another neighborhood staple that has remained in Forest Hills, despite some concerns in the past that it might meet the same demise as Brandon Cinemas and close down.

It first opened in 1942 and was dedicated to Americans who were based in the Pacific during World War II and was named after the “Battle of Midway”

It was designed by Thomas White Lamb, who also designed other historic theaters such as RKO Keith in Flushing and the Ridgewood Theater, which will be partially converted to apartments.

The theater was sold last year for $20.5 million and while there was fear that it would be converted to something other than a movie theater, it continues to show current movies to its customers every day.

The Forest Hills Church-In-The-Gardens first opened in 1915 and parishioners can still go to the facility, located at 50 Ascan Ave, and pray during their daily services every day.

According to the narrative description of significance about the church, which was submitted as part of its application to be designated an historic landmark, the church has remained largely the same since it was first built.

Olivia Sage, Russel Sage’s widow, donated the money that was required to build the church on land that was already the property of area residents who purchased that property.

“The church was to serve as a place where residents of this planned community could join together in worship, but it has since extended its outreach to welcome all comers,” it reads in that document.

Reach Luis Gronda at (718) 357-7400, ext. 127, lgronda@queenstribune.com or @luisgronda.