Thursday, August 27, 2009
Jay Dee Bakery Closes its Doors
Russian Restaurant Will Replace It
By Conor Greene
Local preservationists and historians were saddened to learn that Jay Dee Bakery on Queens Boulevard has closed its doors and will be converted into a Russian restaurant.
While the Rego Park neighborhood institution - well known for its kosher treats - will be lost forever, Michael Perlman of the Rego-Forest Preservation Council is spearheading an effort to save the distinctive features of the Art Deco building on Queens Boulevard. He recently tried to convince the owner to preserve and adaptively reuse the property to no avail.
However, the owner did agree to give away any salvageable Art Deco features to any individuals, museums or groups that are interested in obtaining a piece of the bakery’s history for free. “The Rego-Forest Preservation Council is hoping that several features will live on elsewhere and showcased or creatively and adaptively reused, which has been done countrywide,” said Perlman. “We would be sad if these unique businesses’ Art Deco attributes are demolished forever.”
Perlman first learned in mid-July that the bakery was closing its doors after 60 years. “I had to do a double-take,” he recalled. “I found it heartbreaking on the basis of it being one of the earliest remaining businesses in the neighborhood, one of the oldest mom and pop style bakeries in the boroughs, an Art Deco commercial gem that drew patrons in, which is currently few and far between,” said he, recalling visits to the bakery as a child.
Among the available items are a Jay Dee Bakery neon sign; Ravenna green mosaic columns surrounding the window, which feature a class Art Deco orange and red vertical swirl pattern; Art Deco Lucite door and steel handle with “pull etched vertically; green terrazzo exterior floor; circular Art Deco recessed ceiling and indented cake displays built into upper walls.
On Wednesday, Perlman said he has received e-mails from more than a dozen individuals and groups interested in preserving the items. Among them was a couple who are in the process of moving the famed Cheyenne Diner from its old location in Manhattan to Alabama, meaning some of the Jay Dee’s history will live on down south.
For more information, contact Perlman at email@example.com.