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Nov 25, 2012 09:38 AM

Bye Bye Nathan's Yonkers

Anyone go to the nostalgia event there yesterday? I heard that it's still open today (Sunday) and that this is definitely the last day. Feel bad for the workers, they are out of work. Big signs for the restaurant equipment and game machines to be auctioned off. (American Pickers should be notified!)

How do the hot dogs at Epstein's compare? (It's 1 minute up the road)

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  1. My husband took our son for one last hurrah on Saturday. It's very sad - spent so much time there growing up. But it's definitely evolved over the years, and not in a good way. I remember the Adventurer's Inn section and the Ben & Jerry's outpost along with the kiddie arcade and the main arcade. Going there was such an event! Too bad it all had to end. I feel very bad for the workers too. Hopefully there will be jobs waiting for them when it reopens.

    I haven't had a hot dog at Epstein's in years though - I always go for the Smokey Joe's platter and their full sour pickles! Sorry!

    1. DH and I went early on Saturday, but did not catch the nostalgia event. Took a lot of pictures, had some fries, and remembered some fun times from childhood.

      Hot dogs at Epstein's are pretty good... maybe even a little better than what Nathan's had been serving lately.

      2 Replies
      1. re: iluvcookies

        Interesting-- someone else said to go to Epstein's. Aren't there 2 Epstein's with different management? Confusing.

        1. re: lemarais

          I'm referring to the Epstein's in Yonkers, next to Marshall's shoe shop.
          The other Epstein's is in Hartsdale next to Christmas Tree Shop but I've never eaten there. I heard there is different management between the two (possibly on another thread here) but I don't know the whole story.

      2. I stopped in by myself grabbed a hotdog (it was fine) sat in my car in the parking lot and said goodbye. It still to this day breaks my heart to think about Salim Rabadi the Jordanian imigrant busboy who was beaten almost to death with a bat behind Nathans in the dumpster area in the 70's. Nathans (the building) has always been a monument of sorts in my mind, a reminder of what happened to him. Although he was not killed I always felt he should have been acknowledged in some way. I suppose I will never forget this story because of how sensless it was, because one of the accused lived in the house on the street behind mine our back yards abbuted each other and because I was sad and scared. Please moderators...I admit this is slightly off topic but in honor of Salim Rabadi please don't remove the post.

        6 Replies
        1. re: chowdom

          That is a very interesting look into the history of the place, and a sad story about Mr. Rabadi.

          Nathan's was a very popular hangout, and of course this attracted both good and bad. I will remember playing arcade games and eating fries there--it was one of the first places I went after getting my driver's license.

          1. re: iluvcookies

            Agreed and Yes...I'm sorry I have good memories too, but they came years later. Half of the photos my sister still has in her possession were taken in the photo booth,lol.

          2. re: chowdom

            I had no idea that happened. How awful. My experience at Nathan's started in the mid 80s at around age 7, so that's probably why. :o(

            I remember how popular Nathan's was as a hangout. My older sister (who had just gotten her license in 1985) spent a lot of time with her friends outside the building in the space that turned into the drive-thru area. I'll never forget all the boys on their motorcycles that hung out there as well - no wonder she was there so much!

            And I loved that photo booth too -- my mom and I took 3 photos together in there after a fun evening in the arcade when I was about 10 years old. If I remember right, it was a treat for bringing home a good report card. I cherish those pics.

            1. re: Sra. Swanky

              I was one of those boys with motorcycles and hot rod's who hung out at Nathan's From around fall 1979 right until the late 80's.

              1. re: JMF

                JMF - haha! Maybe you and my sister crossed paths!

            2. re: chowdom

              I moved to the area in the mid-70's and never heard about that incident.

            3. I stopped by Nathan's one last time a week before they closed. Had two dogs and fries. I always, since I was a teen, ask for well done. Nice golden crispy dogs, one slathered with sauerkraut, the other with sauteed onions, both with mustard. And to get well done fries they take an order and throw it back in the fryer for a few minutes, they come out so much better when twice cooked. I dunk them in both ketchup and the Nathan's mustard. I will miss the fries well done most of all.

              I started hanging out at Nathan's in the late 70's, especially when I got my drivers license in '79 and got my first muscle car. Used to hot rod up and down Central Ave, stopping by Nathan's for a hot dog and fries, and to meet girls from other schools than mine. I never played the pinball machines, or video games when they appeared on the scene, I was more interested in all the giggling girls. Tuesdays and Thursdays were the big Hot Rod Cruising nights. Later on in the mid-80's one of the nights became more motorcycle oriented, with a breakdown between cruisers, and race bikes once they made the scene. I had both types of bikes at one time or another since I started riding at age 12.

              2 Replies
              1. re: JMF

                There is a sad article in the NY Times about restaurants in Brooklyn destroyed by Sandy. Nathan's is still not open.

                I miss Nathan's in Yonkers even though we rarely ate there.

                1. re: JMF

                  I had an order of wd FF's too with my hotdog and dipped them in ketchup, mustard and tartar sauce ...not an easy thing to do whilst in the car reminiscing. I knew several of the boys that were friends with the boy involved in the incident you were referring to involving the career criminals, the original group involved in the 70's were just thugs. Regarding the Coney Island Nathan's I learned about the damage when making a donation to the Aquarium to help with the damage they incurred. Can't think of Coney Island without Nathan's! They had no date set to re open as the damage was extensive.

                2. When I was a child in the 60s, my parents would bring us there for two reasons: the cheese danishes (!), and for the fact that we could all independently get our own lunches. I loved being able to get on line by myself to get a hot dog or a slice of pizza. But the best part was the fries, with those long wooden forks.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: spa

                    Yes the forks...when did they do away with them, they were great for picking up the crunchy bits at the bottom and somehow they enhanced the taste of the fries.