Sheepshead Bay: The siren song of the shoreline
Eye On Real Estate
Cherry Hill for breakfast, Liman for lunch — Emmons Avenue is awesome.
When the weather in Brooklyn was freakishly warm the other day, we heard the siren song of the shoreline calling us. All of a sudden, Sheepshead Bay seemed like a place we really needed to be.
We longed to sit at Cherry Hill Gourmet Market’s outdoor café and take in the scenery.
A fanciful bit of our brain hoped for a glimpse of the ghost of Irving Lundy, who lived in an upstairs apartment with 14 Irish setters when the building where the market is a tenant housed his famous seafood restaurant Lundy Brothers. But really — how unrealistic. Why would a ghost show up during the daytime?
We longed to eat royal durado, a Mediterranean fish, at Turkish restaurant Liman.
We wanted to walk along the water by the fishing boats and look at Manhattan Beach’s mansions on the far shore.
Hurricane Sandy inflicted such misery on this avenue. We remember it all too well.
On this oddly mild day two years after the killer storm, we were thankful to see most of Emmons Avenue’s commercial spaces filled with functioning businesses.
LET THEM EAT CAKE … FOR BREAKFAST
When we got to 1901 Emmons Ave., where Cherry Hill Gourmet is located, the tables weren’t out on the sidewalk. It had rained earlier, so that made sense.
But no matter. It’s entertaining to step inside the market, with its bountiful bakery (the wild strawberry tart is sooo pretty) and in-house florist. The ceilings are decorated with frescoes of cherry-tree branches and the produce department is stocked with fresh cherries — such eye candy.
The restaurant upstairs is called Lundy’s Café in honor of the famous restaurant that occupied the building for many decades. See the related story about the late owner of the original Lundy’s.
The café menu listed appealing omelets, including one with veal sausage in it. But after a long ride on the Q train, our resolve to eat like a responsible adult dissolved. We chose caramel-walnut cake for breakfast.
It went so well with tea, which was brewed in a pot from loose tea leaves and served in a small glass with two types of sugar lumps.
BAIT SHOPS AND NIGHT CLUBS
Back outside on Emmons Avenue’s shoreline, a foot bridge with a blue railing beckoned.
In the bay, swans swam in stately splendor and deigned to eat bread cast upon the waters by admiring pedestrians up on the sidewalk. Seagulls screeched and swooped in for their share of the fare.
The sun came out and made the hulls of the boats docked at Sheepshead Bay Piers glow. These vessels take anglers out for fishing excursions.
Emmons Avenue has its share of night clubs, motels and apartment complexes, but fishing remains part of the business landscape, a holdover from decades past. Can you think of any other Brooklyn retail corridor with two bait shops?
We saw Stella Maris Fishing Station at 2702 Emmons Ave. and Bernie’s Bait and Tackle at 3035 Emmons Ave.
Pretty sailboats tied up in the bay distracted us from local landmarks like Randazzo’s Clam Bar at 2017 Emmons Ave. The half-century-old seafood restaurant made a comeback after suffering damage from Hurricane Sandy.
We were diverted from our mission of lunching at Liman — and wound up with just enough time for a quick detour to the Dessert Palace at 2265 Emmons Ave., where we sat on the plastic-enclosed patio and soaked up the sunshine.
HOW DO YOU SAY ‘THANK YOU’ IN TURKISH?
Once lodged in our brain, the idea of eating at Liman was irresistible, though.
We returned the following day to Sheepshead Bay’s shoreline — this time after dark, so we could snap a shot of the restaurant all lit up like a beacon.
The fish at Liman is fabulous. The waiters will deftly debone it at your table if you wish, and teach you how to say “Thank you” in Turkish, too, if you ask. (It’s teşekkür ederim, if you’re wondering.)
The restaurant had to be extensively rebuilt after Hurricane Sandy.
By the way, the building where it’s a tenant, 2710 Emmons Ave., belongs to Stella Maris Fishing Station Inc., Finance Department records indicate.
Of course, that’s the company that owns the bait store, which is right next door. The Lauro brothers, who opened the shop many decades ago and have passed away, are fondly remembered by folks who like to fish in Sheepshead Bay.
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