Hildebrandt's, a beloved 1920s Long Island soda shop, scrambles for landmark status after sale falls through

Wednesday, August 5, 2020
Hildebrandt's, iconic Long Island luncheonette, announces it's closing
Hildebrandt's, a beloved 1920s Long Island luncheonette and candy store, announced on Monday that it will be closing.

WILLISTON PARK, NY -- After announcing that they were closing because their building was sold, the family that has long operated Hildebrandt's, a beloved 1920s Long Island luncheonette and candy store on Long Island, says they have gotten a reprieve after the new owner backed out of the deal.

Hildebrandt's is now scrambling to obtain landmark status for the historic business, but the building is still on the market, for $538,000. They admit they are "in the dark" about the situation and the window for a positive outcome is limited. "We love you all so much and hope to continue Hildebrandt's as it is," the family said after an outpouring of support on social media and even a Change.org petition to save the restaurant.

The new owner, Hildebrandt's said, had no intention to preserve the business, famed for its soda fountain, comfort food and ice cream, and dramatic neon signage on its turquoise facade. The restaurant recently appeared in Martin Scorsese's film, "The Irishman."

"With whatever time we may have we are working to make Hildebrandt's a landmark so even when the building is sold it will ALWAYS remain our beloved place," the restaurant said in a Facebook post.

The shop, run by the same family for 46 years, had announced on Monday afternoon that it would be closing in aa few months and that the contents of the store, which include such prized vintage objects as a wooden phone booth and a Coca-Cola soda dispenser, would be sold.

This is the full, originall statement:

It's with great sadness and a heavy heart that we announce Hildebrandt's will no longer be in buisness within the next few months. Unrelated to COVID the landlords of the building have decided to sell it and the new owners will be creating something different. It's been 93 years of this amazing place and 46 years in our family. Although we don't want to part with it we are grateful for the memories and love built around this wonderful place. We have decided that we will be selling anything inside including our phone booth! Serious inquires only please feel free to message us!

Reaction was swift, with hundreds of comments on the Facebook post, some wondering why the restaurant is not a protected landmark.

"This makes me incredibly sad to see. We got chocolate bunnies and sugar eggs every year for Easter since we were babies. I never thought I'd see the day your doors would close. Thank you for all the memories and I wish you all the best," wrote Jennifer Marie.

Wrote Francine L. Morgenstern: "This is a Long Island landmark and full of history and memories. No one wants a new anything there."

Below: Click to see photos of Hildebrandt's

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.