STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — Which restaurant is the borough’s oldest? If you’ve been following our food coverage in the last few weeks, you’ve noted some interesting discoveries of vintage Staten Island in the restaurant realm.
Just to recap: Earlier this year we traveled to the beautifully refurbished ornate bar at Mac’s Public House in Grant City. It’s a Lincoln Avenue fixture. When O’Henry’s Publick House opened in Tompkinsville last week, co-owner Lisa McFarland proudly showed off its centerpiece — a handsome wood bar. It was salvaged from The Choir Loft, a bar on Bay Street that lived from the ’70s through the early ’90s. And then there was another nostalgic journeythis January — a little reminiscing at Adobe Blues with saloonkeeper Jim Stayoch.
The Adobe building at 63 Lafayette Ave. in New Brighton, as pointed out by Stayoch, has been a restaurant since 1859. It says so on a map rendered when the now Livingston section was called Elliotville. Back then it was a three-story building with a brothel called Cottage Inn. Technically, that makes it the oldest existing structure still functioning as a restaurant.
The old Sailors at Snug Harbor, referred to as “Snuggies” would drink there, Stayoch noted. But in 1907 there was a fire, and that’s when a flat roof repair shaped the building we now recognize as Adobe Blues. In the mid-’60s, the place became Pat McCarthy’s Tavern, home of the singing waiters. The Tavern begat another rendition of Cottage Inn a century later; Adobe came into play in 1992 with its Southwestern theme. The rest is Staten Island restaurant history.
But wait — there’s more. And it goes back before Leroy Moresco bartended at Lee’s Tavern, a Dongan Hills mainstay, with his namesake. Lee owned the place from 1939 to 1969 (plus he was the proprietor of Harmony Park Restaurant and Picnic Grounds, now the Staten Island Advance property). The Palemine family now owns Lee’s. But that establishment is about 70 years too new for our search for the oldest.
Enter Basilio Inn, that sleepy and sweet restaurant at the base of a gravel driveway that closes up each year in winter. (Owner Maurizio Asperti takes time to go back to Italy, since there is no plow access to the restaurant road.)
Basilio Inn was established in 1921. However, the building itself is a carriage house built around 1850, says BaslioInn.com.
The oldest restaurant on Staten Island, established in 1921, is located in that carriage house. It was founded by Italian immigrant Basilio Giovannini.
Old-timers might remember some of the family members who ran the place — the late Giovanni, Amedeo and Adelaide. These days, that job rests on Maurizio, who maintains the gardens and fig trees that bloom in the warmer weather.
And Liedy’s — it might not be the oldest structure, but it is the longest-running, family-owned drinking establishment in the borough and among those in New York City. Larry Liedy’s clan has run the Richmond Terrace destination for four generations. It opened in 1905.
Historian Pat Salmon told the Advance, ““We see Jacob Liedy listed as a saloon keeper in the 1910 census and as a gardener in the 1920 census (Prohibition was in effect).”
She also determined that Killmeyer’s is the oldest Staten Island tavern.
“The oldest section of the building that today houses Killmeyer’s Old Bavaria Inn dates from around 1845,” said Salmon of the digs at 4254 Arthur Kill Rd. Originally used as a store, Salmon says that Balthazar Kreischer purchased the place in 1855 and sold it to Nicholas Killmeyer in 1859. The Killmeyer’s ran the place until 1947 and it was taken over by the Simonson family, first named Simonson’s Inn and then the Century Inn.
Flip forward to 1995, when Ken Tirado took the place over with two business partners. They called it “Killmeyer’s Old Bavaria Inn.” And, so it lives on the corner of Sharrotts Road with the world’s largest Hummel. That 8-foot, super-sized version of the “The Merry Wanderer” figurine travelled to Staten Island from its former home in Mercer County, N.J. And since 2014 it’s carved out its own history and Tirado’s kept true to his original word of providing the Hummel a “happy home.”
MORE IN FOOD:
New Mac’s Public House invokes Grant City nostalgia with restored bar
O’Henry’s Publick House: A taste of the food in the new Tompkinsville tavern
Bravo Pizza comes to the former Gennaro’s location
How Greek It Is fires up pizza oven
Wasn’t Staten Island supposed to get a Fairway?
Source: Thanks https://www.silive.com/entertainment/2020/01/which-restaurant-is-staten-islands-oldest.html